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Molecular dissection of established and proposed members of the Op18/Stathmin family of tubulin binding proteins

by Brännström, Kristoffer

Abstract (Summary)
My initial aim was a functional analysis of the conserved Op18/stathmin family of microtubule-regulators, which includes the ubiquitous cytosolic Op18 protein and the neural membrane-attached RB3 and SCG10 proteins. The solved X-ray structure has shown that these proteins form a complex with tubulin ??-heterodimers via two imperfect helical repeats, which result in two head-to-tail aligned heterodimers in a tandem-tubulin complex. We have analyzed GTP exchange and GTP hydrolysis at the two exchangeable GTP-binding sites (E-site) within the tandem-tubulin complex. A comparison of Op18, RB3 and SCG10 proteins indicates that Op18/Stathmin family proteins have evolved to maintain the two heterodimers in a configuration that restrains the otherwise potent GTPase productive interactions facilitated by the head-to-head alignment of heterodimers in protofilaments. We concluded from these studies that tubulin heterodimers in complex with Op18/stathmin family members are subject to allosteric effects that prevent futile cycles of GTP hydrolysis.To understand the significance of the large differences in tubulin affinity of Op18, RB3 and SCG10, we have fused each of the heterodimer-binding regions of these three proteins with the CD2 cell-surface protein to generate confined plasma membrane localization of the resulting CD2 chimeras. We showed that, in contrast to CD2-Op18, both the CD2-SCG10 and CD2-RB3 chimeras sequester tubulin at the plasma membrane, which results in >35% reduction of cytosolic tubulin heterodimer levels. However, all three CD2-chimeras, including the tubulin sequestration-incompetent CD2-Op18, destabilize interphase microtubules. Given that microtubules are in extensive contact with the plasma membrane during the interphase, these findings indicate that Op18-like proteins have the potential to destabilize microtubules by both sequestration and direct interaction with microtubules.Sm16/SmSLP (Stathmin-Like Protein) has been identified as a protein released during skin penetration of the Schistosoma mansoni parasite. This protein has been ascribed both anti-inflammatory activities and a functional similarity with the conserved cytosolic tubulin-binding protein stathmin/Op18. However, our studies refuted any functional similarity with stathmin/Op18 and we found instead that Sm16/SmSLP is a lipid bilayer binding protein that is taken up by cells through endocytosis.To study immuno-modulatory properties of Sm16/SmSLP, we designed an engineered version with decreased aggregation propensity, thus facilitating expression and purification of a soluble Sm16 /SmSLP protein from the eukaryotic organism Pichia pastoris. Determination of the hydrodynamic parameters revealed that both the recombinant and native Sm16/SmSLP is a ~9-subunits oligomer. The recombinant protein was found to have no effect on T lymphocyte activation, cell proliferation or the basal level of cytokine production of whole human blood or monocytic cells. Interestingly, however, recombinant Sm16 was found to potently inhibit the cytokine response to the Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Poly(I:C). Since Sm16 specifically inhibits degradation of the IRAK1 signaling protein in LPS stimulated monocytes, it seems likely that inhibition is exerted proximal to the TLR-complex.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Umeå universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Biology; Cell and molecular biology; Molecular biology; Op18/Stathmin; Sm16; tubulin; microtubule; schistosoma mansoni

ISBN:978-91-7264-705-3

Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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