The extreme sensitivity of nitrogenase towards oxygen stands as a major barrier to engineer biological nitrogen fixation into cereal crops by direct nif gene transfer. Here, we use yeast as a model of eukaryotic cell and show that aerobically grown cells express active nitrogenase Fe protein when the NifH polypeptide is targeted to the mitochondrial matrix together with the NifM maturase. Co-expression of NifH and NifM with Nif-specific Fe–S cluster biosynthetic proteins NifU and NifS is not required for Fe protein activity, demonstrating NifH ability to incorporate endogenous mitochondrial Fe–S clusters. In contrast, expression of active Fe protein in the cytosol requires both anoxic growth conditions and co-expression of NifH and NifM with NifU and NifS. Our results show the convenience of using mitochondria to host nitrogenase components, thus providing instrumental technology for the grand challenge of engineering N2-fixing cereals.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by selective death of motor neurons. In 5–10% of the familial cases, the disease is inherited because of mutations. One such mutation, P56S, was identified in human VAPB that behaves in a dominant negative manner, sequestering wild type protein into cytoplasmic inclusions.We have conducted a reverse genetic screen to identify interactors of Drosophila VAPB. We screened 2635 genes and identified 103 interactors, of which 45 were enhancers and 58 were suppressors of VAPB function. Interestingly, the screen identified known ALS loci – TBPH, alsin2 and SOD1. Also identified were genes involved in cellular energetics and homeostasis which were used to build a gene regulatory network of VAPB modifiers. One key modifier identified was Tor, whose knockdown reversed the large bouton phenotype associated with VAP(P58S) expression in neurons. A similar reversal was seen by over-expressing Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (Tsc1,2) that negatively regulates TOR signaling as also by reduction of S6K activity. In comparison, the small bouton phenotype associated with VAP(wt) expression was reversed with Tsc1 knock down as well as S6K-CA expression. Tor therefore interacts with both VAP(wt) and VAP(P58S), but in a contrasting manner. Reversal of VAP(P58S) bouton phenotypes in larvae fed with the TOR inhibitor Rapamycin suggests upregulation of TOR signaling in response to VAP(P58S) expression.The VAPB network and further mechanistic understanding of interactions with key pathways, such as the TOR cassette, will pave the way for a better understanding of the mechanisms of onset and progression of motor neuron disease.
BackgroundThere is a need for the development of synthetic biology methods and tools to facilitate rapid and efficient engineering of yeast that accommodates the needs of specific biotechnology projects. In particular, the manipulation of the mitochondrial proteome has interesting potential applications due to its compartmentalized nature. One of these advantages resides in the fact that metalation occurs after protein import into mitochondria, which contains pools of iron, zinc, copper and manganese ions that can be utilized in recombinant metalloprotein metalation reactions. Another advantage is that mitochondria are suitable organelles to host oxygen sensitive proteins as a low oxygen environment is created within the matrix during cellular respiration.ResultsHere we describe the adaptation of a modular cloning system, GoldenBraid2.0, for the integration of assembled transcriptional units into two different sites of the yeast genome, yielding a high expression level. We have also generated a toolkit comprising various promoters, terminators and selection markers that facilitate the generation of multigenic constructs and allow the reconstruction of biosynthetic pathways within Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To facilitate the specific expression of recombinant proteins within the mitochondrial matrix, we have also included in the toolkit an array of mitochondrial targeting signals and tested their efficiency at different growth conditions. As a proof of concept, we show here the integration and expression of 14 bacterial nitrogen fixation (nif) genes, some of which are known to require specific metallocluster cofactors that contribute to their stability yet make these proteins highly sensitive to oxygen. For one of these genes, nifU, we show that optimal production of this protein is achieved through the use of the Su9 mitochondrial targeting pre-sequence and glycerol as a carbon source to sustain aerobic respiration.ConclusionsWe present here an adapted GoldenBraid2.0 system for modular cloning, genome integration and expression of recombinant proteins in yeast. We have produced a toolkit that includes inducible and constitutive promoters, mitochondrial targeting signals, terminators and selection markers to guarantee versatility in the design of recombinant transcriptional units. By testing the efficiency of the system with nitrogenase Nif proteins and different mitochondrial targeting pre-sequences and growth conditions, we have paved the way for future studies addressing the expression of heterologous proteins in yeast mitochondria.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1186/s12896-017-0393-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Polyurethane based tri-block copolymers namely poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone)-b-polyurethane-b-poly(N-vinylpyrrolidone) (PNVP-PU) and poly(dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate)-b-polyurethane-b-poly(dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate) (PDMAEMA-PU) were synthesized through atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) mechanism. The synthesized polymers were characterized using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) methods. The corrosion inhibition performances of the compounds were investigated on mild steel (MS) in 0.5 M H2SO4 medium using electrochemical measurements, surface analysis, quantum chemical calculations and molecular dynamic simulations (MDS). Potentiodynamic polarization (PDP) measurements revealed that the polymers are mixed-type corrosion inhibitors. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements showed that the polymers inhibit MS corrosion by adsorbing on MS surface to form pseudo-capacitive interface. The inhibitive effects of the polymers increase with increasing concentration and decrease with increasing temperature. The adsorption of both the polymers on MS surface obey the Langmuir adsorption isotherm and involves both physisorption and chemisorption mechanisms. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) analyses showed that the polymers formed protective film on MS surface and shield it from direct acid attack. Quantum chemical calculations and molecular dynamic simulations studies corroborate experimental results.
A purified alkaline thermo-tolerant bacterial lipase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa BTS-2 was immobilized on a poly (AAc-co-HPMA-cl-MBAm) hydrogel network. The hydrogel showed approximately 95% binding efficiency for lipase (specific activity 1.96 U mg )1 ). The immobilized enzyme achieved 65.1% conversion of ethanol and propionic acid (100 mM each) into ethyl propionate in n-nonane at 65°C in 9 h. When alkane of C-chain length lower than n-nonane was used as the organic solvent, the conversion of ethanol and propionic acid into ethyl propionate decreased with a decrease in the log P value of alkanes. The immobilized lipase retained approximately 30% of its original catalytic activity after five cycles of reuse for esterification of ethanol and propionic acid into ethyl propionate at temperature 65°C in 3 h. Addition of a molecular sieve (3 Å ) to the reaction mixture enhanced the formation of ethyl propionate to 89.3%. Moreover, ethanol and propionic acid when taken a molar ratio of 3:1 further promoted the conversion rate to 94%. However, an increase in the molar ratio of propionic acid with respect to ethanol resulted in a decline of ethyl propionate synthesis.
Novel telechelic 2-methyl-2-bromopropionate terminated polyurethane macroinitiator was synthesized and used further to polymerize methyl methacrylate to yield poly(methyl methacrylate)-block-polyurethane-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) triblock copolymers through atom transfer radical polymerization. Number-average molecular weight (M n ) was increased linearly with increasing polymerization time and conversion. Molecular weight distribution becomes narrower as the polymerization time increases and theoretical M n values of the tri-block copolymers were comparable to the experimental M n values. Structures of the macroinitiator and the tri-block copolymers were confirmed by 1 H NMR, 13 C NMR and FT-IR spectroscopic techniques. Mole percentage of poly(methyl methacrylate) in the triblock copolymers was calculated using 1 H NMR spectroscopy and was found to be comparable with the gel permeation chromatography results. Presence of two phases in the tri-block copolymers has been confirmed through differential scanning calorimetric studies.KEY WORDS: ATRP / Block Copolymers / Poly(methyl methacrylate) / Polyurethanes / Living anionic polymerization was first discovered by Szwarc, 1 where polymer chain propagation took place without chain breaking reactions such as chain transfer and chain termination. As a result polymers with defined molecular weight, narrow molecular weight distribution (MWD) and desired end groups were achieved through this method. But it requires stringent experimental conditions and highly pure monomers and solvents. On contrary, free radical polymerization is used widely to polymerize more than 70% of vinyl and acrylate monomers in industries but it has poor control over degree of polymerization, MWD and end functionalization during polymerization. In recent years, the idea of introducing livingness in free radical polymerization was proposed and it was termed as controlled radical polymerization (CRP).2 As the conversion increases M n also should increase linearly in any living polymerizations.2 In conventional radical polymerization there is no linear increase of molecular weight with the conversion.2 Hence in all CRP routes linear increase of molecular weight with conversion should takes place to show that they are following living polymerization mechanism.
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