2014 Vol. 5, No. 9

The immunology connection-my first T cell receptor structure projects
Jia-huai Wang
2014, 5(9): 649-652. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0091-7
A pH-dependent molecular switch for virion uncoating
Satoshi Koike
2014, 5(9): 653-654. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0094-4
The cellular receptor for enterovirus 71
Yue Liu, Michael G. Rossmann
2014, 5(9): 655-657. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0092-6
The recombinant expression systems for structure determination of eukaryotic membrane proteins
Yuan He, Kan Wang, Nieng Yan
2014, 5(9): 658-672. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0086-4
Eukaryotic membrane proteins, many of which are key players in various biological processes, constitute more than half of the drug targets and represent important candidates for structural studies. In contrast to their physiological significance, only very limited number of eukaryotic membrane protein structures have been obtained due to the technical challenges in the generation of recombinant proteins. In this review, we examine the major recombinant expression systems for eukaryotic membrane proteins and compare their relative advantages and disadvantages. We also attempted to summarize the recent technical strategies in the advancement of eukaryotic membrane protein purification and crystallization.
The genetic and epigenetic alterations in human hepatocellular carcinoma: a recent update
Ming Liu, Lingxi Jiang, Xin-Yuan Guan
2014, 5(9): 673-691. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0065-9
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most frequent human malignancies worldwide with very poor prognosis. It is generally accepted that the progression of HCC is a long-term process with accumulation of multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations, which further lead to the activation of critical oncogenes or inactivation of tumor suppressor genes. HCC is characterized with multiple cancer hallmarks including their ability to proliferate, anti-apoptosis, invade, metastasis, as well as the emerging features such as stem cell properties and energy metabolic switch. The irreversible alterations at genetic level could be detected as early as in the pre-neoplastic stages and accumulate during cancer progression. Thus, they might account for the cancer initiating steps and further malignant transformation. In addition to genetic alterations, epigenetic alterations can affect the cancer transcriptome more extensively. Alterations in DNA methylation, histone modification, miRNAs, RNA editing, and lncRNAs might result in disrupted gene regulation networks and substantially contribute to HCC progression. In this review, the genetic and epigenetic alterations which significantly contribute to the malignant capabilities of HCC will be updated and summarized in detail. Further characterization of those critical molecular events might better elucidate the pathogenesis of HCC and provide novel therapeutic targets for treatment of this deadly disease.
Research articles
Molecular mechanism of SCARB2-mediated attachment and uncoating of EV71
Minghao Dang, Xiangxi Wang, Quan Wang, Yaxin Wang, Jianping Lin, Yuna Sun, Xuemei Li, Liguo Zhang, Zhiyong Lou, Junzhi Wang, Zihe Rao
2014, 5(9): 692-703. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0087-3
Unlike the well-established picture for the entry of enveloped viruses, the mechanism of cellular entry of non-enveloped eukaryotic viruses remains largely mysterious. Picornaviruses are representative models for such viruses, and initiate this entry process by their functional receptors. Here we present the structural and functional studies of SCARB2, a functional receptor of the important human enterovirus 71 (EV71). SCARB2 is responsible for attachment as well as uncoating of EV71. Differences in the structures of SCARB2 under neutral and acidic conditions reveal that SCARB2 undergoes a pivotal pH-dependent conformational change which opens a lipid-transfer tunnel to mediate the expulsion of a hydrophobic pocket factor from the virion, a pre-requisite for uncoating. We have also identified the key residues essential for attachment to SCARB2, identifying the canyon region of EV71 as mediating the receptor interaction. Together these results provide a clear understanding of cellular attachment and initiation of uncoating for enteroviruses.
USP33, a new player in lung cancer, mediates Slit-Robo signaling
Pushuai Wen, Ruirui Kong, Jianghong Liu, Li Zhu, Xiaoping Chen, Xiaofei Li, Yongzhan Nie, Kaichun Wu, Jane Y. Wu
2014, 5(9): 704-713. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0070-z
Ubiquitin specific protease 33 (USP33) is a multifunctional protein regulating diverse cellular processes. The expression and role of USP33 in lung cancer remain unexplored. In this study, we show that USP33 is down-regulated in multiple cohorts of lung cancer patients and that low expression of USP33 is associated with poor prognosis. USP33 mediates Slit-Robo signaling in lung cancer cell migration. Downregulation of USP33 reduces the protein stability of Robo1 inlungcancer cells, providing a previously unknown mechanism for USP33 function in mediating Slit activity in lung cancer cells. Taken together, USP33 is a new player in lung cancer that regulates Slit-Robo signaling. Our data suggest that USP33 may be a candidate tumor suppressor for lung cancer with potential as a prognostic marker.
The protective role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in concanavalin A-induced hepatic injury
Wenli Diao, Fangfang Jin, Bing Wang, Chen-Yu Zhang, Jiangning Chen, Ke Zen, Limin Li
2014, 5(9): 714-724. doi: 10.1007/s13238-014-0069-5
The mechanism underlying T cell-mediated fulminant hepatitis is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated whether myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) could prevent the concanavalin A (ConA)-induced hepatitis through suppressing T cell proliferation. We observed an increase in the frequencies of MDSCs in mouse spleen and liver at early stage of ConA treatment, implicating that the MDSCs might be involved in the initial resistance of mice against ConAmediated inflammation. Subpopulation analysis showed that the MDSCs in liver of ConA-induced mice were mainly granulocytic MDSCs. Adoptive transfer of the bone marrow-derived MDSCs into ConA-treated mice showed that the MDSCs migrated into the liver and spleen where they suppressed T cell proliferation through ROS pathway. In addition, the frequencies of MDSCs in mice were also significantly increased by the treatment with immune suppressor glucocorticoids. Transfer of MDSCs into the regulatory T cell (Treg)-depleted mice showed that the protective effect of MDSCs on ConA-induced hepatitis is Treg-independent. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that MDSCs possess a direct protective role in T cell-mediated hepatitis, and increasing the frequency of MDSCs by either adoptive transfer or glucocorticoid treatment represents a potential cell-based therapeutic strategy for the acute inflammatory disease.