Flaviviruses are simple enveloped viruses exhibiting complex structural and functional heterogeneities. Decades of research have provided crucial basic insights, antiviral medication and moderately successful gene therapy trials. The most infectious particle is, however, not always the most abundant one in a population, questioning the utility of classic ensemble-averaging virology approaches. Indeed, viral replication is often not particularly efficient, prone to errors or containing parallel routes.
Controlling glycosaminoglycan (GAG) activity to exploit its immense potential in biology ultimately requires facile manipulation of sulfation patterns associated with GAGs. However, satisfying this requirement in full remains challenging, given that synthesis of GAGs is technically arduous while convenient GAG mimetics often produce sulfation patterns that are uncharacteristic of GAGs. To overcome this, we develop saccharide-free polyproline-based GAG mimetics (PGMs) that can be facilely assembled via amide coupling chemistry.
Thrombin-derived C-terminal peptides (TCPs) of about 2 kDa are present in wounds, where they exert anti-endotoxic functions. Employing a combination of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), biophysical, mass spectrometry and cellular studies combined with in silico multiscale modelling, we here determine the bound conformation of HVF18 (HVFRLKKWIQKVIDQFGE), a TCP generated by neutrophil elastase, in complex with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and define a previously undisclosed interaction between TCPs and human CD14.
The ε subunit from ATP synthases acts as an ATP sensor in the bacterial cell to prevent ATP hydrolysis and thus the waste of ATP under conditions of low ATP concentration. However, the ATP binding affinities from various bacterial organisms differ markedly, over several orders of magnitude. For example, the ATP synthases from thermophilic Bacillus PS3 and Escherichia coli exhibit affinities of 4 µM and 22 mM, respectively.
Infection and tissue damage induces assembly of supramolecular organizing centres (SMOCs)), such as the Toll-like receptor (TLR) MyDDosome, to co-ordinate inflammatory signaling. SMOC assembly is thought to drive digital all-or-none responses, yet TLR activation by diverse microbes induces anything from mild to severe inflammation. Using single-molecule imaging of TLR4-MyDDosome signaling in living macrophages, we find that MyDDosomes assemble within minutes of TLR4 stimulation.
The bacterial cell envelope is composed of a mixture of different lipids and proteins, making it an inherently complex organelle. The interactions between integral membrane proteins and lipids are crucial for their respective spatial localization within bacterial cells. We have employed microsecond timescale coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of vesicles of varying sizes and with a range of protein and lipid compositions, and used novel approaches to measure both local and global system dynamics, the latter based on spherical harmonics analysis.