Ideal Model System (ideal + model_system)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Mechanisms for activating bacterial RNA polymerase

Tamaswati Ghosh
Abstract Gene transcription is a fundamental cellular process carried out by RNA polymerase (RNAP) enzymes and is highly regulated through the action of gene regulatory complexes. Important mechanistic insights have been gained from structural studies on multisubunit RNAP from bacteria, yeast and archaea, although the initiation process that involves the conversion of the inactive transcription complex to an active one has yet to be fully understood. RNAPs are unambiguously closely related in structure and function across all kingdoms of life and have conserved mechanisms. In bacteria, sigma (,) factors direct RNAP to specific promoter sites and the RNAP/, holoenzyme can either form a stable closed complex that is incompetent for transcription (as in the case of ,54) or can spontaneously proceed to an open complex that is competent for transcription (as in the case of ,70). The conversion of the RNAP/,54 closed complex to an open complex requires ATP hydrolysis by enhancer-binding proteins, hence providing an ideal model system for studying the initiation process biochemically and structurally. In this review, we present recent structural studies of the two major bacterial RNAP holoenzymes and focus on mechanistic advances in the transcription initiation process via enhancer-binding proteins. [source]

The Actin Cytoskeleton and Signaling Network during Pollen Tube Tip Growth

Ying Fu
The organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton play key roles in many aspects of plant cell development. The actin cytoskeleton responds to internal developmental cues and environmental signals and is involved in cell division, subcellular organelle movement, cell polarity and polar cell growth. The tip-growing pollen tubes provide an ideal model system to investigate fundamental mechanisms of underlying polarized cell growth. In this system, most signaling cascades required for tip growth, such as Ca2+ -, small GTPases- and lipid-mediated signaling have been found to be involved in transmitting signals to a large group of actin-binding proteins. These actin-binding proteins subsequently regulate the structure of the actin network, as well as the rapid turnover of actin filaments (F-actin), thereby eventually controlling tip growth. The actin cytoskeleton acts as an integrator in which multiple signaling pathways converge, providing a general growth and regulatory mechanism that applies not only for tip growth but also for polarized diffuse growth in plants. [source]

Caenorhabditis elegans proteomics comes of age

Yhong-Hee Shim
Abstract Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living soil nematode, is an ideal model system for studying various physiological problems relevant to human diseases. Despite its short history, C. elegans proteomics is receiving great attention in multiple research areas, including the genome annotation, major signaling pathways (e.g. TGF-, and insulin/IGF-1 signaling), verification of RNA interference-mediated gene targeting, aging, disease models, as well as peptidomic analysis of neuropeptides involved in behavior and locomotion. For example, a proteome-wide profiling of developmental and aging processes not only provides basic information necessary for constructing a molecular network, but also identifies important target proteins for chemical modulation. Although C. elegans has a simple body system and neural circuitry, it exhibits very complicated functions ranging from feeding to locomotion. Investigation of these functions through proteomic analysis of various C. elegans neuropeptides, some of which are not found in the predicted genome sequence, would open a new field of peptidomics. Given the importance of nematode infection in plants and mammalian pathogenesis pathways, proteomics could be applied to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying plant, or animal,nematode pathogenesis and to identify novel antinematodal drugs. Thus, C. elegans proteomics, in combination of other molecular, biological and genetic techniques, would provide a versatile new tool box for the systematic analysis of gene functions throughout the entire life cycle of this nematode. [source]

Folding Dynamics of 10-Residue ,-Hairpin Peptide Chignolin

Atsushi Suenaga Dr.
Abstract Short peptides that fold into ,-hairpins are ideal model systems for investigating the mechanism of protein folding because their folding process shows dynamics typical of proteins. We performed folding, unfolding, and refolding molecular dynamics simulations (total of 2.7,,s) of the 10-residue ,-hairpin peptide chignolin, which is the smallest ,-hairpin structure known to be stable in solution. Our results revealed the folding mechanism of chignolin, which comprises three steps. First, the folding begins with hydrophobic assembly. It brings the main chain together; subsequently, a nascent turn structure is formed. The second step is the conversion of the nascent turn into a tight turn structure along with interconversion of the hydrophobic packing and interstrand hydrogen bonds. Finally, the formation of the hydrogen-bond network and the complete hydrophobic core as well as the arrangement of side-chain,side-chain interactions occur at approximately the same time. This three-step mechanism appropriately interprets the folding process as involving a combination of previous inconsistent explanations of the folding mechanism of the ,-hairpin, that the first event of the folding is formation of hydrogen bonds and the second is that of the hydrophobic core, or vice versa. [source]