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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

In vitro interaction between a chloroplast transit peptide and chloroplast outer envelope lipids is sequence-specific and lipid class-dependent.

Interaction of artificial lipid bilayers (liposomes) with the purified transit peptide (SS-tp) of the precursor form of the small subunit for ribulose-2,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (prSSU) has been studied using a vesicle-disruption assay (calcein dye release) and electron microscopy. Employing purified forms of Escherichia coli-expressed prSSU, mature small subunit, glutathione S-transferase-transit peptide fusion protein, and SS-tp in dye release studies demonstrated that lipid interaction is mediated primarily through the transit peptide. Using chemically synthesized peptides (20-mers), the lipid-interacting domain of the transit peptide was partially mapped to the C-terminal 20 amino acids of the transit peptide. Peptides corresponding to other regions of the transit peptide and control peptides promoted significantly less calcein release. Interaction between the transit peptide and the bilayer was very rapid and could not be resolved by stopped-flow fluorometry with a mixing time of <50 ms. Interaction between the peptides and bilayer was also lipid class-dependent. Disruption occurred only when the bilayer contained the galactolipid monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG). The extent of bilayer disruption directly correlated with the relative concentration of MGDG in the liposome, with maximum calcein release occurring in 20 mol % MGDG liposomes. Lipid bilayers with greater than 20 mol % MGDG could not be achieved as determined by calcein entrapment. Electron microscopy of the liposomes before and after addition of the transit peptide suggested that the transit peptide induced a dramatic reorganization of lipids. These results are discussed in light of a possible mechanism for the early steps in protein transport that may involve polymorphic changes in the envelope membrane organization to include localized non-bilayer HII structures.[1]


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