Chemical Cross-Linking with Mass Spectrometry: A Tool for Systems Structural Biology

Biological processes supporting life are orchestrated by a highly dynamic array of protein structures and interactions comprising the interactome. Defining the interactome, visualizing how structures and interactions change and function to support life is essential to improved understanding of fundamental molecular processes, but represents a challenge unmet by any single analytical technique. Chemical cross-linking with mass spectrometry provides identification of…
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Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection is initiated in the distal airways, but the bacteria ultimately disseminate to the lung interstitium. Although various cell types, including alveolar macrophages (AM), neutrophils, and permissive monocytes, are known to be infected with Mtb, the initially infected cells as well as those that mediate dissemination from the alveoli to the lung interstitium are unknown. In this study,…
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High-throughput DNA sequencing has enabled deep profiling of the set of receptors that T and B cells use to recognize infections, which opens a potential route to the detection of past and present infectious disease exposures and even cancer (whose presence is also monitored by the adaptive immune system). The authors set out to discover signatures of immune exposure and genetic variation in T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing data for a large cohort of healthy human subjects.
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Cas9 Immunity Creates Challenges for CRISPR Gene Editing Therapies

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 is a genome-editing technology1,2 that utilizes archaeal and bacterial Cas9 nucleases to introduce double-stranded breaks in DNA at targeted sites. These breaks can be used to remove, replace, or add pieces of DNA. While not the first genome editor, CRISPR-Cas9 is efficient and cost-effective because cutting is guided by a strand of RNA rather…
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The immunological and virological events that contribute to the establishment of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in humans are unclear. Here, we show that robust cellular innate immune responses arising early in the blood and tissues in response to ZIKV infection are significantly stronger in males and correlate with increased viral persistence. In particular, early peripheral blood recruitment of plasmacytoid dendritic…
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Chromosome segregation depends on the kinetochore, the machine that establishes force-bearing attachments between DNA and spindle microtubules. Kinetochores are formed every cell cycle via a highly regulated process that requires coordinated assembly of multiple subcomplexes on specialized chromatin. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms, we developed an assay to assemble kinetochores de novo using centromeric DNA and budding yeast extracts. Assembly…
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Two phase 3 placebo-controlled trials of the CYD-TDV vaccine, evaluated in children aged 2-14 y (CYD14) and 9-16 y (CYD15), demonstrated vaccine efficacy (VE) of 56.5% and 60.8%, respectively, against symptomatic virologically confirmed dengue (VCD). Sieve analyses were conducted to evaluate whether and how VE varied with amino acid sequence features of dengue viruses (DENVs). DENV premembrane/envelope amino acid sequences…
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Human influenza virus rapidly accumulates mutations in its major surface protein hemagglutinin (HA). The evolutionary success of influenza virus lineages depends on how these mutations affect HA’s functionality and antigenicity. Here we experimentally measure the effects on viral growth in cell culture of all single amino acid mutations to the HA from a recent human H3N2 influenza virus strain. We…
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The SET1/MLL family of histone methyltransferases is conserved in eukaryotes and regulates transcription by catalyzing histone H3K4 mono-, di-, and tri-methylation. These enzymes form a common five-subunit catalytic core whose assembly is critical for their basal and regulated enzymatic activities through unknown mechanisms. Here, we present the crystal structure of the intact yeast COMPASS histone methyltransferase catalytic module consisting of Swd1, Swd3,…
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The influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) fusion glycoprotein mediates viral entry into host cells through its receptor binding and membrane fusion activities. In this issue of Cell, Das et al. use single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) to monitor HA conformational dynamics. Their study reveals this prototypical class I fusion protein to be a highly dynamic molecule capable of reversibly sampling multiple…
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