C. James McKnight

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Microbial and synthetic DNA rich in CpG dinucleotides stimulates Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9), whereas DNA lacking CpG either is inert or can inhibit TLR9 activation. The molecular mechanisms by which TLR9 becomes activated or is inhibited are not well understood. Here we show that TLR9 bound to stimulatory and inhibitory DNA; however, only stimulatory DNA(More)
A recently described class of DNA binding proteins is characterized by the "bZIP" motif, which consists of a basic region that contacts DNA and an adjacent "leucine zipper" that mediates protein dimerization. A peptide model for the basic region of the yeast transcriptional activator GCN4 has been developed in which the leucine zipper has been replaced by a(More)
Arc repressor bearing the N11L substitution (Arc-N11L) is an evolutionary intermediate between the wild type protein, in which the region surrounding position 11 forms a beta-sheet, and a double mutant 'switch Arc', in which this region is helical. Here, Arc-N11L is shown to be able to adopt either the wild type or mutant conformations. Exchange between(More)
The actin-bundling protein villin contains, at its extreme C terminus, a compact f-actin binding domain called "headpiece". This 76-amino acid domain from chicken is highly thermostable. Here, we show that the stable folded structure in headpiece is localized to a subdomain formed by the C-terminal 35 residues. The subdomain, denoted HP-35, is monomeric and(More)
BACKGROUND Brush border microvilli are approximately 1-microm long finger-like projections emanating from the apical surfaces of certain, specialized absorptive epithelial cells. A highly symmetric hexagonal array of thousands of these uniformly sized structures form the brush border, which in addition to aiding in nutrient absorption also defends the large(More)
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum invades human erythrocytes through multiple pathways utilizing several ligand-receptor interactions. These interactions are broadly classified in two groups according to their dependency on sialic acid residues. Here, we focus on the sialic acid-dependent pathway by using purified glycophorins and red blood cells(More)
Villin is an F-actin regulating, modular protein with a gelsolin-like core and a distinct C-terminal "headpiece" domain. Localized in the microvilli of the absorptive epithelium, villin can bundle F-actin and, at higher calcium concentrations, is capable of a gelsolin-like F-actin severing. The headpiece domain can, in isolation, bind F-actin and is crucial(More)
The N-terminal 17% of apolipoprotein B (apoB-17) readily associates with dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) multilamellar vesicles (MLV) to form large (240-A diameter) discoidal particles. Because apoB is normally secreted with triacylglycerol (TAG)-rich lipoproteins, we studied the binding of apoB-17 to triolein-rich emulsions modeling nascent TAG-rich(More)
A growing family of F-actin-bundling proteins harbors a modular F-actin-binding headpiece domain at the C terminus. Headpiece provides one of the two F-actin-binding sites essential for filament bundling. Here, we report the first structure of a functional headpiece domain. The NMR structure of chicken villin headpiece (HP67) reveals two subdomains that(More)