Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by the active degradation of central nervous system myelin, a multilamellar membrane system that insulates nerve axons. MS arises from complex interactions between genetic, immunological, infective, and biochemical mechanisms. Although the circumstances of MS etiology remain hypothetical, one persistent theme… (More)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) and a number of related distinctive diseases are characterized by the active degradation of central nervous system (CNS) myelin, an axonal sheath comprised essentially of proteins and lipids. These demyelinating diseases appear to arise from complex interactions of genetic, immunological, infective, and biochemical mechanisms. While… (More)
BACKGROUND Congenital heart block (CHB) is a transplacentally acquired autoimmune disease associated with anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB maternal autoantibodies and is characterized primarily by atrioventricular (AV) block of the fetal heart. This study aims to investigate whether the T-type calcium channel subunit α1G may be a fetal target of maternal sera… (More)
Biophysical hydrophobicity scales suggest that partitioning of a protein segment from an aqueous phase into a membrane is governed by its perceived segmental hydrophobicity but do not establish specifically (i) how the segment is identified in vivo for translocon-mediated insertion or (ii) whether the destination lipid bilayer is biochemically receptive to… (More)
In this issue of Structure, Zhang and colleagues compare the helix-helix interaction spaces of an extensive database of soluble and membrane proteins. Intriguingly, the resultant clusters show similar helix interaction geometries between the protein classes, differing in detail only by patterns of local interactions and inter-helical distances.
Accurate measurement of membrane protein stability--and particularly how it may vary as a result of disease-phenotypic mutations--ideally requires a denaturant that can unfold a membrane-embedded structure while leaving the solubilizing environment unaffected. The steric trap method fulfills this requirement by using monovalent streptavidin (mSA) molecules… (More)
A membrane potential is shown to be established in phosphatidylcholine/cholesterol unilamellar vesicles using valinomycin in conjunction with a potassium ion gradient; this potential is monitored using the externally added fluorescent dye Safranine O. In the same system, transmembrane calcium fluxes are then detected using the (internally trapped)… (More)