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Ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) mediate key cellular functions such as gene expression and its regulation. Whereas most RNP enzymes are stable in composition and harbor preformed active sites, the spliceosome, which removes noncoding introns from precursor messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs), follows fundamentally different strategies. In order to provide both accuracy to(More)
Neurotransmission relies on synaptic vesicles fusing with the membrane of nerve cells to release their neurotransmitter content into the synaptic cleft, a process requiring the assembly of several members of the SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) family. SNAREs represent an evolutionarily conserved protein family(More)
Physiological studies on the Brittle1 maize mutant have provided circumstantial evidence that ZmBT1 (Zea mays Brittle1 protein) is involved in the ADP-Glc transport into maize endosperm plastids, but up to now, no direct ADP-Glc transport mediated by ZmBT1 has ever been shown. The heterologous synthesis of ZmBT1 in Escherichia coli cells leads to the(More)
CASK is a unique MAGUK protein that contains an N-terminal CaM-kinase domain besides the typical MAGUK domains. The CASK CaM-kinase domain is presumed to be a catalytically inactive pseudokinase because it lacks the canonical DFG motif required for Mg2+ binding that is thought to be indispensable for kinase activity. Here we show, however, that CASK(More)
Dronpa is a novel GFP-like fluorescent protein with exceptional light-controlled switching properties. It may be reversibly switched between a fluorescent on-state and a nonfluorescent off-state by irradiation with light. To elucidate the molecular basis of the switching mechanism, we generated reversibly switchable Dronpa protein crystals. Using these(More)
Brr2 is a unique DExD/H box protein required for catalytic activation and disassembly of the spliceosome. It contains two tandem helicase cassettes that both comprise dual RecA-like domains and a noncanonical Sec63 unit. The latter may bestow the enzyme with unique properties. We have determined crystal structures of the C-terminal Sec63 unit of yeast Brr2,(More)
U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) recognizes the 5'-splice site early during spliceosome assembly. It represents a prototype spliceosomal subunit containing a paradigmatic Sm core RNP. The crystal structure of human U1 snRNP obtained from natively purified material by in situ limited proteolysis at 4.4 Å resolution reveals how the seven Sm(More)
SNARE proteins mediate membrane fusion in eukaryotic cells. They contain conserved SNARE motifs that are usually located adjacent to a C-terminal transmembrane domain. SNARE motifs spontaneously assemble into four helix bundles, with each helix belonging to a different subfamily. Liposomes containing SNAREs spontaneously fuse with each other, but it is(More)
The crystal structure of the RNA fragment, 5'-r(UUCGCG)-3', has been determined at 1.4 A resolution by a combination of single isomorphous replacement and molecular search methods. The 3'-terminal CGCG portion of the hexamer engages in Watson-Crick hydrogen bonding while the 5'-terminal UU-overhang forms novel Hoogsteen-like U.U self-base pairs with the(More)