Mingjie Zhang

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Multiple PDZ domain scaffold protein Par-3 and phosphoinositides (PIPs) are required for polarity in diverse cell types. We show that the second PDZ domain of Par-3 binds to phosphatidylinositol (PI) lipid membranes with high affinity. We further demonstrate that a large subset of PDZ domains in mammalian genomes are capable of binding to PI lipid(More)
The solution structure of Ca2+-free calmodulin has been determined by NMR spectroscopy, and is compared to the previously reported structure of the Ca2+-saturated form. The removal of Ca2+ causes the interhelical angles of four EF-hand motifs to increase by 36°–44°. This leads to major changes in surface properties, including the closure of the deep(More)
As the major components of the postsynaptic density of excitatory neuronal synapses, PDZ-domain-containing scaffold proteins regulate the clustering of surface glutamate receptors, organize synaptic signalling complexes, participate in the dynamic trafficking of receptors and ion channels, and coordinate cytoskeletal dynamics. These scaffold proteins often(More)
Beclin-1, originally identified as a Bcl-2 binding protein, is an evolutionarily conserved protein required for autophagy. The direct interaction between Beclin-1 and Bcl-2 or Bcl-xL provides a potential convergence point for apoptosis and autophagy, two programmed cell death processes. Given the functional significance of the interaction between Beclin-1(More)
The targeting and surface expression of membrane proteins are critical to their functions. In neurons, synaptic targeting and surface expression of AMPA-type glutamate receptors were found to be critical for synaptic plasticity such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression (LTD). PICK1 (protein interacting with C kinase 1) is a cytosolic protein(More)
The unconventional myosin VIIa (MYO7A) is one of the five proteins that form a network of complexes involved in formation of stereocilia. Defects in these proteins cause syndromic deaf-blindness in humans [Usher syndrome I (USH1)]. Many disease-causing mutations occur in myosin tail homology 4-protein 4.1, ezrin, radixin, moesin (MyTH4-FERM) domains in the(More)
Protein interacting with c kinase 1 (PICK1) regulates the trafficking of receptors and ion-channels such as AMPA receptors. Traditionally, the PICK1 PDZ domain is regarded as an adaptor capable of binding to receptors trafficked by PICK1, and the lipid-binding BAR domain functions to tether PICK1 directly to membranes. Here, we show that the PICK1 PDZ(More)
SynGAP is a Ras-GTPase activating protein highly enriched at excitatory synapses in the brain. Previous studies have shown that CaMKII and the RAS-ERK pathway are critical for several forms of synaptic plasticity including LTP. NMDA receptor-dependent calcium influx has been shown to regulate the RAS-ERK pathway and downstream events that result in AMPA(More)
Myosin X (MyoX), encoded by Myo10, is a representative member of the MyTH4-FERM domain-containing myosins, and this family of unconventional myosins shares common functions in promoting formation of filopodia/stereocilia structures in many cell types with unknown mechanisms. Here, we present the structure of the MyoX MyTH4-FERM tandem in complex with the(More)
The Crumbs (Crb) complex, formed by Crb, PALS1, and PATJ, is evolutionarily conserved in metazoans and acts as a master cell-growth and -polarity regulator at the apical membranes in polarized epithelia. Crb intracellular functions, including its direct binding to PALS1, are mediated by Crb's highly conserved 37-residue cytoplasmic tail. However, the(More)