Stephan N Witt

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We show that human wild-type alpha synuclein (WT alpha-syn), and the inherited mutants A53T or A30P, when expressed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae triggers events that are diagnostic of apoptosis: loss of membrane asymmetry due to the externalization of phosphatidylserine, accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the release of cytochrome c(More)
Because over expression of Hsp70 molecular chaperones suppresses the toxicity of aberrantly folded proteins that occur in Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and various polyQ-diseases (Huntington's disease and ataxias), Hsp70 is garnering attention as a possible therapeutic agent for these various diseases.(More)
The mechanism by which the Parkinson's disease-related protein alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) causes neurodegeneration has not been elucidated. To determine the genes that protect cells from alpha-syn, we used a genetic screen to identify suppressors of the super sensitivity of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae expressing alpha-syn to killing by hydrogen(More)
ClpB and DnaK form a bi-chaperone system that reactivates strongly aggregated proteins in vivo and in vitro. Previously observed interaction between purified ClpB and DnaK suggested that one of the chaperones might recruit its partner during substrate reactivation. We show that ClpB from Escherichia coli binds at the substrate binding site of DnaK and the(More)
The Escherichia coli nucleotide exchange factor GrpE accelerates the rate of ADP dissociation from high affinity ADP-DnaK, thus enabling ATP binding and transition to the low affinity state. We show here that GrpE, in the absence of ATP, accelerates the rates of the forward and reverse reaction ADP-DnaK-P right harpoon over left harpoon ADP-DnaK + P, where(More)
Chlamydomonas reinhardtii accumulates lipids under complete nutrient starvation conditions while overall growth in biomass stops. In order to better understand biochemical changes under nutrient deprivation that maintain production of algal biomass, we used a lipidomic assay for analyzing the temporal regulation of the composition of complex lipids in C.(More)
Recent reports have indicated that insect antimicrobial peptides kill bacteria by inhibiting the molecular chaperone DnaK. It was proposed that the antimicrobial peptide, all-L-pyrrhocoricin (L-PYR), binds to two sites on DnaK, the conventional substrate-binding site and the multi-helical C-terminal lid, and that inhibition of DnaK comes about from the lid(More)
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a devastating neurological condition that affects about 1 % of people older than 65 years of age. In PD, dopaminergic neurons in the mid-brain slowly accumulate cytoplasmic inclusions (Lewy bodies, LBs) of the protein alpha-synuclein (α-syn) and then gradually lose function and die off. Cell death is thought to be causally linked(More)
The C-terminal, polypeptide binding domain of the 70-kDa molecular chaperone DnaK is composed of a unique lidlike subdomain that appears to hinder steric access to the peptide binding site. We have expressed, purified, and characterized a lidless form of DnaK to test the influence of the lid on the ATPase activity, on interdomain communication, and on the(More)
In this study, we have used surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and isothermal microtitration calorimetry (ITC) to study the mechanism of complex formation between the Hsp70 molecular chaperone, DnaK, and its cochaperone, GrpE, which is a nucleotide exchange factor. Experiments were geared toward understanding the influence of DnaK's three domains, the ATPase(More)