Publications by authors named "Joanna Pieprzyk"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Selection, biophysical and structural analysis of synthetic nanobodies that effectively neutralize SARS-CoV-2.

Nat Commun 2020 11 4;11(1):5588. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB), DESY and European Molecular Biology Laboratory Hamburg, Notkestrasse 85, D-22607, Hamburg, Germany.

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therapeutic neutralizing antibodies constitute a key short-to-medium term approach to tackle COVID-19. However, traditional antibody production is hampered by long development times and costly production. Here, we report the rapid isolation and characterization of nanobodies from a synthetic library, known as sybodies (Sb), that target the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Several binders with low nanomolar affinities and efficient neutralization activity were identified of which Sb23 displayed high affinity and neutralized pseudovirus with an IC of 0.6 µg/ml. A cryo-EM structure of the spike bound to Sb23 showed that Sb23 binds competitively in the ACE2 binding site. Furthermore, the cryo-EM reconstruction revealed an unusual conformation of the spike where two RBDs are in the 'up' ACE2-binding conformation. The combined approach represents an alternative, fast workflow to select binders with neutralizing activity against newly emerging viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19204-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7642358PMC
November 2020

Transient Expression of Recombinant Membrane-eGFP Fusion Proteins in HEK293 Cells.

Methods Mol Biol 2018 ;1850:17-31

Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB), DESY and European Molecular Biology Laboratory Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Membrane proteins play important roles in many biological processes and are a major drug target. However, only a limited number of structures of eukaryotic membrane proteins have been determined so far. Besides the challenges in crystallizing these proteins, one of the main bottlenecks in structure determination is their recombinant expression. The mammalian HEK293 cell line provides a natural environment for expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins but optimization of transfection and cultivation time is often necessary to yield amounts of protein suitable for structural studies.Here we describe a detailed protocol for expression and purification of membrane proteins from HEK293 cells with an example of the human peptide transporter, PepT2. In the first part, we focus on the expression optimization by changing transfection protocol and cultivation time. In the second part, we describe a robust protocol for large-scale expression and purification of membrane proteins based on affinity chromatography and gel filtration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-8730-6_2DOI Listing
May 2019

Probing the Architecture of a Multi-PDZ Domain Protein: Structure of PDZK1 in Solution.

Structure 2018 11 13;26(11):1522-1533.e5. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Centre for Systems Structural Biology (CSSB), DESY and European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Notkestrasse 85, Hamburg D-22607, Germany; Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Insititutet, Scheels väg 2, Stockholm SE-17177, Sweden. Electronic address:

The scaffolding protein PDZK1 has been associated with the regulation of membrane transporters. It contains four conserved PDZ domains, which typically recognize a 3-5-residue long motif at the C terminus of the binding partner. The atomic structures of the individual domains are available but their spatial arrangement in the full-length context influencing the binding properties remained elusive. Here we report a systematic study of full-length PDZK1 and deletion constructs using small-angle X-ray scattering, complemented with biochemical and functional studies on PDZK1 binding to known membrane protein partners. A hybrid modeling approach utilizing multiple scattering datasets yielded a well-defined, extended, asymmetric L-shaped domain organization of PDZK1 in contrast to a flexible "beads-on-string" model predicted by bioinformatics analysis. The linker regions of PDZK1 appear to play a central role in the arrangement of the four domains underlying the importance of studying scaffolding proteins in their full-length context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.str.2018.07.016DOI Listing
November 2018

Multispecific Substrate Recognition in a Proton-Dependent Oligopeptide Transporter.

Structure 2018 03 8;26(3):467-476.e4. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB), DESY and European Molecular Biology Laboratory Hamburg, Notkestrasse 85, 22607 Hamburg, Germany; Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Scheeles väg 2, 17177 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:

Proton-dependent oligopeptide transporters (POTs) are important for uptake of dietary di- and tripeptides in many organisms, and in humans are also involved in drug absorption. These transporters accept a wide range of substrates, but the structural basis for how different peptide side chains are accommodated has so far remained obscure. Twenty-eight peptides were screened for binding to PepT from Streptococcus thermophilus, and structures were determined of PepT in complex with four physicochemically diverse dipeptides, which bind with millimolar affinity: Ala-Leu, Phe-Ala, Ala-Gln, and Asp-Glu. The structures show that PepT can adapt to different peptide side chains through movement of binding site residues and water molecules, and that a good fit can be further aided by adjustment of the position of the peptide itself. Finally, structures were also determined in complex with adventitiously bound HEPES, polyethylene glycol, and phosphate molecules, which further underline the adaptability of the binding site.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.str.2018.01.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845931PMC
March 2018

Molecular determinants of Drosophila immunophilin FKBP39 nuclear localization.

Biol Chem 2018 04;399(5):467-484

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego 27, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland.

FK506-binding proteins (FKBPs) belong to a distinct class of immunophilins that interact with immunosuppressants. They use their peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIase) activity to catalyze the cis-trans conversion of prolyl bonds in proteins during protein-folding events. FKBPs also act as a unique group of chaperones. The Drosophila melanogaster peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase FK506-binding protein of 39 kDa (FKBP39) is thought to act as a transcriptional modulator of gene expression in 20-hydroxyecdysone and juvenile hormone signal transduction. The aim of this study was to analyze the molecular determinants responsible for the subcellular distribution of an FKBP39-yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) fusion construct (YFP-FKBP39). We found that YFP-FKBP39 was predominantly nucleolar. To identify the nuclear localization signal (NLS), a series of YFP-tagged FKBP39 deletion mutants were prepared and examined in vivo. The identified NLS signal is located in a basic domain. Detailed mutagenesis studies revealed that residues K188 and K191 are crucial for the nuclear targeting of FKBP39 and its nucleoplasmin-like (NPL) domain contains the sequence that controls the nucleolar-specific translocation of the protein. These results show that FKBP39 possesses a specific NLS in close proximity to a putative helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif and FKBP39 may bind DNA in vivo and in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2017-0251DOI Listing
April 2018

Homodimerization propensity of the intrinsically disordered N-terminal domain of Ultraspiracle from Aedes aegypti.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2014 Jun 2;1844(6):1153-66. Epub 2014 Apr 2.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Wrocław University of Technology, Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego 27, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland. Electronic address:

The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the principal vector of dengue, one of the most devastating arthropod-borne viral infections in humans. The isoform specific A/B region, called the N-terminal domain (NTD), is hypervariable in sequence and length and is poorly conserved within the Ultraspiracle (Usp) family. The Usp protein together with ecdysteroid receptor (EcR) forms a heterodimeric complex. Up until now, there has been little data on the molecular properties of the isolated Usp-NTD. Here, we describe the biochemical and biophysical properties of the recombinant NTD of the Usp isoform B (aaUsp-NTD) from A. aegypti. These results, in combination with in silico bioinformatics approaches, indicate that aaUsp-NTD exhibits properties of an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP). We also present the first experimental evidence describing the dimerization propensity of the isolated NTD of Usp. These characteristics also appear for other members of the Usp family in different species, for example, in the Usp-NTD from Drosophila melanogaster and Bombyx mori. However, aaUsp-NTD exhibits the strongest homodimerization potential. We postulate that the unique dimerization of the NTD might be important for Usp function by providing an additional platform for interactions, in addition to the nuclear receptor superfamily dimerization via DNA binding domains and ligand binding domains that has already been extensively documented. Furthermore, the unique NTD-NTD interaction that was observed might contribute new insight into the dimerization propensities of nuclear receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbapap.2014.03.010DOI Listing
June 2014