Research Highlights

Tipping Cell Signaling Pathways by Salts

11 April 2018|

Mechanistic Insights into Allosteric Regulation of the A2A Adenosine G protein-Coupled Receptor by Physiological Cations

Libin Ye1,2, Chris Neale3, Adnan Sljoka4, Brent Lyda5, Dmitry Pichugin1,2, Nobuyuki Tsuchimura4, Sacha T. Larda1,2, Régis Pomès2,6, Angel E. García3, Oliver P. Ernst2,7, Roger K. Sunahara5, R. Scott Prosser1,2,*

In a recent paper appearing in Nature Communications, Libin Ye (Prosser lab) and co-authors reveal the delicate balance between inactive states and activation intermediates by allosteric […]

Structure and Dynamics of Complexes of G Proteins and their Receptors

16 March 2018|

Ned Van Eps in the Ernst laboratory used DEER spectroscopy together with molecular modeling techniques to map the structure of a complex between a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and its G protein. A paper describing the methodology used for characterizing the binding interface of the rhodopsin–G protein complex has recently been published in PNAS. The authors discovered that the binding mode of G protein subtypes is distinct and key differences suggest […]

Quantification of the yeast proteome

19 January 2018|

The Brown lab, together with Anastasia Baryshnikova at Calico Labs, used computational analyses to normalize and convert 21 yeast protein abundance studies to the intuitive measurement of molecules per cell. They provide precise and accurate abundance measurements for greater than 90% of yeast proteins, making it the most comprehensive quantitation of the yeast proteome, and any eukaryotic cell, to date.

With this unified dataset in hand, comparative and multivariate outlier […]

Single molecule imaging of mRNAs by the Palazzo Lab provides new insight into Protein Synthesis in mammalian cells

3 January 2018|

The Palazzo lab, in collaboration with Jeff Chao’s lab at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel Switzerland, has resolved a long standing puzzle in how cells use mRNAs to synthesize proteins as detailed in a paper published in the most recent issue of Cell Reports (Single-Molecule Quantification of Translation-Dependent Association of mRNAs with the Endoplasmic Reticulum, Cell Reports 2017, 21: 3740–3753).

Proteins can be divided […]

How RNA decay promotes transcriptional rewiring during DNA replication stress

13 December 2017|

Raphael Loll-Krippleber from the Brown lab describes how yeast cells exposed to DNA replication stress induced by the anti-cancer drug hydroxyurea use RNA decay to reprogram gene expression. Using complementary functional genomics approaches Raphael found that a specific mRNA encoding the transcriptional repressor Yox1 is degraded at P-bodies sites to prevent accumulation of the Yox1 repressor in the nucleus. Up-regulation of YOX1 expression, as observed when P-body function is […]

Cellular Signalling in Virtual Reality

4 December 2017|

Aidin Balo in the Ernst laboratory delivers seminars about the structural details of rhodopsin signalling entirely in virtual reality for large audiences at international conferences using technology developed at Autodesk Life Sciences. A paper describing the novel aspects of the tool, the Autodesk Molecule Viewer, has been published in this month’s issue of Nature Methods (publicly accessible link: http://rdcu.be/z0HH)  A story about […]

Houry Lab uncovers over 1000 novel interactions of chaperones in yeast

4 December 2017|

Kamran Rizzolo, in the laboratory of Professor Walid Houry, spoke with Faculty of Medicine’s writer Jim Oldfield about his lab’s recent  Cell Reports paper on the chaperone network in yeast.

Click here to read the full story.

Crystallographers celebrate 1,000th protein structure

4 December 2017|

Scientists have solved 1,000 protein structures using data collected at the Canadian Light Source CMCF beamlines. The Canadian Light Source (CLS) is a national research facility, producing the brightest light in Canada. The Canada Foundation for Innovation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan fund the CLS operations, which allows hundreds […]

Mapping the molecular chaperone network

4 October 2017|

Rizzolo et al. from the Houry group provided a comprehensive view of molecular chaperone function in the cell through the use of a systematic global integrative network approach based on physical (protein-protein) and genetic (gene-gene or epistatic) interaction mapping. The analysis revealed the presence of a large chaperone functional supercomplex, which was named the NAJ chaperone complex, encompassing Hsp40, Hsp70, Hsp90, CCT and small Hsps. Many chaperones were found […]

SickKids scientists obtain blueprint of molecular target for blood cancer and autoimmune therapies

4 October 2017|

Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) have been exploring the molecular structure of immune cell components, and how gaining an understanding of their anatomical organization can help develop future targeted therapies for blood cancers and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Jean-Philippe Julien and co-authors, Dr. June Ereño-Orbea and Taylor Sicard provide the details of their study, “Molecular basis of human CD22 function and therapeutic targeting”, published October 2 in […]

The second annual Biochemistry Departmental Retreat at the Kempenfelt Centre

31 August 2017|

The second annual Biochemistry Departmental Retreat was held at the Kempenfelt Centre on August 30-31st, 2017. The retreat not only allowed the Department to celebrate our newest scientific discoveries, but also to allow everyone to see old friend and meet new colleagues. It also allowed incoming graduate rotation students to sample all of the exciting science that is happening throughout the Department. This year, the retreat focused on grad students […]

How GPCRs use phosphorylation codes for arrestin recruitment

23 August 2017|

DEER spectroscopy by Ned van Eps in the Ernst lab was used to validate the crystal structure of the phosphorylated G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) rhodopsin in complex with arrestin. EPR measurements confirmed the location of the C-terminal tail of rhodopsin on a arrestin binding surface in a non-crystallographic environment. GPCRs are among the most important cell surface receptors controlling nearly all of our physiology. Termination of G-protein-mediated signalling by an […]