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  • 1.
    Forsberg, Björn
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory.
    Fast and reliable alignment and classification of biological macromolecules in electron microscopy images2020Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the last century, immense progress has been made to charter and understand a wide range of biological phenomena. The origin of genetic inheritance was determined, showing that DNA holds genes that determine the architecture of proteins, utilized by the cell for most functions. Mapping of the human genome eventually revealed around 20000 genes, showing a vast complexity of biology at its most fundamental level.

    To study the molecular structure, function and regulation of proteins, spectroscopic techniques and microscopy are employed. Until just over a decade ago, the determination of atomic detail of biomolecules like proteins was limited to those that were small or possible to crystallize. However recent technological advances in cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) now allows it to routinely reach resolutions where it can provide a wealth of new information on molecular biological phenomena by permitting new targets to be structurally characterized.

    In cryo-EM, biological molecules are suspended in thin vitreous sheet of ice and imaged in projection. Collecting millions of such images permits the reconstruction of the original molecular structure, by appropriate alignment and averaging of the particle images. This however requires immense computational effort, which just a few years ago was prohibitive to full use of the image data.

    In this thesis, I describe the development of fast algorithms for processing of cryo-EM data, utilizing GPUs by exposing the inherent parallelism of its alignment and classification. The acceleration of this processing has changed how biological research can utilize cryo-EM data. The drastically reduced processing time now allows more extensive processing, development of new and more demanding processing tools, and broader access to cryo-EM as a method for biological investigation. As an example of what is now possible, I show the processing of the fungal pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC), which poses unique processing challenges. Through extensive processing, new biological information can be inferred, reconciling numerous previous findings from biochemical research. The processing of PDC also exemplifies current limitations to established.

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    Fast and reliable alignment and classification of biological macromolecules in electron microscopy images
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  • 2.
    Forsberg, Björn
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Aibara, Shintaro
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Howard, Rebecca J.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Mortezaei, Narges
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Lindahl, Erik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Assembly and symmetry of the fungal E3BP-containing core of the Pyruvate Dehydrogenase ComplexManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) is a central component of all aerobic respiration, connecting glycolysis to mitochondrial oxidation of pyruvate. Despite its central metabolic role, its precise composition and means of regulation remain unknown. To explain the variation in stoichiometry reported for the E3-recruiting protein X (PX) in the fungal PDC, we established cryo-EM reconstructions of the native and recombinant PDC from the filamentous fungus and model organism Neurospora crassa. We find that the PX C-terminal domain localizes interior to the E2 core. Critically, we show that two distinct arrangements of a trimeric oligomer exists, which both result in strict tetrahedral symmetry of the PDC core interior. Both oligomerization and volume occlusion of the PDC interior by PX appears to limit its binding stoichiometry, which explains the variety of stoichiometries found previously for S. cerevisiae. This also suggests that the PX oligomer stability and size are potential mechanisms to dynamically adjust PDC compostion in response to external cues. Moreover, we find that the site where PX binds is conserved within fungi but not mammals, suggesting that it could be therapeutically targeted. To this end, we also show that a PX knockout results in loss of activity through dysfunctional E3 recruitment, leading to severely impaired N. crassa growth on sucrose. The fungal PDC is thus shown to be fundamentally similar to the mammalian PDC in function but subject to other conditions of possible regulation, conditioned by a steric restrictions imposed by the symmetry of the PDC and its components.

  • 3.
    Forsberg, Björn O.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Aibara, Shintaro
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany.
    Howard, Rebecca J.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Mortezaei, Narges
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). Vironova AB, Sweden.
    Lindahl, Erik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Arrangement and symmetry of the fungal E3BP-containing core of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex2020In: Nature Communications, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 4667Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) is a multienzyme complex central to aerobic respiration, connecting glycolysis to mitochondrial oxidation of pyruvate. Similar to the E3-binding protein (E3BP) of mammalian PDC, PX selectively recruits E3 to the fungal PDC, but its divergent sequence suggests a distinct structural mechanism. Here, we report reconstructions of PDC from the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa by cryo-electron microscopy, where we find protein X (PX) interior to the PDC core as opposed to substituting E2 core subunits as in mammals. Steric occlusion limits PX binding, resulting in predominantly tetrahedral symmetry, explaining previous observations in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The PX-binding site is conserved in (and specific to) fungi, and complements possible C-terminal binding motifs in PX that are absent in mammalian E3BP. Consideration of multiple symmetries thus reveals a differential structural basis for E3BP-like function in fungal PDC.

  • 4.
    Forsberg, Björn O.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Aibara, Shintaro
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Kimanius, Dari
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Paul, Bijoya
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Lindahl, Erik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Amunts, Alexey
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Cryo-EM reconstruction of the chlororibosome to 3.2 angstrom resolution within 24 h2017In: IUCrJ, E-ISSN 2052-2525, Vol. 4, p. 723-727Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The introduction of direct detectors and the automation of data collection in cryo-EM have led to a surge in data, creating new opportunities for advancing computational processing. In particular, on-the-fly workflows that connect data collection with three-dimensional reconstruction would be valuable for more efficient use of cryo-EM and its application as a sample-screening tool. Here, accelerated on-the-fly analysis is reported with optimized organization of the data-processing tools, image acquisition and particle alignment that make it possible to reconstruct the three-dimensional density of the 70S chlororibosome to 3.2 angstrom resolution within 24 h of tissue harvesting. It is also shown that it is possible to achieve even faster processing at comparable quality by imposing some limits to data use, as illustrated by a 3.7 angstrom resolution map that was obtained in only 80 min on a desktop computer. These on-the-fly methods can be employed as an assessment of data quality from small samples and extended to high-throughput approaches.

  • 5.
    Kimanius, Dari
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Forsberg, Björn O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Scheres, Sjors H. W.
    Lindahl, Erik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Accelerated cryo-EM structure determination with parallelisation using GPUs in RELION-22016In: eLIFE, E-ISSN 2050-084X, Vol. 5, article id e18722Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    By reaching near-atomic resolution for a wide range of specimens, single-particle cryo-EM structure determination is transforming structural biology. However, the necessary calculations come at large computational costs, which has introduced a bottleneck that is currently limiting throughput and the development of new methods. Here, we present an implementation of the RELION image processing software that uses graphics processors (GPUs) to address the most computationally intensive steps of its cryo-EM structure determination workflow. Both image classification and high-resolution refinement have been accelerated more than an order-of-magnitude, and template-based particle selection has been accelerated well over two orders-of-magnitude on desktop hardware. Memory requirements on GPUs have been reduced to fit widely available hardware, and we show that the use of single precision arithmetic does not adversely affect results. This enables high-resolution cryo-EM structure determination in a matter of days on a single workstation.

  • 6.
    Perez Boerema, Annemarie
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Aibara, Shintaro
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Paul, Bijoya
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Tobiasson, Victor
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Kimanius, Dari
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Forsberg, Björn O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Walldén, Karin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Lindahl, Erik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Amunts, Alexey
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Structure of the chloroplast ribosome with chl-RRF and hibernation-promoting factor2018In: Nature Plants, ISSN 2055-026X, Vol. 4, p. 212-217Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Oxygenic photosynthesis produces oxygen and builds a variety of organic compounds, changing the chemistry of the air, the sea and fuelling the food chain on our planet. The photochemical reactions underpinning this process in plants take place in the chloroplast. Chloroplasts evolved ~1.2 billion years ago from an engulfed primordial diazotrophic cyanobacterium, and chlororibosomes are responsible for synthesis of the core proteins driving photochemical reactions. Chlororibosomal activity is spatiotemporally coupled to the synthesis and incorporation of functionally essential co-factors, implying the presence of chloroplast-specific regulatory mechanisms and structural adaptation of the chlororibosome1,2. Despite recent structural information3,4,5,6, some of these aspects remained elusive. To provide new insights into the structural specialities and evolution, we report a comprehensive analysis of the 2.9–3.1 Å resolution electron cryo-microscopy structure of the spinach chlororibosome in complex with its recycling factor and hibernation-promoting factor. The model reveals a prominent channel extending from the exit tunnel to the chlororibosome exterior, structural re-arrangements that lead to increased surface area for translocon binding, and experimental evidence for parallel and convergent evolution of chloro- and mitoribosomes.

  • 7.
    Rovšnik, Urška
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Zhuang, Yuxuan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Forsberg, Björn O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). University of Oxford, UK.
    Carroni, Marta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Yvonnesdotter, Linnea
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Howard, Rebecca J.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Lindahl, Erik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Dynamic closed states of a ligand-gated ion channel captured by cryo-EM and simulations2021In: Life Science Alliance, E-ISSN 2575-1077, Vol. 4, no 8, article id e202101011Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ligand-gated ion channels are critical mediators of electrochemical signal transduction across evolution. Biophysical and pharmacological characterization of these receptor proteins relies on high-quality structures in multiple, subtly distinct functional states. However, structural data in this family remain limited, particularly for resting and intermediate states on the activation pathway. Here, we report cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of the proton-activated Gloeobacter violaceus ligand-gated ion channel (GLIC) under three pH conditions. Decreased pH was associated with improved resolution and side chain rearrangements at the subunit/domain interface, particularly involving functionally important residues in the β1–β2 and M2–M3 loops. Molecular dynamics simulations substantiated flexibility in the closed-channel extracellular domains relative to the transmembrane ones and supported electrostatic remodeling around E35 and E243 in proton-induced gating. Exploration of secondary cryo-EM classes further indicated a low-pH population with an expanded pore. These results allow us to define distinct protonation and activation steps in pH-stimulated conformational cycling in GLIC, including interfacial rearrangements largely conserved in the pentameric channel family.

  • 8. Zivanov, Jasenko
    et al.
    Nakane, Takanori
    Forsberg, Björn O.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Kimanius, Dari
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab).
    Hagen, Wim J. H.
    Lindahl, Erik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Stockholm University, Science for Life Laboratory (SciLifeLab). KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Scheres, Sjors H. W.
    New tools for automated high-resolution cryo-EM structure determination in RELION-32018In: eLIFE, E-ISSN 2050-084X, Vol. 7, article id e42166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Here, we describe the third major release of RELION. CPU-based vector acceleration has been added in addition to GPU support, which provides flexibility in use of resources and avoids memory limitations. Reference-free autopicking with Laplacian-of-Gaussian filtering and execution of jobs from python allows non-interactive processing during acquisition, including 2D-classification, de novo model generation and 3D-classification. Per-particle refinement of CTF parameters and correction of estimated beam tilt provides higher resolution reconstructions when particles are at different heights in the ice, and/or coma-free alignment has not been optimal. Ewald sphere curvature correction improves resolution for large particles. We illustrate these developments with publicly available data sets: together with a Bayesian approach to beam-induced motion correction it leads to resolution improvements of 0.2-0.7 angstrom compared to previous RELION versions.

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