Györffy BA, Kun J, Török G, Bulyáki É, Borhegyi Zs, Gulyássy P, Kis V, Szocsics P, Micsonai A, Matkó J, Drahos L, Juhász G, Kékesi KA, Kardos J.

Local apoptotic-like mechanisms underlie complement-mediated synaptic pruning

Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 115(24):6303-6308

C1q, a member of the immune complement cascade, is implicated in the selective pruning of synapses by microglial phagocytosis. C1q-mediated synapse elimination has been shown to occur during brain development, while increased activation and complement-dependent synapse loss is observed in neurodegenerative diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying C1q-controlled synaptic pruning are mostly unknown. This study addresses distortions in the synaptic proteome leading to C1q-tagged synapses. Our data demonstrated the preferential localization of C1q to the presynapse. Proteomic investigation and pathway analysis of C1q-tagged synaptosomes revealed the presence of apoptotic-like processes in C1q-tagged synapses, which was confirmed experimentally with apoptosis markers. Moreover, the induction of synaptic apoptotic-like mechanisms in a model of sensory deprivation-induced synaptic depression led to elevated C1q levels. Our results unveiled that C1q label-based synaptic pruning is triggered by and directly linked to apoptotic-like processes in the synaptic compartment.

Micsonai A, Wien F, Bulyáki É, Kun J, Moussong É, Lee YH, Goto Y, Réfrégiers M, Kardos J.

BeStSel: a web server for accurate protein secondary structure prediction and fold recognition from the circular dichroism spectra

Nucleic Acids Research 46:W315-W322

Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy is a widely used method to study the protein secondary structure. However, for decades, the general opinion was that the correct estimation of β-sheet content is challenging because of the large spectral and structural diversity of β-sheets. Recently, we showed that the orientation and twisting of β-sheets account for the observed spectral diversity, and developed a new method to estimate accurately the secondary structure (PNAS, 112, E3095). BeStSel web server provides the Beta Structure Selection method to analyze the CD spectra recorded by conventional or synchrotron radiation CD equipment. Both normalized and measured data can be uploaded to the server either as a single spectrum or series of spectra. The originality of BeStSel is that it carries out a detailed secondary structure analysis providing information on eight secondary structure components including parallel-β structure and antiparallel β-sheets with three different groups of twist. Based on these, it predicts the protein fold down to the topology/homology level of the CATH protein fold classification. The server also provides a module to analyze the structures deposited in the PDB for BeStSel secondary structure contents in relation to Dictionary of Secondary Structure of Proteins data. The BeStSel server is freely accessible at