Cysteine synthase (CysM) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an O-phosphoserine sulfhydrylase: evidence for an alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway in mycobacteria.
ABSTRACT The biosynthesis of cysteine is a crucial metabolic pathway supplying a building block for de novo protein synthesis but also a reduced thiol as a component of the oxidative defense mechanisms that appear particularly vital in the dormant state of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We here show that the cysteine synthase CysM is, in contrast to previous annotations, an O-phosphoserine-specific cysteine synthase. CysM belongs to the fold type II pyridoxal 5'-phosphate-dependent enzymes, as revealed by the crystal structure determined at 2.1-angstroms resolution. A model of O-phosphoserine bound to the enzyme suggests a hydrogen bonding interaction of the side chain of Arg220 with the phosphate group as a key feature in substrate selectivity. Replacement of this residue results in a significant loss of specificity for O-phosphoserine. Notably, reactions with sulfur donors are not affected by the amino acid replacement. The specificity of CysM toward O-phosphoserine together with the previously established novel mode of sulfur delivery via thiocarboxylated CysO (Burns, K. E., Baumgart, S., Dorrestein, P. C., Zhai, H., McLafferty, F. W., and Begley, T. P. (2005) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 127, 11602-11603) provide strong evidence for an O-phosphoserine-based cysteine biosynthesis pathway in M. tuberculosis that is independent of both O-acetylserine and the sulfate reduction pathway. The existence of an alternative biosynthetic pathway to cysteine in this pathogen has implications for the design strategy aimed at inhibition of this metabolic route.
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ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis is dependent on cysteine biosynthesis and reduced sulfur compounds such as mycothiol synthesized from cysteine serve in first-line defence mechanisms against oxidative stress imposed by macrophages. Two biosynthetic routes to L-cysteine, each with its own specific cysteine synthase (CysK1 and CysM), have been described in M. tuberculosis, but the function of a third putative sulfhydrylase in this pathogen, CysK2 remained elusive. We present biochemical and biophysical evidence that CysK2 is a S-sulfocysteine synthase, utilizing O-phosphoserine (OPS) and thiosulfate as substrates. The enzyme uses a similar mechanism via a central aminoacrylate intermediate as other members of this pyridoxal-phosphate dependent enzyme family. The apparent second-order rate of the first half-reaction with OPS was determined as kmax/Ks = 3.97 x 10(3) M(-1) s(-1) ± 619, which compares well to the OPS-specific mycobacterial cysteine synthase CysM with a kmax/Ks = 1.34 × 10(3) ± 48.2. Notably CysK2 does not utilize thiocarboxylated CysO as sulfur donor, but accepts thiosulfate and sulfide as donor substrates. The specificity constant kcat/KM for thiosulfate is 40-fold higher than for sulfide suggesting an annotation as S-sulfocysteine synthase. Mycobacterial CysK2 thus provides a third metabolic route to cysteine, either directly using sulfide as donor or indirectly via S-sulfocysteine. Hypothetically S-sulfocysteine could also act as a signalling molecule triggering additional responses in redox defence in the pathogen upon exposure to reactive oxygen species during dormancy.Journal of Bacteriology 07/2014; · 2.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The last step of cysteine biosynthesis in bacteria and plants is catalyzed by O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase. In bacteria, two isozymes, O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B, have been identified that share similar binding sites, although the respective specific functions are still debated. O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase plays a key role in the adaptation of bacteria to the host environment, in the defense mechanisms to oxidative stress and in antibiotic resistance. Because mammals synthesize cysteine from methionine and lack O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase, the enzyme is a potential target for antimicrobials. With this aim, we first identified potential inhibitors of the two isozymes via a ligand- and structure-based in silico screening of a subset of the ZINC library using FLAP. The binding affinities of the most promising candidates were measured in vitro on purified O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B from Salmonella typhimurium by a direct method that exploits the change in the cofactor fluorescence. Two molecules were identified with dissociation constants of 3.7 and 33 µM for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B, respectively. Because GRID analysis of the two isoenzymes indicates the presence of a few common pharmacophoric features, cross binding titrations were carried out. It was found that the best binder for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B exhibits a dissociation constant of 29 µM for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A, thus displaying a limited selectivity, whereas the best binder for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-A exhibits a dissociation constant of 50 µM for O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase-B and is thus 8-fold selective towards the former isozyme. Therefore, isoform-specific and isoform-independent ligands allow to either selectively target the isozyme that predominantly supports bacteria during infection and long-term survival or to completely block bacterial cysteine biosynthesis.PLoS ONE 10/2013; 8(10):e77558. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), is the leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide. Over the course of its life cycle in vivo, Mtb is exposed to a plethora of environmental stress conditions. Temporal regulation of genes involved in sensing and responding to such conditions is therefore crucial for Mtb to establish an infection. The Rv2745c (clgR) gene encodes a Clp protease gene regulator that is induced in response to a variety of stress conditions and potentially plays a role in Mtb pathogenesis. Our isogenic mutant, Mtb:ΔRv2745c, is significantly more sensitive to in vitro redox stress generated by diamide, relative to wild-type Mtb as well as to a complemented strain. Together with the fact that the expression of Rv2745c is strongly induced in response to redox stress, these results strongly implicate a role for ClgR in the management of intraphagosomal redox stress. Additionally, we observed that redox stress led to the dysregulation of the expression of the σH/σE regulon in the isogenic mutant, Mtb:ΔRv2745c. Furthermore, induction of clgR in Mtb and Mtb:ΔRv2745c (comp) did not lead to Clp protease induction, indicating that clgR has additional functions that need to be elucidated. Our data, when taken together with that obtained by other groups, indicates that ClgR plays diverse roles in multiple regulatory networks in response to different stress conditions. In addition to redox stress, the expression of Rv2745c correlates with the expression of genes involved in sulfate assimilation as well as in response to hypoxia and reaeration. Clearly, the Mtb Rv2745c-encoded ClgR performs different functions during stress response and is important for the pathogenicity of Mtb in-vivo, regardless of its induction of the Clp proteolytic pathway.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e93604. · 3.53 Impact Factor