Article

Identification of Chromosomal HP0892-HP0893 Toxin-Antitoxin Proteins in Helicobacter pylori and Structural Elucidation of Their Protein-Protein Interaction

Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, Republic of
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 01/2013; 288(8). DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.322784
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bacterial chromosomal toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have been proposed not only to play an important role in the stress response, but also to be associated with antibiotic resistance. Here, we identified the chromosomal HP0892-HP0893 TA proteins in the gastric pathogen, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), and structurally characterized their protein-protein interaction. Previously, HP0892 protein was suggested to be a putative TA toxin based on its structural similarity to other RelE family TA toxins. In this study, we demonstrated that HP0892 binds to HP0893 strongly with a stoichiometry of 1:1 and HP0892-HP0893 interaction occurs mainly between the N-terminal secondary structure elements of HP0892 and the C-terminal region of HP0893. HP0892 cleaved mRNA in vitro, preferentially at 5 end of A or G, and the RNase activity of HP0892 was inhibited by HP0893. In addition, heterologous expression of HP0892 in E. coli cells led to cell growth arrest, and the cell toxicity of HP0892 was neutralized by co-expression with HP0893. From these results and a structural comparison with other TA toxins, it is concluded that HP0892 is a toxin with intrinsic RNase activity and HP0893 is an antitoxin against HP0892 from a TA system of H. pylori. It has been known that hp0893 gene and another TA antitoxin gene, hp0895, of H. pylori, are both genomic open reading frames that correspond to genes that are potentially expressed in response to interactions with the human gastric mucosa. Therefore, it is highly probable that TA systems of H. pylori are involved in virulence of H. pylori.

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