Function and Regulation of Class I Ribonucleotide Reductase-Encoding Genes in Mycobacteria

MRC/NHLS/WITS Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research, School of Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand, National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa.
Journal of bacteriology (Impact Factor: 2.81). 12/2008; 191(3):985-95. DOI: 10.1128/JB.01409-08
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs) are crucial to all living cells, since they provide deoxyribonucleotides (dNTPs) for DNA synthesis and repair. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a class Ib RNR comprising nrdE- and nrdF2-encoded subunits is essential for growth in vitro. Interestingly, the genome of this obligate human pathogen also contains the nrdF1 (Rv1981c) and nrdB (Rv0233) genes, encoding an alternate class Ib RNR small (R2) subunit and a putative class Ic RNR R2 subunit, respectively. However, the role(s) of these subunits in dNTP provision during M. tuberculosis pathogenesis is unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that nrdF1 and nrdB are dispensable for the growth and survival of M. tuberculosis after exposure to various stresses in vitro and, further, that neither gene is required for growth and survival in mice. These observations argue against a specialist role for the alternate R2 subunits under the conditions tested. Through the construction of nrdR-deficient mutants of M. tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis, we establish that the genes encoding the essential class Ib RNR subunits are specifically regulated by an NrdR-type repressor. Moreover, a strain of M. smegmatis mc(2)155 lacking the 56-kb chromosomal region, which includes duplicates of nrdHIE and nrdF2, and a mutant retaining only one copy of nrdF2 are shown to be hypersensitive to the class I RNR inhibitor hydroxyurea as a result of depleted levels of the target. Together, our observations identify a potential vulnerability in dNTP provision in mycobacteria and thereby offer a compelling rationale for pursuing the class Ib RNR as a target for drug discovery.

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    • "Recent publications have described the transcriptional regulation of different RNR classes; however, little is known about how the expression of different RNRs might be coordinated in microorganisms encoding several RNR classes. A novel transcriptional factor, NrdR, has recently been implicated in the regulation of all three RNR classes through binding to conserved NrdR boxes in the promoter regions of almost all genes encoding RNRs (Grinberg et al., 2006; Torrents et al., 2007; Mowa et al., 2009; Panosa et al., 2010; Case et al., 2011). All currently known eubacteria encode and nrdR gene except that Rickettsia, Helicobacter, and Desulfovibrio. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) is a key enzyme that mediates the synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides, the DNA precursors, for DNA synthesis in every living cell. This enzyme converts ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides, the building blocks for DNA replication, and repair. Clearly, RNR enzymes have contributed to the appearance of genetic material that exists today, being essential for the evolution of all organisms on Earth. The strict control of RNR activity and dNTP pool sizes is important, as pool imbalances increase mutation rates, replication anomalies, and genome instability. Thus, RNR activity should be finely regulated allosterically and at the transcriptional level. In this review we examine the distribution, the evolution, and the genetic regulation of bacterial RNRs. Moreover, this enzyme can be considered an ideal target for anti-proliferative compounds designed to inhibit cell replication in eukaryotic cells (cancer cells), parasites, viruses, and bacteria.
    Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology 04/2014; 4:52. DOI:10.3389/fcimb.2014.00052 · 3.72 Impact Factor
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    • "Primers for RT-PCR analysis of expression of Mtb vapCs were designed using Primer 3 software ( and are described in Table S6. Expression of M. smegmatis sigA was detected as described previously [72]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The chromosome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) encodes forty seven toxin-antitoxin modules belonging to the VapBC family. The role of these modules in the physiology of Mtb and the function(s) served by their expansion are unknown. We investigated ten vapBC modules from Mtb and the single vapBC from M. smegmatis. Of the Mtb vapCs assessed, only Rv0549c, Rv0595c, Rv2549c and Rv2829c were toxic when expressed from a tetracycline-regulated promoter in M. smegmatis. The same genes displayed toxicity when conditionally expressed in Mtb. Toxicity of Rv2549c in M. smegmatis correlated with the level of protein expressed, suggesting that the VapC level must exceed a threshold for toxicity to be observed. In addition, the level of Rv2456 protein induced in M. smegmatis was markedly lower than Rv2549c, which may account for the lack of toxicity of this and other VapCs scored as 'non-toxic'. The growth inhibitory effects of toxic VapCs were neutralized by expression of the cognate VapB as part of a vapBC operon or from a different chromosomal locus, while that of non-cognate antitoxins did not. These results demonstrated a specificity of interaction between VapCs and their cognate VapBs, a finding corroborated by yeast two-hybrid analyses. Deletion of selected vapC or vapBC genes did not affect mycobacterial growth in vitro, but rendered the organisms more susceptible to growth inhibition following toxic VapC expression. However, toxicity of 'non-toxic' VapCs was not unveiled in deletion mutant strains, even when the mutation eliminated the corresponding cognate VapB, presumably due to insufficient levels of VapC protein. Together with the ribonuclease (RNase) activity demonstrated for Rv0065 and Rv0617--VapC proteins with similarity to Rv0549c and Rv3320c, respectively--these results suggest that the VapBC family potentially provides an abundant source of RNase activity in Mtb, which may profoundly impact the physiology of the organism.
    PLoS ONE 06/2011; 6(6):e21738. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0021738 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "The nrdF2 encodes the ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase subunit beta. Ribonucleotide reductases are critical to all living cells because they provide deoxyribonucleotides for DNA synthesis and repair (Mowa et al. 2009). In addition, both "
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    ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis is a leading cause of death worldwide and infects thousands of Americans annually. Mycobacterium bovis causes tuberculosis in humans and several animal species. Peracetic acid is an approved tuberculocide in hospital and domestic environments. This study presents for the first time the transcriptomic changes in M. bovis BCG after treatment with 0.1 mM peracetic acid for 10 and 20 min. This study also presents for the first time a comparison among the transcriptomic responses of M. bovis BCG to three oxidative disinfectants: peracetic acid, sodium hypochlorite, and hydrogen peroxide after 10 min of treatment. Results indicate that arginine biosynthesis, virulence, and oxidative stress response genes were upregulated after both peracetic acid treatment times. Three DNA repair genes were downregulated after 10 and 20 min and cell wall component genes were upregulated after 20 min. The devR-devS signal transduction system was upregulated after 10 min, suggesting a role in the protection against peracetic acid treatment. Results also suggest that peracetic acid and sodium hypochlorite both induce the expression of the ctpF gene which is upregulated in hypoxic environments. Further, this study reveals that in M. bovis BCG, hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid both induce the expression of katG involved in oxidative stress response and the mbtD and mbtI genes involved in iron regulation/virulence.
    Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 10/2010; 90(1):277-304. DOI:10.1007/s00253-010-2931-6 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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