Calcium-induced folding of intrinsically disordered repeat-in-toxin (RTX) motifs via changes of protein charges and oligomerization states.
ABSTRACT Ligand-induced disorder-to-order transition plays a key role in the biological functions of many proteins that contain intrinsically disordered regions. This trait is exhibited by so-called RTX (repeat-in-toxin) motifs found in many virulence factors secreted by numerous gram-negative pathogenic bacteria: RTX proteins are natively disordered in the absence of calcium but fold upon calcium binding. The adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) produced by Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, contains ∼40 RTX motifs organized in five successive blocks separated by non-RTX flanking regions. This RTX domain mediates toxin binding to its eukaryotic cell receptor. We previously showed that the last block of the RTX domain, block V, which is critical for CyaA toxicity, exhibits the hallmarks of intrinsically disordered proteins in the absence of calcium. Moreover, the C-terminal flanking region of CyaA block V is required for its calcium-induced folding. Here, we describe a comprehensive analysis of the hydrodynamic and electrophoretic properties of several block V RTX polypeptides that differ in the presence and/or length of the flanking regions. Our results indicate that the length of the C-terminal flanking region not only controls the calcium-induced folding but also the calcium-induced multimerization of the RTX polypeptides. Moreover, we showed that calcium binding is accompanied by a strong reduction of the net charge of the RTX polypeptides. These data indicate that the disorder-to-order transition in RTX proteins is controlled by a calcium-induced change of the polypeptide charges and stabilized by multimerization.
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ABSTRACT: The adenylate cyclase (CyaA) toxin, one of the virulence factors secreted by Bordetella pertussis, the pathogenic bacteria responsible for whooping cough, plays a critical role in the early stages of respiratory tract colonization by this bacterium. The CyaA toxin is able to invade eukaryotic cells by translocating its N-terminal catalytic domain directly across the plasma membrane of the target cells, where, activated by endogenous calmodulin, it produces supraphysiological levels of cAMP. How the catalytic domain is transferred from the hydrophilic extracellular medium into the hydrophobic environment of the membrane and then to the cell cytoplasm remains an unsolved question. In this report, we have characterized the membrane-interacting properties of the CyaA catalytic domain. We showed that a protein covering the catalytic domain (AC384, encompassing residues 1-384 of CyaA) displayed no membrane association propensity. However, a longer polypeptide (AC489), encompassing residues 1-489 of CyaA, exhibited the intrinsic property to bind to membranes and to induce lipid bilayer destabilization. We further showed that deletion of residues 375-485 within CyaA totally abrogated the toxin's ability to increase intracellular cAMP in target cells. These results indicate that, whereas the calmodulin dependent enzymatic domain is restricted to the amino-terminal residues 1-384 of CyaA, the membrane-interacting, translocation-competent domain extends up to residue 489. This thus suggests an important role of the region adjacent to the catalytic domain of CyaA in promoting its interaction with and its translocation across the plasma membrane of target cells.Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2012; 287(12):9200-12. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Secretion is an essential task for prokaryotic organisms to interact with their surrounding environment. In particular, the production of extracellular proteins and peptides is important for many aspects of an organism's survival and adaptation to their ecological niche. In Gram-negative bacteria, six different protein secretion systems have been identified so far, named Type I to Type VI; differing greatly in their composition and mechanism of action (Economou et al., 2006). The two membranes present in Gram-negative bacteria are negotiated either by one-step transport mechanisms (Type I and Type III), where the unfolded substrate is translocated directly into the extracellular space, without any periplasmic intermediates, or by two-step mechanisms (Type II and Type V), where the substrate is first transported into the periplasm to allow folding before a second transport step across the outer membrane occurs. Here we focus on Type I secretion systems and summarise our current knowledge of these one-step-transport machineries with emphasis on the N-terminal extensions found in many Type I-specific ABC transporters. ABC transporters containing an N-terminal C39 peptidase domain cut off a leader peptide present in the substrate prior to secretion. The function of the second type of appendix, the C39 peptidase-like domain (CLD) is not yet completely understood. Recent results have shown that it is nonetheless essential for secretion and interacts specifically with the substrate of the transporter. The third group present does not contain any appendix. In light of this difference we compare the function of the appendix and the differences that might exist among the three families of T1SS.Research in Microbiology 03/2013; · 2.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: HlyA from Escherichia coli is a member of the repeats in toxin (RTX) protein family, produced by a wide range of Gram-negative bacteria and secreted by a dedicated Type 1 Secretion System (T1SS). RTX proteins are thought to be secreted in an unfolded conformation and to fold upon secretion by Ca(2+) binding. However, the exact mechanism of secretion, ion binding and folding to the correct native state remains largely unknown. In this study we provide an easy protocol for high-level pro-HlyA purification from E. coli. Equilibrium folding studies, using intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence, revealed the well-known fact that Ca(2+) is essential for stability as well as correct folding of the whole protein. In the absence of Ca(2+), pro-HlyA adopts a non-native conformation. Such molecules could however be rescued by Ca(2+) addition, indicating that these are not dead-end species and that Ca(2+) drives pro-HlyA folding. More importantly, pro-HlyA unfolded via a two-state mechanism, whereas folding was a three-state process. The latter is indicative of the presence of a stable folding intermediate. Analysis of deletion and Trp mutants revealed that the first folding transition, at 6-7M urea, relates to Ca(2+) dependent structural changes at the extreme C-terminus of pro-HlyA, sensed exclusively by Trp914. Since all Trp residues of HlyA are located outside the RTX domain, our results demonstrate that Ca(2+) induced folding is not restricted to the RTX domain. Taken together, Ca(2+) binding to the pro-HlyA RTX domain is required to drive the folding of the entire protein to its native conformation.Biochimica et biophysica acta. 05/2014;