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: 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;
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ABSTRACT: Bordetella pertussis, the pathogenic bacteria responsible for whooping cough, secretes several virulence factors among which the adenylate cyclase toxin (CyaA) that plays a crucial role in the early stages of human respiratory tract colonization. CyaA invades target cells by translocating its catalytic domain directly across the plasma membrane and overproduces cAMP, leading to cell death. The molecular process leading to the translocation of the catalytic domain remains largely unknown. We have previously shown that the catalytic domain per se, AC384, encompassing residues 1 to 384 of CyaA, did not interact with lipid bilayer while a longer polypeptide, AC489, spanning residues 1 to 489, binds to membranes and permeabilizes vesicles. Moreover, deletion of residues 375 to 485 within CyaA abrogated the translocation of the catalytic domain into target cells. Here, we further identified within this region a peptidic segment that exhibits membrane interaction properties. A synthetic peptide, P454, corresponding to this sequence (residues 454 to 485 of CyaA) was characterized by various biophysical approaches. We found that P454 (i) binds to membranes containing anionic lipids, (ii) adopts an α-helical structure oriented in plane with respect to the lipid bilayer and (iii) permeabilizes vesicles. We propose that the region encompassing the helix 454-485 of CyaA may insert into target cell membrane and induces a local destabilization of the lipid bilayer, thus favoring the translocation of the catalytic domain across the plasma membrane.Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2013; · 4.60 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; · 2.83 Impact Factor