Nickel binding to NikA: an additional binding site reconciles spectroscopy, calorimetry and crystallography.
ABSTRACT Intracellular nickel is required by Escherichia coli as a cofactor for a number of enzymes and is necessary for anaerobic respiration. However, high concentrations of nickel are toxic, so both import and export systems have evolved to control the cellular level of the metal. The nik operon in E. coli encodes a nickel-uptake system that includes the periplasmic nickel-binding protein NikA. The crystal structures of wild-type NikA both bound to nickel and in the apo form have been solved previously. The liganded structure appeared to show an unusual interaction between the nickel and the protein in which no direct bonds are formed. The highly unusual nickel coordination suggested by the crystal structure contrasted strongly with earlier X-ray spectroscopic studies. The known nickel-binding site has been probed by extensive mutagenesis and isothermal titration calorimetry and it has been found that even large numbers of disruptive mutations appear to have little effect on the nickel affinity. The crystal structure of a binding-site mutant with nickel bound has been solved and it is found that nickel is bound to two histidine residues at a position distant from the previously characterized binding site. This novel site immediately resolves the conflict between the crystal structures and other biophysical analyses. The physiological relevance of the two binding sites is discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co) are trace elements required for a variety of biological processes. Ni is directly coordinated by proteins, whereas Co is mainly used as a component of vitamin B12. Although a number of Ni and Co-dependent enzymes have been characterized, systematic evolutionary analyses of utilization of these metals are limited. We carried out comparative genomic analyses to examine occurrence and evolutionary dynamics of the use of Ni and Co at the level of (i) transport systems, and (ii) metalloproteomes. Our data show that both metals are widely used in bacteria and archaea. Cbi/NikMNQO is the most common prokaryotic Ni/Co transporter, while Ni-dependent urease and Ni-Fe hydrogenase, and B12-dependent methionine synthase (MetH), ribonucleotide reductase and methylmalonyl-CoA mutase are the most widespread metalloproteins for Ni and Co, respectively. Occurrence of other metalloenzymes showed a mosaic distribution and a new B12-dependent protein family was predicted. Deltaproteobacteria and Methanosarcina generally have larger Ni- and Co-dependent proteomes. On the other hand, utilization of these two metals is limited in eukaryotes, and very few of these organisms utilize both of them. The Ni-utilizing eukaryotes are mostly fungi (except saccharomycotina) and plants, whereas most B12-utilizing organisms are animals. The NiCoT transporter family is the most widespread eukaryotic Ni transporter, and eukaryotic urease and MetH are the most common Ni- and B12-dependent enzymes, respectively. Finally, investigation of environmental and other conditions and identity of organisms that show dependence on Ni or Co revealed that host-associated organisms (particularly obligate intracellular parasites and endosymbionts) have a tendency for loss of Ni/Co utilization. Our data provide information on the evolutionary dynamics of Ni and Co utilization and highlight widespread use of these metals in the three domains of life, yet only a limited number of user proteins.BMC Genomics 03/2009; 10:78. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: NikA is a periplasmic binding protein involved in nickel uptake in Escherichia coli. NikA was identified as a heme-binding protein in the periplasm of anaerobically grown cells overexpressing CydDC, an ABC transporter that exports reductant to the periplasm. CydDC-overexpressing cells accumulate a heme biosynthesis-derived pigment, P-574. For further biochemical and spectroscopic analysis, unliganded NikA was overexpressed and purified. NikA was found to comigrate with both hemin and protoporphyrin IX during gel filtration. Furthermore, tryptophan fluorescence quenching titrations demonstrated that both hemin and protoporphyrin IX bind to NikA with similar affinity. The binding affinity of NikA for these pigments (Kd approximately 0.5 microM) was unaltered in the presence and absence of saturating concentrations of nickel, suggesting that these tetrapyrroles bind to NikA in a manner independent of nickel. To test the hypothesis that NikA is required for periplasmic heme protein assembly, the effects of a nikA mutation (nikA::Tn5, Km(R) insertion) on accumulation of P-574 by CydDC-overexpressing cells was assessed. This mutation significantly lowered P-574 levels, implying that NikA may be involved in P-574 production. Thus, in the reducing environment of the periplasm, NikA may serve as a heme chaperone as well as a periplasmic nickel-binding protein. The docking of heme onto NikA was modeled using the published crystal structure; many of the predicted complexes exhibit a heme-binding cleft remote from the nickel-binding site, which is consistent with the independent binding of nickel and heme. This work has implications for the incorporation of heme into b- and c-type cytochromes.Biochemistry 06/2007; 46(17):5030-7. · 3.42 Impact Factor