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. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Elucidation of the energetic principles of binding affinity and specificity is a central task in many branches of current sciences: biology, medicine, pharmacology, chemistry, material sciences, etc. In biomedical research, integral approaches combining structural information with in-solution biophysical data have proved to be a powerful way toward understanding the physical basis of vital cellular phenomena. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) is a valuable experimental tool facilitating quantification of the thermodynamic parameters that characterize recognition processes involving biomacromolecules. The method provides access to all relevant thermodynamic information by performing a few experiments. In particular, ITC experiments allow to by-pass tedious and (rarely precise) procedures aimed at determining the changes in enthalpy and entropy upon binding by van't Hoff analysis. Notwithstanding limitations, ITC has now the reputation of being the ''gold standard'' and ITC data are widely used to validate theoretical predictions of thermodynamic parameters, as well as to benchmark the results of novel binding assays. In this paper, we discuss several publications from 2007 reporting ITC results. The focus is on applications in biologically oriented fields. We do not intend a comprehensive coverage of all newly accumulated information. Rather, we emphasize work which has captured our attention with originality and far-reaching analysis, or else has provided ideas for expanding the potential of the method.Journal of Molecular Recognition 01/2008; 21(5):289-312. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Campylobacter jejuni is a human pathogen of worldwide significance. It is commensal in the gut of many birds and mammals, where hydrogen is a readily available electron donor. The bacterium possesses a single membrane-bound, periplasmic-facing NiFe uptake hydrogenase that depends on the acquisition of environmental nickel for activity. The periplasmic binding protein Cj1584 (NikZ) of the ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter encoded by the cj1584c-cj1580c (nikZYXWV) operon in C. jejuni strain NCTC 11168 was found to be nickel-repressed and to bind free nickel ions with a submicromolar K(d) value, as measured by fluorescence spectroscopy. Unlike the Escherichia coli NikA protein, NikZ did not bind EDTA-chelated nickel and lacks key conserved residues implicated in metallophore interaction. A C. jejuni cj1584c null mutant strain showed an approximately 22-fold decrease in intracellular nickel content compared with the wild-type strain and a decreased rate of uptake of (63)NiCl(2). The inhibition of residual nickel uptake at higher nickel concentrations in this mutant by hexa-ammine cobalt (III) chloride or magnesium ions suggests that low-affinity uptake occurs partly through the CorA magnesium transporter. Hydrogenase activity was completely abolished in the cj1584c mutant after growth in unsupplemented media, but was fully restored after growth with 0.5 mM nickel chloride. Mutation of the putative metallochaperone gene slyD (cj0115) had no effect on either intracellular nickel accumulation or hydrogenase activity. Our data reveal a strict dependence of hydrogenase activity in C. jejuni on high-affinity nickel uptake through an ABC transporter that has distinct properties compared with the E. coli Nik system.Microbiology 03/2012; 158(Pt 6):1645-55. · 3.06 Impact Factor