Structural insights into the activity of enhancer-binding proteins.
ABSTRACT Activators of bacterial sigma54-RNA polymerase holoenzyme are mechanochemical proteins that use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis to activate transcription. We have determined by cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) a 20 angstrom resolution structure of an activator, phage shock protein F [PspF(1-275)], which is bound to an ATP transition state analog in complex with its basal factor, sigma54. By fitting the crystal structure of PspF(1-275) at 1.75 angstroms into the EM map, we identified two loops involved in binding sigma54. Comparing enhancer-binding structures in different nucleotide states and mutational analysis led us to propose nucleotide-dependent conformational changes that free the loops for association with sigma54.
Article: A lower-order oligomer form of phage shock protein A (PspA) stably associates with the hexameric AAA(+) transcription activator protein PspF for negative regulation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To survive and colonise their various environments, including those used during infection, bacteria have developed a variety of adaptive systems. Amongst these is phage shock protein (Psp) response, which can be induced in Escherichia coli upon filamentous phage infection (specifically phage secretin pIV) and by other membrane-damaging agents. The E. coli Psp system comprises seven proteins, of which PspA is the central component. PspA is a bifunctional protein that is directly involved in (i) the negative regulation of the psp-specific transcriptional activator PspF and (ii) the maintenance of membrane integrity in a mechanism proposed to involve the formation of a 36-mer ring complex. Here we established that the PspA negative regulation of PspF ATPase activity is the result of a cooperative inhibition. We present biochemical evidence showing that an inhibitory PspA-PspF regulatory complex, which has significantly reduced PspF ATPase activity, is composed of around six PspF subunits and six PspA subunits, suggesting that PspA exists in at least two different oligomeric assemblies. We now establish that all four putative helical domains of PspA are critical for the formation of the 36-mer. In contrast, not all four helical domains are required for the formation of the inhibitory PspA-PspF complex. Since a range of initial PspF oligomeric states permit formation of the apparent PspA-PspF dodecameric assembly, we conclude that PspA and PspF demonstrate a strong propensity to self-assemble into a single defined heteromeric regulatory complex.Journal of Molecular Biology 10/2009; 394(4):764-75. · 4.00 Impact Factor
Article: Essential roles of three enhancer sites in sigma54-dependent transcription by the nitric oxide sensing regulatory protein NorR.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The bacterial activator protein NorR binds to enhancer-like elements, upstream of the promoter site, and activates sigma(54)-dependent transcription of genes that encode nitric oxide detoxifying enzymes (NorVW), in response to NO stress. Unique to the norVW promoter in Escherichia coli is the presence of three enhancer sites associated with a binding site for sigma(54)-RNA polymerase. Here we show that all three sites are required for NorR-dependent catalysis of open complex formation by sigma(54)-RNAP holoenzyme (Esigma(54)). We demonstrate that this is essentially due to the need for all three enhancers for maximal ATPase activity of NorR, energy from which is used to remodel the closed Esigma(54) complex and allow melting of the promoter DNA. We also find that site-specific DNA binding per se promotes oligomerisation but the DNA flanking the three sites is needed to further stabilise the functional higher order oligomer of NorR at the enhancers.Nucleic Acids Research 12/2009; 38(4):1182-94. · 8.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Both the speciation and toxicity of arsenic are affected by bacterial transformations, i.e. oxidation, reduction or methylation. These transformations have a major impact on environmental contamination and more particularly on arsenic contamination of drinking water. Herminiimonas arsenicoxydans has been isolated from an arsenic- contaminated environment and has developed various mechanisms for coping with arsenic, including the oxidation of As(III) to As(V) as a detoxification mechanism. In the present study, a differential transcriptome analysis was used to identify genes, including arsenite oxidase encoding genes, involved in the response of H. arsenicoxydans to As(III). To get insight into the molecular mechanisms of this enzyme activity, a Tn5 transposon mutagenesis was performed. Transposon insertions resulting in a lack of arsenite oxidase activity disrupted aoxR and aoxS genes, showing that the aox operon transcription is regulated by the AoxRS two-component system. Remarkably, transposon insertions were also identified in rpoN coding for the alternative N sigma factor (sigma54) of RNA polymerase and in dnaJ coding for the Hsp70 co-chaperone. Western blotting with anti-AoxB antibodies and quantitative RT-PCR experiments allowed us to demonstrate that the rpoN and dnaJ gene products are involved in the control of arsenite oxidase gene expression. Finally, the transcriptional start site of the aoxAB operon was determined using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and a putative -12/-24 sigma54-dependent promoter motif was identified upstream of aoxAB coding sequences. These results reveal the existence of novel molecular regulatory processes governing arsenite oxidase expression in H. arsenicoxydans. These data are summarized in a model that functionally integrates arsenite oxidation in the adaptive response to As(III) in this microorganism.BMC Microbiology 02/2010; 10:53. · 3.04 Impact Factor