[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Today's arsenal of antibiotics is ineffective against some emerging strains of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Novel inhibitors of bacterial growth therefore need to be found. The target of such bacterial-growth inhibitors must be identified, and one way to achieve this is by locating mutations that suppress their inhibitory effect. Here, we identified five growth inhibitors encoded by T7 bacteriophage. High-throughput sequencing of genomic DNA of resistant bacterial mutants evolving against three of these inhibitors revealed unique mutations in three specific genes. We found that a nonessential host gene, ppiB, is required for growth inhibition by one bacteriophage inhibitor and another nonessential gene, pcnB, is required for growth inhibition by a different inhibitor. Notably, we found a previously unidentified growth inhibitor, gene product (Gp) 0.6, that interacts with the essential cytoskeleton protein MreB and inhibits its function. We further identified mutations in two distinct regions in the mreB gene that overcome this inhibition. Bacterial two-hybrid assay and accumulation of Gp0.6 only in MreB-expressing bacteria confirmed interaction of MreB and Gp0.6. Expression of Gp0.6 resulted in lemon-shaped bacteria followed by cell lysis, as previously reported for MreB inhibitors. The described approach may be extended for the identification of new growth inhibitors and their targets across bacterial species and in higher organisms.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2014; 111(52). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1413271112 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is an emerging threat requiring urgent solutions. Ever since their discovery, lytic bacteriophages have been suggested as therapeutic agents, but their application faces various obstacles: sequestration of the phage by the spleen and liver, antibodies against the phage, narrow host range, poor accessibility to the infected tissue, and bacterial resistance. Variations on bacteriophage use have been suggested, such as temperate phages as gene-delivery vehicles into pathogens. This approach, which is proposed to sensitize pathogens residing on hospital surfaces and medical personnel's skin, and its prospects are described in this addendum. Furthermore, phage-encoded products have been proposed as weapons against antibiotic resistance in bacteria. We describe a new phage protein which was identified during basic research into T7 bacteriophages. This protein may serendipitously prove useful for treating antibiotic-resistant pathogens. We believe that further basic research will lead to novel strategies in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacteriophages take over host resources primarily via the activity of proteins expressed early in infection. One of these proteins, produced by the Escherichia coli phage T7, is gene product (Gp) 0.4. Here, we show that Gp0.4 is a direct inhibitor of the E. coli filamenting temperature-sensitive mutant Z division protein. A chemically synthesized Gp0.4 binds to purified filamenting temperature-sensitive mutant Z protein and directly inhibits its assembly in vitro. Consequently, expression of Gp0.4 in vivo is lethal to E. coli and results in bacteria that are morphologically elongated. We further show that this inhibition of cell division by Gp0.4 enhances the bacteriophage's competitive ability. This division inhibition is thus a fascinating example of a strategy in bacteriophages to maximize utilization of their hosts' cell resources.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2013; 110(48). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1314096110 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, the "peptide walking" approach was applied to the DH region of Nox2 (residues 288-570) with the purpose of identifying domains of functional importance in the assembly and/or catalytic function of the NADPH oxidase complex of phagocytes. Ninety-one overlapping 15-mer peptides were synthesized to cover the full length of the Nox2 DH region, and these were tested for the ability to interfere with the activation of the oxidase in vitro in two semi-recombinant cell-free systems. The first consisted of phagocyte membranes p47(phox), p67(phox), and Rac1 and an amphiphile; the second was p47(phox)- and amphiphile-free and contained prenylated Rac1. We identified 10 clusters of inhibitory peptides with IC(50) values of 10 μM, all of which were inhibitory, also in the absence of p47(phox). Based on the identification of residues shared by peptides in a particular cluster, we defined 10 functional domains in the Nox2 DH region. One domain corresponded to one FAD-binding subdomain, and four domains overlapped parts of three NADPH-binding subdomains. As expected, most inhibitory peptides acted only when added prior to the completion of oxidase assembly, but peptides associated with two NADPH-binding subdomains were also active after assembly. Kinetic analysis demonstrated that inhibition by peptides was not explained by competition for substrates (FAD, NADPH) but was of a more complex nature: noncompetitive with respect to FAD and uncompetitive with respect to NADPH. We conclude that oxidase-inhibitory peptides, in five out of 10 clusters identified, act by interfering with FAD- and NADPH-related redox reactions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathogen resistance to antibiotics is a rapidly growing problem, leading to an urgent need for novel antimicrobial agents. Unfortunately, development of new antibiotics faces numerous obstacles, and a method that resensitizes pathogens to approved antibiotics therefore holds key advantages. We present a proof of principle for a system that restores antibiotic efficiency by reversing pathogen resistance. This system uses temperate phages to introduce, by lysogenization, the genes rpsL and gyrA conferring sensitivity in a dominant fashion to two antibiotics, streptomycin and nalidixic acid, respectively. Unique selective pressure is generated to enrich for bacteria that harbor the phages carrying the sensitizing constructs. This selection pressure is based on a toxic compound, tellurite, and therefore does not forfeit any antibiotic for the sensitization procedure. We further demonstrate a possible way of reducing undesirable recombination events by synthesizing dominant sensitive genes with major barriers to homologous recombination. Such synthesis does not significantly reduce the gene's sensitization ability. Unlike conventional bacteriophage therapy, the system does not rely on the phage's ability to kill pathogens in the infected host, but instead, on its ability to deliver genetic constructs into the bacteria and thus render them sensitive to antibiotics prior to host infection. We believe that transfer of the sensitizing cassette by the constructed phage will significantly enrich for antibiotic-treatable pathogens on hospital surfaces. Broad usage of the proposed system, in contrast to antibiotics and phage therapy, will potentially change the nature of nosocomial infections toward being more susceptible to antibiotics rather than more resistant.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The superoxide-generating NADPH oxidase is converted to an active state by the assembly of a membrane-localized cytochrome b(559) with three cytosolic components: p47(phox), p67(phox), and GTPase Rac1 or Rac2. Assembly involves two sets of protein-protein interactions: among cytosolic components and among cytosolic components and cytochrome b(559) within its lipid habitat. We circumvented the need for interactions among cytosolic components by constructing a recombinant tripartite chimera (trimera) consisting of the Phox homology (PX) and Src homology 3 (SH3) domains of p47(phox), the tetratricopeptide repeat and activation domains of p67(phox), and full-length Rac1. Upon addition to phagocyte membrane, the trimera was capable of oxidase activation in vitro in the presence of an anionic amphiphile. The trimera had a higher affinity (lower EC(50)) for and formed a more stable complex (longer half-life) with cytochrome b(559) compared with the combined individual components, full-length or truncated. Supplementation of membrane with anionic but not neutral phospholipids made activation by the trimera amphiphile-independent. Mutagenesis, truncations, and domain replacements revealed that oxidase activation by the trimera was dependent on the following interactions: 1) interaction with anionic membrane phospholipids via the poly-basic stretch at the C terminus of the Rac1 segment; 2) interaction with p22(phox) via Trp(193) in the N-terminal SH3 domain of the p47(phox) segment, supplementing the electrostatic attraction; and 3) an intrachimeric bond among the p67(phox) and Rac1 segments complementary to their physical fusion. The PX domain of the p47(phox) segment and the insert domain of the Rac1 segment made only minor contributions to oxidase assembly.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The superoxide (O2-)-generating enzyme complex of phagocytes, known as the NADPH oxidase, can be assayed in a number of in vitro cell-free (or broken cell) systems. These consist of a mixture of the individual components of the NADPH oxidase, derived from resting phagocytes or in the form of purified recombinant proteins, exposed to an activating agent (or situation), in the presence of NADPH and oxygen. O2- produced by the mixture is measured by being trapped immediately after its generation with an appropriate acceptor in a kinetic assay, which permits the calculation of the linear rate of O2- production over time. Cell-free assays are distinguished from whole-cell assays or assays performed on membranes derived from stimulated cells by the fact that all components in the reaction are derived from resting, nonstimulated cells and, thus, the steps of NADPH oxidase activation (precatalytic [assembly] and catalytic) occur in vitro. Cell-free assays played a paramount role in the identification of the components of the NADPH oxidase complex, the diagnosis of various forms of chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), and, more recently, the analysis of the domains present on the components of the NADPH oxidase participating in protein-protein interactions leading to the assembly of the active complex.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase involves the assembly of a membrane-localized cytochrome b559 with the cytosolic components p47(phox), p67(phox), p40(phox), and the GTPase Rac (1 or 2). In resting phagocytes, Rac is found in the cytosol as a prenylated protein in the GDP-bound form, associated with the Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor (RhoGDI). In the process of NADPH oxidase activation, Rac is dissociated from RhoGDI and translocates to the membrane, in concert with the other cytosolic components. The mechanism responsible for dissociation of Rac from RhoGDI is poorly understood. We generated Rac(1 or 2) x RhoGDI complexes in vitro from recombinant Rac(1 or 2), prenylated enzymatically, and recombinant RhoGDI, and purified these by anion exchange chromatography. Exposing Rac(1 or 2)(GDP) x RhoGDI complexes to liposomes containing four different anionic phospholipids caused the dissociation of Rac(1 or 2)(GDP) from RhoGDI and its binding to the anionic liposomes. Rac2(GDP) x RhoGDI complexes were more resistant to dissociation, reflecting the lesser positive charge of Rac2. Liposomes consisting of neutral phospholipid did not cause dissociation of Rac(1 or 2) x RhoGDI complexes. Rac1 exchanged to the hydrolysis-resistant GTP analogue, GMPPNP, associated with RhoGDI with lower affinity than Rac1(GDP) and Rac1(GMPPNP) x RhoGDI complexes were more readily dissociated by anionic liposomes. Rac1(GMPPNP) x RhoGDI complexes elicited NADPH oxidase activation in native phagocyte membrane liposomes in the presence of p67(phox), without the need for an anionic amphiphile, as activator. Both Rac1(GDP) x RhoGDI and Rac1(GMPPNP) x RhoGDI complexes elicited amphiphile-independent, p67(phox)-dependent NADPH oxidase activation in phagocyte membrane liposomes enriched in anionic phospholipids but not in membrane liposomes enriched in neutral phospholipids.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phagocytes generate superoxide (O2*-) by an enzyme complex known as reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase. Its catalytic component, responsible for the NADPH-driven reduction of oxygen to O2*-, is flavocytochrome b559, located in the membrane and consisting of gp91phox and p22phox subunits. NADPH oxidase activation is initiated by the translocation to the membrane of the cytosolic components p47phox, p67phox, and the GTPase Rac. Cytochrome b559 is converted to an active form by the interaction of gp91phox with p67phox, leading to a conformational change in gp91phox and the induction of electron flow. We designed a new family of NADPH oxidase activators, represented by chimeras comprising various segments of p67phox and Rac1. The prototype chimera p67phox (1-212)-Rac1 (1-192) is a potent activator in a cell-free system, also containing membrane p47phox and an anionic amphiphile. Chimeras behave like bona fide GTPases and can be prenylated, and prenylated (p67phox -Rac1) chimeras activate the oxidase in the absence of p47phox and amphiphile. Experiments involving truncations, mutagenesis, and supplementation with Rac1 demonstrated that the presence of intrachimeric bonds between the p67phox and Rac1 moieties is an absolute requirement for the ability to activate the oxidase. The presence or absence of intrachimeric bonds has a major impact on the conformation of the chimeras, as demonstrated by fluorescence resonance energy transfer, small angle X-ray scattering, and gel filtration. Based on this, a "propagated wave" model of NADPH oxidase activation is proposed in which a conformational change initiated in Rac is propagated to p67phox and from p67phox to gp91phox.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MdfA is an Escherichia coli multidrug transporter of the major facilitator superfamily (MFS) of secondary transporters. Although several aspects of multidrug recognition by MdfA have been characterized, better understanding the detailed mechanism of its function requires structural information. Previous studies have modeled the 3D structures of MFS proteins, based on the X-ray structure of LacY and GlpT. However, because of poor sequence homology, between LacY, GlpT, and MdfA additional constraints were required for a reliable homology modeling. Using an algorithm that predicts the angular orientation of each transmembrane helix (TM) (kPROT), we obtained a remarkably similar pattern for the 12 TMs of MdfA and those of GlpT and LacY, suggesting that they all have similar helix packing. Consequently, a 3D model was constructed for MdfA by structural alignment with LacY and GlpT, using the kPROT results as an additional constraint. Further refinement and a preliminary evaluation of the model were achieved by correlated mutation analysis and the available experimental data. Surprisingly, in addition to the previously characterized membrane-embedded glutamate at position 26, the model suggests that Asp34 and Arg112 are located within the membrane, on the same face of the cavity as Glu26. Importantly, Arg112 is evolutionarily conserved in secondary drug transporters, and here we show that a positive charge at this position is absolutely essential for multidrug transport by MdfA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase is the consequence of the assembly of membranal cytochrome b559 with the cytosolic components p47phox, p67phox, and the GTPase Rac and is mimicked by a cell-free system comprising these components and an activator. We designed a variant of this system, consisting of membranes, p67phox) prenylated Rac1-GDP, and the Rac-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Trio, in which oxidase activation is induced in the absence of an activator and p47phox. We now show that: 1) Trio and another Rac GEF (Tiam1) act by inducing GDP to GTP exchange on prenylated Rac1-GDP and that our earlier assertion that activation is GTP-independent is explained by contamination of p67phox preparations with GTP and/or ATP. 2) Oxidase activation by Rac GEFs is supported not only by GTP but also by ATP. 3) Non-hydrolysable GTP analogs are active, whereas ATP analogs, incapable of gamma-phosphoryl transfer, are inactive. 4) The ability of ATP to support GEF-induced oxidase activation is explained by ATP serving as a gamma-phosphoryl donor for a membrane-localized nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK), converting GDP to GTP. 5) The existence of a NDPK in macrophage membranes is proven by functional, enzymatic, and immunologic criteria. 6) NDPK acts on free GDP, and the newly formed GTP is bound again to Rac. 7) Free GDP is derived exclusively by dissociation from prenylated Rac1-GDP, mediated by GEF. NDPK and GEF appear to be functionally linked in the sense that the availability of GDP, serving as substrate for NDPK, is dependent on the level of activity of GEF.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NADPH oxidase activation involves the assembly of membrane-localized cytochrome b559 with the cytosolic components p47phox, p67phox, and the small GTPase Rac. Assembly is mimicked by a cell-free system consisting of membranes and cytosolic components, activated by an anionic amphiphile. We reported that a chimeric construct, consisting of residues 1-212 of p67phox and full-length Rac1, activates the oxidase in vitro in an amphiphile-dependent manner, and when prenylated, in the absence of amphiphile and p47phox. We subjected chimera p67phox-(1-212)-Rac1 to mutational analysis and found that: 1) replacement of a single basic residue at the C terminus of the Rac1 moiety by glutamine is sufficient for loss of activity by the non-prenylated chimera; replacement of all six basic residues by glutamines is required for loss of activity by the prenylated chimera. 2) A V204A mutation in the activation domain of the p67phox moiety leads to a reduction in activity. 3) Mutating residues, known to participate in the interaction between free p67phox and Rac1, in the p67phox-(R102E) or Rac1 (A27K, G30S) moieties of the chimera, leads to a marked decrease in activity, indicating a requirement for intrachimeric bonds, in addition to the engineered fusion. 4) Chimeras, inactive because of mutations A27K or G30S in the Rac1 moiety, are reactivated by supplementation with exogenous Rac1-GTP but not with exogenous p67phox. This demonstrates that Rac has a dual role in the assembly of NADPH oxidase. One is to tether p67phox to the membrane; the other is to induce an "activating" conformational change in p67phox.