[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The export of bacterial toxins across the bacterial envelope requires the assembly of complex, membrane-embedded protein architectures. Pseudomonas aeruginosa employs type III secretion (T3S) injectisome to translocate exotoxins directly into the cytoplasm of a target eukaryotic cell. This multi-protein channel crosses two bacterial membranes and extends further as a needle through which the proteins travel. We show in this work that PscI, proposed to form the T3SS inner rod, possesses intrinsic properties to polymerize into flexible and regularly twisted fibrils and activates IL1β production in mouse bone marrow macrophages in vitro. We also found that point mutations within C-terminal amphipathic helix of PscI alter needle assembly in vitro and T3SS function in cell infection assays, suggesting that this region is essential for an efficient needle assembly. The overexpression of PscF partially compensates for the absence of the inner rod in PscI-deficient mutant by forming a secretion-proficient injectisome.All together, we propose that the polymerized PscI in P. aeruginosa optimizes the injectisome function by anchoring the needle within the envelope-embedded complex of the T3S secretome and - contrary to its counterpart in Salmonella - is not involved in substrate switching.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) capsid protein p24 oligomerizes to form a closed capsid that protects the viral genome. Because of its crucial role in the virion, FIV p24 is an interesting target for the development of therapeutic strategies, although little is known about its structure and assembly. We defined and optimized a protocol to overexpress recombinant FIV capsid protein in a bacterial system. Circular dichroism and isothermal titration calorimetry experiments showed that the structure of the purified FIV p24 protein was comprised mainly of α-helices. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and cross-linking experiments demonstrated that p24 was monomeric at low concentration and dimeric at high concentration. We developed a protocol for the assembly of the FIV capsid. As with HIV, an increased ionic strength resulted in FIV p24 assembly . Assembly appeared to be dependent on temperature, salt concentration, and protein concentration. The FIV p24 assembly kinetics was monitored by DLS. A limit end-point diameter suggested assembly into objects of definite shapes. This was confirmed by electron microscopy, where FIV p24 assembled into spherical particles. Comparison of FIV p24 with other retroviral capsid proteins showed that FIV assembly is particular and requires further specific study.
PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e56424. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0056424 · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability of the small Hsp (heat-shock protein) Lo18 from Oenococcus oeni to modulate the membrane fluidity of liposomes or to reduce the thermal aggregation of proteins was studied as a function of the pH in the range 5-9. We have determined by size-exclusion chromatography and analytical ultracentrifugation that Lo18 assembles essentially as a 16-mer at acidic pH. Its quaternary structure evolves to a mixture of lower molecular mass oligomers probably in dynamic equilibrium when the pH increases. The best Lo18 activities are observed at pH 7 when the particle distribution contains a major proportion of dodecamers. At basic pH, particles corresponding to a dimer prevail and are thought to be the building blocks leading to oligomerization of Lo18. At acidic pH, the dimers are organized in a double-ring of stacked octamers to form the 16-mer as shown by the low-resolution structure determined by electron microscopy. Experiments performed with a modified protein (A123S) shown to preferentially form dimers confirm these results. The α-crystallin domain of Methanococcus jannaschii Hsp16.5, taken as a model of the Lo18 counterpart, fits with the electron microscopy envelope of Lo18.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pili are surface-exposed virulence factors involved in the adhesion of bacteria to host cells. The human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae expresses a pilus composed of three structural proteins, RrgA, RrgB, and RrgC, and requires the action of three transpeptidase enzymes, sortases SrtC-1, SrtC-2, and SrtC-3, to covalently associate the Rrg pilins. Using a recombinant protein expression platform, we have previously shown the requirement of SrtC-1 in RrgB fiber formation and the association of RrgB with RrgC. To gain insights into the substrate specificities of the two other sortases, which remain controversial, we have exploited the same robust strategy by testing various combinations of pilins and sortases coexpressed in Escherichia coli. We demonstrate that SrtC-2 catalyzes the formation of both RrgA-RrgB and RrgB-RrgC complexes. The deletion and swapping of the RrgA-YPRTG and RrgB-IPQTG sorting motifs indicate that SrtC-2 preferentially recognizes RrgA and attaches it to the pilin motif lysine 183 of RrgB. Finally, SrtC-2 is also able to catalyze the multimerization of RrgA through the C-terminal D4 domains. Similar experiments have been performed with SrtC-3, which catalyzes the formation of RrgB-RrgC and RrgB-RrgA complexes. Altogether, these results provide evidence of the molecular mechanisms of association of RrgA and RrgC with the RrgB fiber shaft by SrtC-2 and SrtC-3 and lead to a revised model of the pneumococcal pilus architecture accounting for the respective contribution of each sortase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to gain further insight into the function of the enteric adenovirus short fiber (SF), we have constructed a recombinant dodecahedron containing the SF protein of HAdV-41 and the HAdV-3 penton base.
Recombinant baculoviruses expressing the HAdV-41 SF protein and HAdV-3 penton base were cloned and amplified in Sf9 insect cells. Recombinant dodecahedra were expressed by coinfection of High Five™ cells with both baculoviruses, 72 h post-infection. Cell lysate was centrifuged on sucrose density gradient and the purified recombinant dodecahedra were recovered.
Analysis by negative staining electron microscopy demonstrated that chimeric dodecahedra made of the HAdV-3 penton base and decorated with the HAdV-41 SF were successfully generated. Next, recombinant dodecahedra were digested with pepsin and analyzed by Western blot. A 'site-specific' proteolysis of the HAdV-41 SF was observed, while the HAdV-3 penton base core was completely digested.
These results show that, in vitro, the HAdV-41 SF likely undergoes proteolysis in the gastrointestinal tract, its natural environment, which may facilitate the recognition of receptors in intestinal cells. The results obtained in the present study may be the basis for the development of gene therapy vectors towards the intestinal epithelium, as well as orally administered vaccine vectors, but also for the HAdV-41 SF partner identification.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of click chemistry for quantum dot (QD) functionalization could be very promising for the development of bioconjugates dedicated to in vivo applications. Alkyne-azide ligation usually requires copper(I) catalysis. The luminescence response of CdSeTe/ZnS nanoparticles coated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) is studied in the presence of copper cations, and compared to that of InP/ZnS QDs coated with mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA). The quenching mechanisms appear different. Luminescence quenching occurs without any wavelength shift in the absorption and emission spectra for the CdSeTe/ZnS/PEG nanocrystals. In this case, the presence of copper in the ZnS shell is evidenced by energy-filtered transmission electron microscopy (EF-TEM). By contrast, in the case of InP/ZnS/MUA nanocrystals, a redshift of the excitation and emission spectra, accompanied by an increase in absorbance and a decrease in photoluminescence, is observed. For CdSeTe/ZnS/PEG nanocrystals, PL quenching is enhanced for QDs with 1) smaller inorganic-core diameter, 2) thinner PEG shell, and 3) hydroxyl terminal groups. Whereas copper-induced PL quenching can be interesting for the design of sensitive cation sensors, copper-free click reactions should be used for the efficient functionalization of nanocrystals dedicated to bioapplications, in order to achieve highly luminescent QD bioconjugates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The α and β subunits of the human mitochondrial trifunctional protein (TFP), the multienzyme complex involved in fatty acid β-oxidation, were coexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity by nickel affinity chromatography. The resulting α/His-β construct was analyzed by gel filtration, sedimentation velocity, and electron microscopy, indicating a predominance of α(2)β(2) and α(4)β(4) complexes, with higher order oligomers. Electron microscopy indicated that the elementary species α(2)β(2) had overall structural similarity with its bacterial homologue. As shown by cosedimentation and surface plasmon resonance analyses, recombinant TFP interacted strongly with cardiolipin and phosphatidylcholine, suggesting that the natural complex associates with the inner mitochondrial membrane through direct interactions with phospholipids. Recombinant TFP displayed 2-enoyl-CoA hydratase (ECH), l-3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (HACD), and 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase (KACT) activities, and ECH and HACD each reached equilibrium when the downstream enzymes (HACD and KACT, respectively) were made inactive, indicating feed-back inhibition. The KACT activity was optimal at pH 9.5, sensitive to ionic strength, and inhibited at concentrations of its substrate 3-ketohexadecanoyl-CoA >5 μM. Its kinetic constants (k(cat) = 169 s(-1), K(m) = 4 μM) were consistent with those determined previously on a purified porcine TFP preparation. Using different assays, trimetazidine, an efficient antiaginal agent, had no significant inhibitory effect on any of the three enzymatic activities of the recombinant TFP preparation, in contrast with other reports. This study provides the first detailed structural and functional characterization of a recombinant human TFP preparation and opens the way to in-depth analyses through site-directed mutagenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human type 3 adenovirus dodecahedron (a virus like particle made of twelve penton bases) features the ability to enter cells through Heparan Sulphate Proteoglycans (HSPGs) and integrins interaction and is used as a versatile vector to deliver DNA or proteins. Cryo-EM reconstruction of the pseudoviral particle with Heparan Sulphate (HS) oligosaccharide shows an extradensity on the RGD loop. A set of mutants was designed to study the respective roles of the RGD sequence (RGE mutant) and of a basic sequence located just downstream. Results showed that the RGE mutant binding to the HS deficient CHO-2241 cells was abolished and unexpectedly, mutation of the basic sequence (KQKR to AQAS) dramatically decreased integrin recognition by the viral pseudoparticle. This basic sequence is thus involved in integrin docking, showing a close interplay between HSPGs and integrin receptors.
BioMed Research International 03/2010; 2010:541939. DOI:10.1155/2010/541939 · 2.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a piliated pathogen whose ability to circumvent vaccination and antibiotic treatment strategies is a cause of mortality worldwide. Pili play important roles in pneumococcal infection, but little is known about their biogenesis mechanism or the relationship between components of the pilus-forming machinery, which includes the fiber pilin (RrgB), two minor pilins (RrgA, RrgC), and three sortases (SrtC-1, SrtC-2, SrtC-3). Here we show that SrtC-1 is the main pilus-polymerizing transpeptidase, and electron microscopy analyses of RrgB fibers reconstituted in vitro reveal that they structurally mimic the pneumococcal pilus backbone. Crystal structures of both SrtC-1 and SrtC-3 reveal active sites whose access is controlled by flexible lids, unlike in non-pilus sortases, and suggest that substrate specificity is dictated by surface recognition coupled to lid opening. The distinct structural features of pilus-forming sortases suggest a common pilus biogenesis mechanism that could be exploited for the development of broad-spectrum antibacterials.