[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are widely distributed amongst bacteria and are associated with the formation of antibiotic tolerant (persister) cells that may have involvement in chronic and recurrent disease. We show that over- expression of the Burkholderia pseudomallei HicA toxin causes growth arrest and increases the number of persister cells tolerant to ciprofloxacin or ceftazidime. Furthermore, our data show that persistence towards ciprofloxacin or ceftazidime can be differentially modulated depending on the level of induction of HicA expression. Deleting the hicAB locus from B. pseudomallei K96243 significantly reducedpersister cell frequencies following exposure to ciprofloxacin but not ceftazidime. The structure of HicA (H24A) was solved by NMR and forms a double-stranded RNA binding domain-like (dsRBD-like) fold, composed of a triple-stranded b-sheet, with two helices packed against one face. The surface of the protein is highly positively charged indicative of an RNA binding protein and histidine 24 and glycine 22 were functionality important residues. This is the first study demonstrating a role for the HicAB system in bacterial persistence and the first structure of a HicA protein that has been experimentally characterised.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type I polyketide synthases often use programmed β-branching, via enzymes of a 'hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase (HCS) cassette', to incorporate various side chains at the second carbon from the terminal carboxylic acid of growing polyketide backbones. We identified a strong sequence motif in acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) where β-branching is known to occur. Substituting ACPs confirmed a correlation of ACP type with β-branching specificity. Although these ACPs often occur in tandem, NMR analysis of tandem β-branching ACPs indicated no ACP-ACP synergistic effects and revealed that the conserved sequence motif forms an internal core rather than an exposed patch. Modeling and mutagenesis identified ACP helix III as a probable anchor point of the ACP-HCS complex whose position is determined by the core. Mutating the core affects ACP functionality, whereas ACP-HCS interface substitutions modulate system specificity. Our method for predicting β-carbon branching expands the potential for engineering new polyketides and lays a basis for determining specificity rules.
Nature Chemical Biology 09/2013; · 12.95 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) covalently attach an amino acid to its cognate tRNA isoacceptors through an ester bond. The standard set of 20 amino acids implies 20 aaRSs for each pair of amino acid/tRNA isoacceptors. However, the genomes of all archaea and some bacteria do not encode for a complete set of 20 aaRSs. For the human pathogenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori, a gene encoding asparaginyl-tRNA synthetase (AsnRS) is absent whilst an aspartyl-tRNA synthetase (AspRS) aminoacylates both tRNAAsp and tRNAAsn with aspartate. The structural and functional basis for this non-discriminatory behavior is not well understood. Here we report the over-production of the N-terminal anticodon-binding domain of H. pylori ND-AspRS using Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) host cells. Prolonged expression of this protein resulted in a toxic phenotype, limiting the expression period to just 30 minutes. Purified protein was monomeric in solution by gel filtration chromatography and stable up to 42 oC as observed in temperature-dependent dynamic light scattering measurements. Circular dichroism indicated a mixture of α-helix and β-sheet secondary structure at 20 oC and predominantly β-sheet at 70 oC. Optimized crystallization conditions at pH 5.6 with PEG 4000 as a co-precipitant produced well-formed crystals and 1H NMR spectrum shows a well dispersed chemical shift envelope characteristic of a folded protein.
Protein Expression and Purification 02/2013; · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Placental development and genomic imprinting coevolved with parental conflict over resource distribution to mammalian offspring. The imprinted genes IGF2 and IGF2R code for the growth promoter insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) and its inhibitor, mannose 6-phosphate (M6P)/IGF2 receptor (IGF2R), respectively. M6P/IGF2R of birds and fish do not recognize IGF2. In monotremes, which lack imprinting, IGF2 specifically bound M6P/IGF2R via a hydrophobic CD loop. We show that the DNA coding the CD loop in monotremes functions as an exon splice enhancer (ESE) and that structural evolution of binding site loops (AB, HI, FG) improved therian IGF2 affinity. We propose that ESE evolution led to the fortuitous acquisition of IGF2 binding by M6P/IGF2R that drew IGF2R into parental conflict; subsequent imprinting may then have accelerated affinity maturation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we report the 1H, 13C and 15N resonance assignments of free Bcl-xL and of Bcl-xL in complex with an azobenzene-modified peptide derived from the BH3 domain of the pro-apoptotic Bak. The spectra suggest predominantly folded proteins; chemical shift difference analysis provides a detailed view of the reorganization occurring on peptide binding.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Bcl-2 family of proteins includes the major regulators and effectors of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. Cancers are frequently formed when activation of the apoptosis mechanism is compromised either by misregulated expression of prosurvival family members or, more frequently, by damage to the regulatory pathways that trigger intrinsic apoptosis. Short peptides derived from the pro-apoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family can activate mechanisms that ultimately lead to cell death. The recent development of photocontrolled peptides that are able to change their conformation and activity upon irradiation with an external light source has provided new tools to target cells for apoptosis induction with temporal and spatial control. Here, we report the first NMR solution structure of a photoswitchable peptide derived from the proapoptotic protein Bak in complex with the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-x(L). This structure provides insight into the molecular mechanism, by which the increased affinity of such photopeptides compared to their native forms is achieved, and offers a rationale for the large differences in the binding affinities between the helical and nonhelical states.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 04/2012; 134(18):7644-7. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dihydrofolate reductase from the deep-sea bacterium Moritella profunda (MpDHFR) has been 13C/15N isotopically labelled and purified. Here, we report the aliphatic 1H, 13C and 15N resonance assignments of MpDHFR in complex with NADP+ and folate. The spectra of MpDHFR suggest considerably greater conformational heterogeneity than is seen in the closely related DHFR from Escherichia coli.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dihydrofolate reductase has long been used as a model system to study the coupling of protein motions to enzymatic hydride transfer. By studying environmental effects on hydride transfer in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) from the cold-adapted bacterium Moritella profunda (MpDHFR) and comparing the flexibility of this enzyme to that of DHFR from Escherichia coli (EcDHFR), we demonstrate that factors that affect large-scale (i.e., long-range, but not necessarily large amplitude) protein motions have no effect on the kinetic isotope effect on hydride transfer or its temperature dependence, although the rates of the catalyzed reaction are affected. Hydrogen/deuterium exchange studies by NMR-spectroscopy show that MpDHFR is a more flexible enzyme than EcDHFR. NMR experiments with EcDHFR in the presence of cosolvents suggest differences in the conformational ensemble of the enzyme. The fact that enzymes from different environmental niches and with different flexibilities display the same behavior of the kinetic isotope effect on hydride transfer strongly suggests that, while protein motions are important to generate the reaction ready conformation, an optimal conformation with the correct electrostatics and geometry for the reaction to occur, they do not influence the nature of the chemical step itself; large-scale motions do not couple directly to hydride transfer proper in DHFR.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 11/2011; 133(50):20561-70. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transfer of the phosphopantetheine chain from coenzyme A (CoA) to the acyl carrier protein (ACP), a key protein in both fatty acid and polyketide synthesis, is catalyzed by ACP synthase (AcpS). Streptomyces coelicolor AcpS is a doubly promiscuous enzyme capable of activation of ACPs from both fatty acid and polyketide synthesis and catalyzes the transfer of modified CoA substrates. Five crystal structures have been determined, including those of ligand-free AcpS, complexes with CoA and acetyl-CoA, and two of the active site mutants, His110Ala and Asp111Ala. All five structures are trimeric and provide further insight into the mechanism of catalysis, revealing the first detailed structure of a group I active site with the essential magnesium in place. Modeling of ACP binding supported by mutational analysis suggests an explanation for the promiscuity in terms of both ACP partner and modified CoA substrates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although DNA flexibility is known to play an important role in DNA-protein interactions, the importance of protein flexibility is less well understood. Here, we show that protein dynamics are important in DNA recognition using the well-characterized human papillomavirus (HPV) type 6 E2 protein as a model system. We have compared the DNA binding properties of the HPV 6 E2 DNA binding domain (DBD) and a mutant lacking two C-terminal leucine residues that form part of the hydrophobic core of the protein. Deletion of these residues results in increased specific and non-specific DNA binding and an overall decrease in DNA binding specificity. Using (15)N NMR relaxation and hydrogen/deuterium exchange, we demonstrate that the mutation results in increased flexibility within the hydrophobic core and loop regions that orient the DNA binding helices. Stopped-flow kinetic studies indicate that increased flexibility alters DNA binding by increasing initial interactions with DNA but has little or no effect on the structural rearrangements that follow this step. Taken together these data demonstrate that subtle changes in protein dynamics have a major influence on protein-DNA interactions.
Nucleic Acids Research 12/2010; 39(7):2969-80. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It remains unclear whether in a bacterial fatty acid synthase (FAS) acyl chain transfer is a programmed or diffusion controlled and random action. Acyl carrier protein (ACP), which delivers all intermediates and interacts with all synthase enzymes, is the key player in this process. High-resolution structures of intermediates covalently bound to an ACP representing each step in fatty acid biosynthesis have been solved by solution NMR. These include hexanoyl-, 3-oxooctanyl-, 3R-hydroxyoctanoyl-, 2-octenoyl-, and octanoyl-ACP from Streptomyces coelicolor FAS. The high-resolution structures reveal that the ACP adopts a unique conformation for each intermediate driven by changes in the internal fatty acid binding pocket. The binding of each intermediate shows conserved structural features that may ensure effective molecular recognition over subsequent rounds of fatty acid biosynthesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acyl (peptidyl) carrier protein (ACP or PCP) is a crucial component involved in the transfer of thiol ester-bound intermediates during the biosynthesis of primary and secondary metabolites such as fatty acids, polyketides, and nonribosomal peptides. Although many carrier protein three-dimensional structures have been determined, to date there is no model available for a fungal type I polyketide synthase ACP. Here we report the solution structure of the norsolorinic acid synthase (NSAS) holo ACP domain that has been excised from the full-length multifunctional enzyme. NSAS ACP shows similarities in three-dimensional structure with other type I and type II ACPs, consisting of a four-helix bundle with helices I, II, and IV arranged in parallel. The N-terminus of helix III, however, is unusually hydrophobic, and Phe1768 and Leu1770 pack well with the core of the protein. The result is that unlike other carrier proteins, helix III lies almost perpendicular to the three major helices. Helix III is well-defined by numerous NMR-derived distance restraints and may be less flexible than counterparts in type II FAS and PKS ACPs. When the holo ACP is derivatized with a hexanoyl group, only minor changes are observed between the HSQC spectra of the two ACP species and no NOEs are observed for this hydrophobic acyl group. Along with the mammalian type I FAS, this further strengthens the view that type I ACPs do not show any significant affinity for hydrophobic (nonpolar) chain assembly intermediates attached via the 4'-phosphopantetheine prosthetic group.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malonylation of an acyl carrier protein (ACP) by malonyl Coenzyme A-ACP transacylase (MCAT) is fundamental to bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. Here, we report the structure of the Steptomyces coelicolor (Sc) fatty acid synthase (FAS) ACP and studies of its binding to MCAT. The carrier protein adopts an alpha-helical bundle structure common to other known carrier proteins. The Sc FAS ACP shows close structural homology with other fatty acid ACPs and less similarity with Sc actinorhodin (act) polyketide synthase (PKS) ACP where the orientation of helix I differs. NMR experiments were used to map the binding of ACP to MCAT. This data suggests that Sc FAS ACP interacts with MCAT through the negatively charged helix II of ACP, consistent with proposed models for ACP recognition by other FAS enzymes. Differential roles for residues at the interface are demonstrated using site-directed mutagenesis and in vitro assays. MCAT has been suggested, moreover, to participate in bacterial polyketide synthesis in vivo. We demonstrate that the affinity of the polyketide synthase ACP for MCAT is lower than that of the FAS ACP. Mutagenesis of homologous helix II residues on the polyketide synthase ACP suggests that the PKS ACP may bind to MCAT in a different manner than the FAS counterpart.
ACS Chemical Biology 07/2009; 4(8):625-36. · 5.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) are essential to both fatty acid synthase (FAS) and polyketide synthase (PKS) biosynthetic pathways, yet relatively little is known about how they function at a molecular level. Seven thiol ester and thiol ether derivatives of the actinorhodin (act) PKS ACP from Streptomyces coelicolor have been prepared and structurally characterised by NMR to gain insight into ACP-intermediate interactions. Holo ACP synthase has been used to prepare early-stage ACP intermediates of polyketide biosynthesis (holo ACP, acetyl ACP, and malonyl ACP) from the respective coenzyme A derivatives. A synthetic route to stabilised thiol ether ACPs was developed and applied to the preparation of stable 3-oxobutyl and 3,5-dioxohexyl ACP as diketide and triketide analogues. No interaction between the protein and the acyl phosphopantetheine moieties of acetyl, malonyl, or 3-oxobutyl ACP was detected. Analysis of (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear single quantum coherence and nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectroscopy spectra for the triketide ACP revealed exchange between a major ('Tri', 85%) and a minor protein conformer in which the polyketide interacts with the protein ('Tri(*)', 15%). Act ACP was also derivatised with butyryl, hexanoyl, and octanoyl groups. The corresponding NMR spectra showed large chemical shift perturbations centred on helices II and III, indicative of acyl chain binding and significant structural rearrangement. Unexpectedly, butyryl act ACP showed almost identical backbone (1)H-(15)N chemical shifts to Tri(*), suggesting comparable structural changes that might provide insight into the structurally uncharacterised polyketide bound form. Furthermore, butyryl ACP itself underwent slow conformational exchange with a second minor conformer (But(*)) with almost identical backbone chemical shifts to octanoyl act ACP. High-resolution NMR structures of these acylated forms revealed that act ACP was able to undergo dramatic conformational changes that exceed those seen in FAS ACPs. When compared to E. coli FAS ACP, the substrate binding pocket of the act PKS ACP has three specific amino acid substitutions (Thr39/Leu45, Ala68/Leu74, and Leu42/Thr48) that alter the size, shape, and location of this cavity. These conformational changes may play a role in protein-protein recognition and assist the binding of bulky polyketide intermediates.
Journal of Molecular Biology 05/2009; 389(3):511-28. · 3.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mannose 6-phosphate/IGF 2 receptor (IGF2R) is comprised of 15 extra-cellular domains that bind IGF2 and mannose 6-phosphate ligands. IGF2R transports ligands from the Golgi to the pre-lysosomal compartment and thereafter to and from the cell surface. IGF2R regulates growth, placental development, tumour suppression and signalling. The ligand IGF2 is implicated in the growth phenotype, where IGF2R normally limits bioavailability, such that loss and gain of IGF2R results in increased and reduced growth respectively. The IGF2R exon 34 (5002A>G) polymorphism (rs629849) of the IGF2 specific binding domain has been correlated with impaired childhood growth (A/A homozygotes). We evaluated the function of the Gly1619Arg non-synonymous amino acid modification of domain 11. NMR and X-ray crystallography structures located 1619 remote from the ligand binding region of domain 11. Arg1619 was located close to the fibronectin type II (FnII) domain of domain 13, previously implicated as a modifier of IGF2 ligand binding through indirect interaction with the AB loop of the binding cleft. However, comparison of binding kinetics of IGF2R, Gly1619 and Arg1619 to either IGF2 or mannose 6-phosphate revealed no differences in 'on' and 'off' rates. Quantitative PCR, (35)S pulse chase and flow cytometry failed to demonstrate altered gene expression, protein half-life and cell membrane distribution, suggesting the polymorphism had no direct effect on receptor function. Intronic polymorphisms were identified which may be in linkage disequilibrium with rs629849 in certain populations. Other potential IGF2R polymorphisms may account for the correlation with childhood growth, warranting further functional evaluation.
Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 02/2009; 42(4):341-56. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photocontrol of Bcl-x(L) binding affinity has been achieved by using short BH3 domain peptides for Bak(72-87) and Bid(91-111) alkylated with an azobenzene crosslinker through two cysteine residues with different sequence spacings. The power to control the conformation of the crosslinker and hence peptide structure was demonstrated by CD and UV/Vis spectroscopy. The binding affinity of the alkylated peptides with Bcl-x(L) was determined in their dark-adapted and irradiated states by fluorescence anisotropy measurements, and use of different cysteine spacings allowed either activation or deactivation of the binding activities of these peptide-based switches by application of light pulses. Helix-stabilized peptides exhibited high Bcl-x(L) binding affinity with dissociation constants of 42+/-9, 21+/-1, and 55+/-4 nM for Bak(i+ 7)(72-87), Bak i+ 11)(72-87), and Bid(i+ 4)(91-111), respectively (superscript numbers refer to the spacing between cysteine residues), and up to 20-fold enhancements in affinity in relation to their helix-destabilized forms. Bak(i+ 7)(72-87), Bak(i+ 11)(72-87), and Bid(i+ 4)(91-111) each displayed more than 200-fold selectivity for binding to Bcl-x(L) over Hdm2, which is targeted by the N-terminal helix of the tumor suppressor p53. Structural studies by NMR spectroscopy demonstrated that the peptides bind to the same cleft in Bcl-x(L) as the wild-type peptide regardless of their structure. This work opens the possibility of using such photocontrollable peptide-based switches to interfere reversibly and specifically with biomacromolecular interactions to study and modulate cellular function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The actinorhodin (act) synthase acyl carrier protein (ACP) from Streptomyces coelicolor plays a central role in polyketide biosynthesis. Polyketide intermediates are bound to the free sulfhydryl group of a phosphopantetheine arm that is covalently linked to a conserved serine residue in the holo form of the ACP. The solution NMR structures of both the apo and holo forms of the ACP are reported, which represents the first high resolution comparison of these two forms of an ACP. Ensembles of twenty apo and holo structures were calculated and yielded atomic root mean square deviations of well-ordered backbone atoms to the average coordinates of 0.37 and 0.42 A, respectively. Three restraints defining the protein to the phosphopantetheine interface were identified. Comparison of the apo and holo forms revealed previously undetected conformational changes. Helix III moved towards helix II (contraction of the ACP), and Leu43 on helix II subtly switched from being solvent exposed to forming intramolecular interactions with the newly added phosphopantetheine side chain. Tryptophan fluorescence and S. coelicolor fatty acid synthase (FAS) holo-synthase (ACPS) assays indicated that apo-ACP has a twofold higher affinity (K(d) of 1.1 muM) than holo-ACP (K(d) of 2.1 muM) for ACPS. Site-directed mutagenesis of Leu43 and Asp62 revealed that both mutations affect binding, but have differential affects on modification by ACPS. Leu43 mutations in particular strongly modulate binding affinity for ACPS. Comparison of apo- and holo-ACP structures with known models of the Bacillus subtilis FAS ACP-holo-acyl carrier protein synthase (ACPS) complex suggests that conformational modulation of helix II and III between apo- and holo-ACP could play a role in dissociation of the ACP-ACPS complex.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The synthases that produce fatty acids in mammals (FASs) are arranged as large multidomain polypeptides. The growing fatty acid chain is bound covalently during chain elongation and reduction to the acyl carrier protein (ACP) domain that is then able to access each catalytic site. In this work we report the high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) solution structure of the isolated rat fatty acid synthase apoACP domain. The final ensemble of NMR structures and backbone (15)N relaxation studies show that apoACP adopts a single, well defined fold. On conversion to the holo form, several small chemical shift changes are observed on the ACP for residues surrounding the phosphopantetheine attachment site (as monitored by backbone (1)H-(15)N correlation experiments). However, there are negligible chemical shift changes when the holo form is modified to either the hexanoyl or palmitoyl forms. For further NMR analysis, a (13)C,(15)N-labeled hexanoyl-ACP sample was prepared and full chemical shift assignments completed. Analysis of two-dimensional F(2)-filtered and three-dimensional (13)C-edited nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy experiments revealed no detectable NOEs to the acyl chain. These experiments demonstrate that unlike other FAS ACPs studied, this Type I ACP does not sequester a covalently linked acyl moiety, although transient interactions cannot be ruled out. This is an important mechanistic difference between the ACPs from Type I and Type II FASs and may be significant for the modulation and regulation of these important mega-synthases.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2008; 283(1):518-28. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The insulin-like growth factor II/mannose-6-phosphate receptor (IGF2R) mediates trafficking of mannose-6-phosphate (M6P)-containing proteins and the mitogenic hormone IGF2. IGF2R also plays an important role as a tumor suppressor, as mutation is frequently associated with human carcinogenesis. IGF2 binds to domain 11, one of 15 extracellular domains on IGF2R. The crystal structure of domain 11 and the solution structure of IGF2 have been reported, but, to date, there has been limited success when using crystallography to study the interaction of IGFs with their binding partners. As an approach to investigate the interaction between IGF2 and IGF2R, we have used heteronuclear NMR in combination with existing mutagenesis data to derive models of the domain 11-IGF2 complex by using the program HADDOCK. The models reveal that the molecular interaction is driven by critical hydrophobic residues on IGF2 and IGF2R, while a ring of flexible, charged residues on IGF2R may modulate binding.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ligands transported by the mannose 6-phosphate/insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-II receptor (IGF2R) include IGF-II- and mannose 6-phosphate-modified proteins. Increased extracellular supply of IGF-II, either secondary to loss of the clearance function of IGF2R, loss of IGF binding protein function, or increased IGF2 gene expression, can lead to embryonic overgrowth and cancer promotion. Reduced supply of IGF-II is detrimental to tumor growth, and this suggests that gain of function of IGF-II is a molecular target for human cancer therapy. Domain 11 of IGF2R binds IGF-II with high specificity and affinity. Mutagenesis studies have shown that substitution of glutamic acid for lysine at residue 1554 results in a 6-fold higher affinity for IGF-II (20.5 nmol/L) than native domain 11 (119 nmol/L). Here, we generate a novel high-affinity IGF-II ligand trap by fusion of mutated human 11(E1554K) to a COOH-terminal human IgG1 Fc domain (11(E1554K)-Fc). The resulting homodimer has a significantly increased affinity for IGF-II (1.79 nmol/L) when measured by surface plasmon resonance. IGF-II signaling via the IGF-I receptor and the proliferative effect of IGF-II were specifically inhibited by 11(E1554K)-Fc in both HaCaT and Igf2(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. These data confirm that a novel engineered and soluble IGF2R-11(E1554K)-Fc protein functions as an IGF-II-specific and high-affinity ligand trap in vitro and that this protein has potential application as an IGF-II antagonist for cancer therapy following in vivo experimental evaluation.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 03/2007; 6(2):607-17. · 5.60 Impact Factor