[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Probing the solution structure of membrane proteins represents a formidable challenge, particularly when using small-angle scattering. Detergent molecules often present residual scattering contributions even at their match point in small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) measurements. Here, we studied the conformation of FhaC, the outer-membrane, β-barrel transporter of the Bordetella pertussis filamentous hemagglutinin adhesin. SANS measurements were performed on homogeneous solutions of FhaC solubilized in n-octyl-d17-βD-glucoside and on a variant devoid of the α helix H1, which critically obstructs the FhaC pore, in two solvent conditions corresponding to the match points of the protein and the detergent, respectively. Protein-bound detergent amounted to 142 ± 10 mol/mol as determined by analytical ultracentrifugation. By using molecular modeling and starting from three distinct conformations of FhaC and its variant embedded in lipid bilayers, we generated ensembles of protein-detergent arrangement models with 120-160 detergent molecules. The scattered curves were back-calculated for each model and compared with experimental data. Good fits were obtained for relatively compact, connected detergent belts, which occasionally displayed small detergent-free patches on the outer surface of the β barrel. The combination of SANS and modeling clearly enabled us to infer the solution structure of FhaC, with H1 inside the pore as in the crystal structure. We believe that our strategy of combining explicit atomic detergent modeling with SANS measurements has significant potential for structural studies of other detergent-solubilized membrane proteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity, killing each year more than one million people. Although the combined use of first line antibiotics (isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol) is efficient to treat most patients, the rapid emergence of multidrug resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis stresses the need for alternative therapies. Mycobacterial transcriptional repressor EthR is a key player in the control of second-line drugs bioactivation such as ethionamide, and has been shown to impair the sensitivity of the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis to this antibiotic. As a way to identify new potent ligands of this protein we have developed fragment-based approaches. In the current study we combined surface plasmon resonance assay, X-ray crystallography, ligand efficiency driven design for the rapid discovery and optimization of new chemotypes of EthR ligands starting from a fragment. The design, synthesis, in vitro and ex vivo activities of these compounds will be discussed.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 05/2014; · 5.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haemophilus influenzae HxuA is a cell-surface protein with haem-haemopexin binding activity which is key to haem acquisition from haemopexin and thus is one of the potential sources of haem for this microorganism. HxuA is secreted by its specific transporter HxuB. HxuA/HxuB belongs to the so-called two-partner secretion systems (TPSs) that are characterized by a conserved N-terminal domain in the secreted protein which is essential for secretion. Here, the 1.5 Å resolution structure of the secretion domain of HxuA, HxuA301, is reported. The structure reveals that HxuA301 folds into a β-helix domain with two extra-helical motifs, a four-stranded β-sheet and an N-terminal cap. Comparisons with other structures of TpsA secretion domains are reported. They reveal that despite limited sequence identity, strong structural similarities are found between the β-helix motifs, consistent with the idea that the TPS domain plays a role not only in the interaction with the specific TpsB partners but also as the scaffold initiating progressive folding of the TpsA proteins at the bacterial surface.
Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 12/2013; 69(Pt 12):1322-7. · 0.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The TTSS is used by Salmonella and many bacterial pathogens to inject virulence factors directly into the cytoplasm of target eukaryotic cells. Once translocated these so-called effector proteins hijack a vast array of crucial cellular functions to the benefit of the bacteria. In the bacterial cytoplasm, some effectors are stabilized and maintained in a secretion competent state by interaction with specific type III chaperones. In this work we studied the conformation of the Chaperone Binding Domain of the effector named Salmonella Outer protein B (SopB) alone and in complex with its cognate chaperone SigE by a combination of biochemical, biophysical and structural approaches. Our results show that the N-terminus part of SopB is mainly composed of α-helices and unfolded regions whose organization/stabilization depends on their interaction with the different partners. This suggests that the partially unfolded state of this N-terminal region, which confers the adaptability of the effector to bind very different partners during the infection cycle, allows the bacteria to modulate numerous host cells functions limiting the number of translocated effectors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 09/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sinorhizobium meliloti is a soil bacterium that invades the root nodules it induces on Medicago sativa, whereupon it undergoes an alteration of its cell cycle and differentiates into nitrogen-fixing, elongated and polyploid bacteroid with higher membrane permeability. In Caulobacter crescentus, a related alphaproteobacterium, the principal cell cycle regulator, CtrA, is inhibited by the phosphorylated response regulator DivK. The phosphorylation of DivK depends on the histidine kinase DivJ, while PleC is the principal phosphatase for DivK. Despite the importance of the DivJ in C. crescentus, the mechanistic role of this kinase has never been elucidated in other Alphaproteobacteria. We show here that the histidine kinases DivJ together with CbrA and PleC participate in a complex phosphorylation system of the essential response regulator DivK in S. meliloti. In particular, DivJ and CbrA are involved in DivK phosphorylation and in turn CtrA inactivation, thereby controlling correct cell cycle progression and the integrity of the cell envelope. In contrast, the essential PleC presumably acts as a phosphatase of DivK. Interestingly, we found that a DivJ mutant is able to elicit nodules and enter plant cells, but fails to establish an effective symbiosis suggesting that proper envelope and/or low CtrA levels are required for symbiosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several regulators are involved in the control of cell cycle progression in the bacterial model system Caulobacter crescentus, which divides asymmetrically into a vegetative G1-phase (swarmer) cell and a replicative S-phase (stalked) cell. Here we report a novel functional interaction between the enigmatic cell cycle regulator GcrA and the N6-adenosine methyltransferase CcrM, both highly conserved proteins among Alphaproteobacteria, that are activated early and at the end of S-phase, respectively. As no direct biochemical and regulatory relationship between GcrA and CcrM were known, we used a combination of ChIP (chromatin-immunoprecipitation), biochemical and biophysical experimentation and genetics to show that GcrA is a dimeric DNA-binding protein that preferentially targets promoters harbouring CcrM methylation sites. After tracing CcrM-dependent N6-methyl-adenosine promoter marks at a genome-wide scale, we show that these marks recruit GcrA in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we found that, in the presence of a methylated target, GcrA recruits RNA polymerase to the promoter, consistent with its role in transcriptional activation. Since methylation-dependent DNA-binding is also observed with GcrA orthologs from other Alphaproteobacteria, we conclude that GcrA is the founding member of a new and conserved class of transcriptional regulators that function as molecular effectors of a methylation-dependent (non-heritable) epigenetic switch that regulates gene expression during the cell cycle.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several regulators are involved in the control of cell cycle progression in the bacterial model system Caulobacter crescentus, which divides asymmetrically into a vegetative G1-phase (swarmer) cell and a replicative S-phase (stalked) cell. Here we report a novel functional interaction between the enigmatic cell cycle regulator GcrA and the N6-adenosine methyltransferase CcrM, both highly conserved proteins among Alphaproteobacteria, that are activated early and at the end of S-phase, respectively. As no direct biochemical and regulatory relationship between GcrA and CcrM were known, we used a combination of ChIP (chromatin-immunoprecipitation), biochemical and biophysical experimentation, and genetics to show that GcrA is a dimeric DNA-binding protein that preferentially targets promoters harbouring CcrM methylation sites. After tracing CcrM-dependent N6-methyl-adenosine promoter marks at a genome-wide scale, we show that these marks recruit GcrA in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we found that, in the presence of a methylated target, GcrA recruits the RNA polymerase to the promoter, consistent with its role in transcriptional activation. Since methylation-dependent DNA binding is also observed with GcrA orthologs from other Alphaproteobacteria, we conclude that GcrA is the founding member of a new and conserved class of transcriptional regulators that function as molecular effectors of a methylation-dependent (non-heritable) epigenetic switch that regulates gene expression during the cell cycle.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PEA3, ERM and ER81 belong to the PEA3 subfamily of Ets transcription factors and play important roles in a number of tissue-specific processes. Transcriptional activation by PEA3 subfamily factors requires their characteristic amino-terminal acidic transactivation domain (TAD). However, the cellular targets of this domain remain largely unknown. Using ERM as a prototype, we show that the minimal N-terminal TAD activates transcription by contacting the activator interacting domain (ACID)/Prostate tumor overexpressed protein 1 (PTOV) domain of the Mediator complex subunit MED25. We further show that depletion of MED25 disrupts the association of ERM with the Mediator in vitro. Small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of MED25 as well as the overexpression of MED25-ACID and MED25-VWA domains efficiently inhibit the transcriptional activity of ERM. Moreover, mutations of amino acid residues that prevent binding of MED25 to ERM strongly reduce transactivation by ERM. Finally we show that siRNA depletion of MED25 diminishes PEA3-driven expression of MMP-1 and Mediator recruitment. In conclusion, this study identifies the PEA3 group members as the first human transcriptional factors that interact with the MED25 ACID/PTOV domain and establishes MED25 as a crucial transducer of their transactivation potential.
Nucleic Acids Research 03/2013; · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ets-1 is a transcription factor that regulates many genes involved in cancer progression and in tumour invasion. It is a poor prognostic marker for breast, lung, colorectal and ovary carcinomas. Here, we identified poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) as a novel interaction partner of Ets-1. We show that Ets-1 activates, by direct interaction, the catalytic activity of PARP-1 and is then poly(ADP-ribosyl)ated in a DNA-independent manner. The catalytic inhibition of PARP-1 enhanced Ets-1 transcriptional activity and caused its massive accumulation in cell nuclei. Ets-1 expression was correlated with an increase in DNA damage when PARP-1 was inhibited, leading to cancer cell death. Moreover, PARP-1 inhibitors caused only Ets-1-expressing cells to accumulate DNA damage. These results provide new insight into Ets-1 regulation in cancer cells and its link with DNA repair proteins. Furthermore, our findings suggest that PARP-1 inhibitors would be useful in a new therapeutic strategy that specifically targets Ets-1-expressing tumours.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e55883. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two-component and phosphorelay signal-transduction proteins are crucial for bacterial cell-cycle regulation in Caulobacter crescentus. ChpT is an essential histidine phosphotransferase that controls the activity of the master cell-cycle regulator CtrA by phosphorylation. Here, the 2.2 Å resolution crystal structure of ChpT is reported. ChpT is a homodimer and adopts the domain architecture of the intracellular part of class I histidine kinases. Each subunit consists of two distinct domains: an N-terminal helical hairpin domain and a C-terminal α/β domain. The two N-terminal domains are adjacent within the dimer, forming a four-helix bundle. The ChpT C-terminal domain adopts an atypical Bergerat ATP-binding fold.
Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 09/2012; 68(Pt 9):1025-9. · 0.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this paper, we describe the screening of a 14640-compound library using a novel whole mycobacteria phenotypic assay to discover inhibitors of EthR, a transcriptional repressor implicated in the innate resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to the second-line antituberculosis drug ethionamide. From this screening a new chemical family of EthR inhibitors bearing an N-phenylphenoxyacetamide motif was identified. The X-ray structure of the most potent compound crystallized with EthR inspired the synthesis of a 960-member focused library. These compounds were tested in vitro using a rapid thermal shift assay on EthR to accelerate the optimization. The best compounds were synthesized on a larger scale and confirmed as potent ethionamide boosters on M. tuberculosis -infected macrophages. Finally, the cocrystallization of the best optimized analogue with EthR revealed an unexpected reorientation of the ligand in the binding pocket.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 06/2012; 55(14):6391-402. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ethionamide is an antituberculous drug for the treatment of multidrug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This antibiotic requires activation by the monooxygenase EthA to exert its activity. Production of EthA is controlled by the transcriptional repressor EthR, a member of the TetR family. The sensitivity of M. tuberculosis to ethionamide can be artificially enhanced using synthetic ligands of EthR that allosterically inactivate its DNA-binding activity. Comparison of several structures of EthR co-crystallized with various ligands suggested that the structural reorganization of EthR resulting in its inactivation is controlled by a limited portion of the ligand-binding-pocket. In silico simulation predicted that mutation G106W may mimic ligands. X-ray crystallography of variant G106W indeed revealed a protein structurally similar to ligand-bound EthR. Surface plasmon resonance experiments established that this variant is unable to bind DNA, while thermal shift studies demonstrated that mutation G106W stabilizes EthR as strongly as ligands. Proton NMR of the methyl regions showed a lesser contribution of exchange broadening upon ligand binding, and the same quenched dynamics was observed in apo-variant G106W. Altogether, we here show that the area surrounding Gly106 constitutes the molecular switch involved in the conformational reorganization of EthR. These results also shed light on the mechanistic of ligand-induced allosterism controlling the DNA binding properties of TetR family repressors.
Nucleic Acids Research 12/2011; 40(7):3018-30. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterial transcriptional repressor EthR controls the expression of EthA, the bacterial monooxygenase activating ethionamide, and is thus largely responsible for the low sensitivity of the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis to this antibiotic. We recently reported structure–activity relationships of a series of 1,2,4-oxadiazole EthR inhibitors leading to the discovery of potent ethionamide boosters. Despite high metabolic stability, pharmacokinetic evaluation revealed poor mice exposure; therefore, a second phase of optimization was required. Herein a structure–property relationship study is reported according to the replacement of the two aromatic heterocycles: 2-thienyl and 1,2,4-oxadiazolyl moieties. This work was done using a combination of structure-based drug design and in vitro/ex vivo evaluations of ethionamide boosters on the targeted protein EthR and on the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Thanks to this process, we identified compound 42 (BDM41906), which displays improved efficacy in addition to high exposure to mice after oral administration.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 12/2011; 55(1). · 5.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Covalent modification of proteins with SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-like MOdifier) affects many cellular processes, including transcriptional regulation, DNA repair and signal transduction. Although hundreds of SUMO targets have been identified, many biological outcomes of protein sumoylation remain poorly understood. In particular, biochemical and structural analysis can only be easily conducted if highly pure sumoylated substrates are available. Purification of sumoylated substrates in vitro or in bacteria have been previously reported but separating the sumoylated protein from the undesired unmodified fraction is often technically challenging, inefficient and time consuming. Here we develop a new vector system for in vivo sumoylation in Escherichia coli which improves purification of sumoylated proteins. We describe the purification of IκBα, its sumoylation, the subsequent separation and purification of the modified and the unmodified forms and the purification of the complex IκBα-SUMO-1/NF-κB. After a first GST affinity chromatography and GST-tag removal, a unique metal-ion affinity chromatography using a 6xHis-SUMO-1 tag results in mgs of highly pure SUMO-1 modified IκBα. Our pure SUMO-1 modified IκB/NF-κB complex could be a useful tool to identify new interaction partner specific of the SUMO-1 modified IκBα form. This approach may be extended to other SUMO substrates not isolable by classical chromatography techniques.
Protein Expression and Purification 06/2011; 80(2):211-6. · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Widespread in Gram-negative bacteria, the two-partner secretion (TPS) pathway mediates the secretion of large, β-helical 'TpsA' proteins with various functions. TpsA proteins harbour a conserved, N-proximal TPS domain essential for secretion. TpsB transporters specifically recognize their TpsA partners in the periplasm and mediate their translocation across the outer membrane through a hydrophilic channel. The FHA/FhaC pair of Bordetella pertussis represents a model TPS system. FhaC is composed of a β barrel preceded by two periplasmic POTRA domains in tandem. Here we show that both POTRAs are involved in FHA recognition. Surface plasmon resonance analyses indicated an interaction of micromolar affinity between the POTRAs and the TPS domain with fast association and dissociation steps, consistent with the transient character of this interaction in vivo. Major interaction sites in POTRAs correspond to hydrophobic grooves formed by a β sheet edge and the flanking α helix, well-suited to accommodate extended, amphipathic strands of the substrate and consistent with β augmentation. The initial recruitment of the TPS domain to POTRAs appears to be facilitated by electrostatic attractions. A domain corresponding to the first part of the repeat-rich central region of FHA is also recognized by the POTRAs, suggesting successive interactions in the course of secretion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report in this article an extensive structure-activity relationships (SAR) study with 58 thiophen-2-yl-1,2,4-oxadiazoles as inhibitors of EthR, a transcriptional regulator controling ethionamide bioactivation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We explored the replacement of two key fragments of the starting lead BDM31343. We investigated the potency of all analogues to boost subactive doses of ethionamide on a phenotypic assay involving M. tuberculosis infected macrophages and then ascertained the mode of action of the most active compounds using a functional target-based surface plasmon resonance assay. This process revealed that introduction of 4,4,4-trifluorobutyryl chain instead of cyanoacetyl group was crucial for intracellular activity. Replacement of 1,4-piperidyl by (R)-1,3-pyrrolidyl scaffold did not enhance activity but led to improved pharmacokinetic properties. Furthermore, the crystal structures of ligand-EthR complexes were consistent with the observed SAR. In conclusion, we identified EthR inhibitors that boost antibacterial activity of ethionamide with nanomolar potency while improving solubility and metabolic stability.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 03/2011; 54(8):2994-3010. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In situ click chemistry has been successfully applied to probe the ligand binding domain of EthR, a mycobacterial transcriptional regulator known to control the sensitivity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to several antibiotics. Specific protein-templated ligands were generated in situ from one azide and six clusters of 10 acetylenic fragments. Comparative X-ray structures of EthR complexed with either clicked ligand BDM14950 or its azide precursor showed ligand-dependent conformational impacts on the protein architecture. This approach revealed two mobile phenylalanine residues that control the access to a previously hidden hydrophobic pocket that can be further exploited for the development of structurally diverse EthR inhibitors. This report shows that protein-directed in situ chemistry allows medicinal chemists to explore the conformational space of a ligand-binding pocket and is thus a valuable tool to guide drug design in the complex path of hit-to-lead processes.
ACS Chemical Biology 11/2010; 5(11):1007-13. · 5.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two-component sensory transduction systems control important bacterial programs. In Bordetella pertussis, expression of the virulence regulon is controlled by the unorthodox BvgAS two-component system. BvgS is the prototype of a family of sensor-kinases that harbor periplasmic domains homologous to bacterial solute-binding proteins. Although BvgAS is active under laboratory conditions, no activating signal has been identified, only negative modulators. Here we show that the second periplasmic domain of BvgS interacts with modulators and adopts a Venus flytrap (VFT) fold. X-ray crystallography reveals that the two lobes of VFT2 delimitate a ligand-binding cavity enclosing fortuitous ligands. Most substitutions of putative ligand-binding residues in the VFT2 cavity keep BvgS active, and alteration of the cavity's electrostatic potential affects responsiveness to modulation. The crystal structure of this VFT2 variant conferring constitutive kinase activity to BvgS shows a closed cavity with another nonspecific ligand. Thus, VFT2 is closed and active without a specific agonist ligand, in contrast to typical VFTs. Modulators are antagonists of VFT2 that interrupt signaling. BvgAS is active for most of the B. pertussis infectious cycle, consistent with the proposed mechanism.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2010; 107(40):17351-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor