Oleg V Kurnasov

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, California, United States

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Publications (17)133.08 Total impact

  • O.V. Kurnasov, H.-J. D. Luk, M.F. Roberts, B. Stec
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    ABSTRACT: The unique steps in the synthesis of an unusual osmolyte in hyperthermophiles, di-myo-inositol-1,1'-phosphate (DIP), involve the production of CDP-inositol and its condensation with an inositol-1-phosphate molecule to form phosphorylated DIP. While many organisms fuse both activities into a single enzyme, the two are separate in Thermotoga maritima. The crystal structure of the T. maritima inositol-1-phosphate cytidylyltransferase, which as a soluble protein may transiently associate with its membrane-embedded partner phospho-DIP synthase (P-DIPS), has now been obtained. The structure shows a conserved motif of sugar nucleotide transferases (COG1213) with a structurally reinforced C-terminal Cys bonded to the core of the protein. A bound arsenosugar identifies the location of the active site for inositol 1-phosphate. Based on homologous structures from several species and the identification of the crucial conserved aspartate residue, a catalytic mechanism for this enzyme is proposed as well as a mode for its association with P-DIPS. This structure imposes constraints on the mode of association, communication and temperature activation of two separate enzymes in T. maritima. For the first time, a working model for the membrane-bound P-DIPS unit has been constructed. This sheds light on the functioning of the phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylinositol synthases involved in many physiological processes that are homologous to P-DIPS. This work provides fresh insights into the synthesis of the unusual thermoprotective compound DIP in hyperthermophiles.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 09/2013; 69(Pt 9):1808-17. · 12.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sugar phosphorylation is an indispensable committed step in a large variety of sugar catabolic pathways, which are major suppliers of carbon and energy in heterotrophic species. Specialized sugar kinases that are indispensable for most of these pathways can be utilized as signature enzymes for the reconstruction of carbohydrate utilization machinery from microbial genomic and metagenomic data. Sugar kinases occur in several structurally distinct families with various partially overlapping as well as yet unknown substrate specificities that often cannot be accurately assigned by homology-based techniques. A subsystems-based metabolic reconstruction combined with the analysis of genome context and followed by experimental testing of predicted gene functions is a powerful approach of functional gene annotation. Here we applied this integrated approach for functional mapping of all sugar kinases constituting an extensive and diverse sugar kinome in the thermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima. Substrate preferences of 14 kinases mainly from the FGGY and PfkB families were inferred by bioinformatics analysis and biochemically characterized by screening with a panel of 45 different carbohydrates. Most of the analyzed enzymes displayed narrow substrate preferences corresponding to their predicted physiological roles in their respective catabolic pathways. The observed consistency supports the choice of kinases as signature enzymes for genomics-based identification and reconstruction of sugar utilization pathways. Use of the integrated genomic and experimental approach greatly speeds up the identification of the biochemical function of unknown proteins and improves the quality of reconstructed pathways.
    Journal of bacteriology 08/2012; 194(20):5552-63. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) binding to bacterial flagellin activates signaling through the transcription factor NF-κB and triggers an innate immune response to the invading pathogen. To elucidate the structural basis and mechanistic implications of TLR5-flagellin recognition, we determined the crystal structure of zebrafish TLR5 (as a variable lymphocyte receptor hybrid protein) in complex with the D1/D2/D3 fragment of Salmonella flagellin, FliC, at 2.47 angstrom resolution. TLR5 interacts primarily with the three helices of the FliC D1 domain using its lateral side. Two TLR5-FliC 1:1 heterodimers assemble into a 2:2 tail-to-tail signaling complex that is stabilized by quaternary contacts of the FliC D1 domain with the convex surface of the opposing TLR5. The proposed signaling mechanism is supported by structure-guided mutagenesis and deletion analyses on CBLB502, a therapeutic protein derived from FliC.
    Science 02/2012; 335(6070):859-64. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens necessitates the search for new antibiotics acting on previously unexplored targets. Nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase of the NadD family, an essential enzyme of NAD biosynthesis in most bacteria, was selected as a target for structure-based inhibitor development. Using iterative in silico and in vitro screens, we identified small molecule compounds that efficiently inhibited target enzymes from Escherichia coli (ecNadD) and Bacillus anthracis (baNadD) but had no effect on functionally equivalent human enzymes. On-target antibacterial activity was demonstrated for some of the selected inhibitors. A 3D structure of baNadD was solved in complex with one of these inhibitors (3_02), providing mechanistic insights and guidelines for further improvement. Most importantly, the results of this study help validate NadD as a target for the development of antibacterial agents with potential broad-spectrum activity.
    Chemistry & biology 09/2009; 16(8):849-61. · 6.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The toxicity of ionizing radiation is associated with massive apoptosis in radiosensitive organs. Here, we investigate whether a drug that activates a signaling mechanism used by tumor cells to suppress apoptosis can protect healthy cells from the harmful effects of radiation. We studied CBLB502, a polypeptide drug derived from Salmonella flagellin that binds to Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5) and activates nuclear factor-kappaB signaling. A single injection of CBLB502 before lethal total-body irradiation protected mice from both gastrointestinal and hematopoietic acute radiation syndromes and resulted in improved survival. CBLB502 injected after irradiation also enhanced survival, but at lower radiation doses. It is noteworthy that the drug did not decrease tumor radiosensitivity in mouse models. CBLB502 also showed radioprotective activity in lethally irradiated rhesus monkeys. Thus, TLR5 agonists could potentially improve the therapeutic index of cancer radiotherapy and serve as biological protectants in radiation emergencies.
    Science 05/2008; 320(5873):226-30. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Di-myo-inositol 1,1'-phosphate (DIP) is a major osmoprotecting metabolite in a number of hyperthermophilic species of archaea and bacteria. Although the DIP biosynthesis pathway was previously proposed, genes encoding only two of the four required enzymes, inositol-1-phosphate synthase and inositol monophosphatase, were identified. In this study we used a comparative genomic analysis to predict two additional genes of this pathway (termed dipA and dipB) that remained missing. In Thermotoga maritima both candidate genes (in an originally misannotated locus TM1418) form an operon with the inositol-1-phosphate synthase encoding gene (TM1419). A predicted inositol-mono-phosphate cytidylyltransferase activity was directly confirmed for the purified product of T. maritima gene dipA cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The entire DIP pathway was reconstituted in E. coli by cloning of the TM1418-TM1419 operon in pBAD expression vector and confirmed to function in the crude lysate. (31)P NMR and MS analysis revealed that DIP synthesis proceeds via a phosphorylated DIP intermediate, P-DIP, which is generated by the dipB-encoded enzyme, now termed P-DIP synthase. This previously unknown intermediate is apparently converted to the final product, DIP, by an inositol monophosphatase-like phosphatase. These findings allowed us to revise the previously proposed DIP pathway. The genomic survey confirmed its presence in the species known to use DIP for osmoprotection. Among several newly identified species with a postulated DIP pathway, Aeropyrum pernix was directly proven to produce this osmolyte.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2007; 104(11):4279-84. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Biosynthesis of NAD(P) cofactors is of special importance for cyanobacteria due to their role in photosynthesis and respiration. Despite significant progress in understanding NAD(P) biosynthetic machinery in some model organisms, relatively little is known about its implementation in cyanobacteria. We addressed this problem by a combination of comparative genome analysis with verification experiments in the model system of Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803. A detailed reconstruction of the NAD(P) metabolic subsystem using the SEED genomic platform (http://theseed.uchicago.edu/FIG/index.cgi) helped us accurately annotate respective genes in the entire set of 13 cyanobacterial species with completely sequenced genomes available at the time. Comparative analysis of operational variants implemented in this divergent group allowed us to elucidate both conserved (de novo and universal pathways) and variable (recycling and salvage pathways) aspects of this subsystem. Focused genetic and biochemical experiments confirmed several conjectures about the key aspects of this subsystem. (i) The product of the slr1691 gene, a homolog of Escherichia coli gene nadE containing an additional nitrilase-like N-terminal domain, is a NAD synthetase capable of utilizing glutamine as an amide donor in vitro. (ii) The product of the sll1916 gene, a homolog of E. coli gene nadD, is a nicotinic acid mononucleotide-preferring adenylyltransferase. This gene is essential for survival and cannot be compensated for by an alternative nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)-preferring adenylyltransferase (slr0787 gene). (iii) The product of the slr0788 gene is a nicotinamide-preferring phosphoribosyltransferase involved in the first step of the two-step non-deamidating utilization of nicotinamide (NMN shunt). (iv) The physiological role of this pathway encoded by a conserved gene cluster, slr0787-slr0788, is likely in the recycling of endogenously generated nicotinamide, as supported by the inability of this organism to utilize exogenously provided niacin. Positional clustering and the co-occurrence profile of the respective genes across a diverse collection of cellular organisms provide evidence of horizontal transfer events in the evolutionary history of this pathway.
    Journal of Bacteriology 05/2006; 188(8):3012-23. · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated two different biosynthetic pathways to quinolinate, the universal de novo precursor to the pyridine ring of NAD. In prokaryotes, quinolinate is formed from aspartate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate; in eukaryotes, it is formed from tryptophan. It has been generally believed that the tryptophan to quinolinic acid biosynthetic pathway is unique to eukaryotes; however, this paper describes the use of comparative genome analysis to identify likely candidates for all five genes involved in the tryptophan to quinolinic acid pathway in several bacteria. Representative examples of each of these genes were overexpressed, and the predicted functions are confirmed in each case using unambiguous biochemical assays.
    Chemistry & Biology 01/2004; 10(12):1195-204. · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While a variety of chemical transformations related to the aerobic degradation of L-tryptophan (kynurenine pathway), and most of the genes and corresponding enzymes involved therein have been predominantly characterized in eukaryotes, relatively little was known about this pathway in bacteria. Using genome comparative analysis techniques we have predicted the existence of the three-step pathway of aerobic L-tryptophan degradation to anthranilate (anthranilate pathway) in several bacteria. Based on the chromosomal gene clustering analysis, we have identified a previously unknown gene encoding for kynurenine formamidase (EC 3.5.1.19) involved with the second step of the anthranilate pathway. This functional prediction was experimentally verified by cloning, expression and enzymatic characterization of recombinant kynurenine formamidase orthologs from Bacillus cereus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Ralstonia metallidurans. Experimental verification of the inferred anthranilate pathway was achieved by functional expression in Escherichia coli of the R. metallidurans putative kynBAU operon encoding three required enzymes: tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (gene kynA), kynurenine formamidase (gene kynB), and kynureninase (gene kynU). Our data provide the first experimental evidence of the connection between these genes (only one of which, kynU, was previously characterized) and L-tryptophan aerobic degradation pathway in bacteria.
    FEMS Microbiology Letters 11/2003; 227(2):219-27. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pyridine dinucleotides (NAD and NADP) are ubiquitous cofactors involved in hundreds of redox reactions essential for the energy transduction and metabolism in all living cells. In addition, NAD also serves as a substrate for ADP-ribosylation of a number of nuclear proteins, for silent information regulator 2 (Sir2)-like histone deacetylase that is involved in gene silencing regulation, and for cyclic ADP ribose (cADPR)-dependent Ca(2+) signaling. Pyridine nucleotide adenylyltransferase (PNAT) is an indispensable central enzyme in the NAD biosynthesis pathways catalyzing the condensation of pyridine mononucleotide (NMN or NaMN) with the AMP moiety of ATP to form NAD (or NaAD). Here we report the identification and structural characterization of a novel human PNAT (hsPNAT-3) that is located in the cytoplasm and mitochondria. Its subcellular localization and tissue distribution are distinct from the previously identified human nuclear PNAT-1 and PNAT-2. Detailed structural analysis of PNAT-3 in its apo form and in complex with its substrate(s) or product revealed the catalytic mechanism of the enzyme. The characterization of the cytosolic human PNAT-3 provided compelling evidence that the final steps of NAD biosynthesis pathways may exist in mammalian cytoplasm and mitochondria, potentially contributing to their NAD/NADP pool.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2003; 278(15):13503-11. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated two different biosynthetic pathways to quinolinate, the universal de novo precursor to the pyridine ring of NAD. In prokaryotes, quinolinate is formed from aspartate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate; in eukaryotes, it is formed from tryptophan. It has been generally believed that the tryptophan to quinolinic acid biosynthetic pathway is unique to eukaryotes; however, this paper describes the use of comparative genome analysis to identify likely candidates for all five genes involved in the tryptophan to quinolinic acid pathway in several bacteria. Representative examples of each of these genes were overexpressed, and the predicted functions are confirmed in each case using unambiguous biochemical assays.
    Chemistry & Biology - CHEM BIOL. 01/2003; 10(12):1195-1204.
  • Planetary and Space Science - PLANET SPACE SCI. 01/2003; 52(12).
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    ABSTRACT: NAD is an indispensable redox cofactor in all organisms. Most of the genes required for NAD biosynthesis in various species are known. Ribosylnicotinamide kinase (RNK) was among the few unknown (missing) genes involved with NAD salvage and recycling pathways. Using a comparative genome analysis involving reconstruction of NAD metabolism from genomic data, we predicted and experimentally verified that bacterial RNK is encoded within the 3' region of the nadR gene. Based on these results and previous data, the full-size multifunctional NadR protein (as in Escherichia coli) is composed of (i) an N-terminal DNA-binding domain involved in the transcriptional regulation of NAD biosynthesis, (ii) a central nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NMNAT) domain, and (iii) a C-terminal RNK domain. The RNK and NMNAT enzymatic activities of recombinant NadR proteins from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Haemophilus influenzae were quantitatively characterized. We propose a model for the complete salvage pathway from exogenous N-ribosylnicotinamide to NAD which involves the concerted action of the PnuC transporter and NRK, followed by the NMNAT activity of the NadR protein. Both the pnuC and nadR genes were proven to be essential for the growth and survival of H. influenzae, thus implicating them as potential narrow-spectrum drug targets.
    Journal of Bacteriology 01/2003; 184(24):6906-17. · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Haemophilus influenzae NadR protein (hiNadR) has been shown to be a bifunctional enzyme possessing both NMN adenylytransferase (NMNAT; EC ) and ribosylnicotinamide kinase (RNK; EC ) activities. Its function is essential for the growth and survival of H. influenzae and thus may present a new highly specific anti-infectious drug target. We have solved the crystal structure of hiNadR complexed with NAD using the selenomethionine MAD phasing method. The structure reveals the presence of two distinct domains. The N-terminal domain that hosts the NMNAT activity is closely related to archaeal NMNAT, whereas the C-terminal domain, which has been experimentally demonstrated to possess ribosylnicotinamide kinase activity, is structurally similar to yeast thymidylate kinase and several other P-loop-containing kinases. There appears to be no cross-talk between the two active sites. The bound NAD at the active site of the NMNAT domain reveals several critical interactions between NAD and the protein. There is also a second non-active-site NAD molecule associated with the C-terminal RNK domain that adopts a highly folded conformation with the nicotinamide ring stacking over the adenine base. Whereas the RNK domain of the hiNadR structure presented here is the first structural characterization of a ribosylnicotinamide kinase from any organism, the NMNAT domain of hiNadR defines yet another member of the pyridine nucleotide adenylyltransferase family.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2002; 277(36):33291-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Novel drug targets are required in order to design new defenses against antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Comparative genomics provides new opportunities for finding optimal targets among previously unexplored cellular functions, based on an understanding of related biological processes in bacterial pathogens and their hosts. We describe an integrated approach to identification and prioritization of broad-spectrum drug targets. Our strategy is based on genetic footprinting in Escherichia coli followed by metabolic context analysis of essential gene orthologs in various species. Genes required for viability of E. coli in rich medium were identified on a whole-genome scale using the genetic footprinting technique. Potential target pathways were deduced from these data and compared with a panel of representative bacterial pathogens by using metabolic reconstructions from genomic data. Conserved and indispensable functions revealed by this analysis potentially represent broad-spectrum antibacterial targets. Further target prioritization involves comparison of the corresponding pathways and individual functions between pathogens and the human host. The most promising targets are validated by direct knockouts in model pathogens. The efficacy of this approach is illustrated using examples from metabolism of adenylate cofactors NAD(P), coenzyme A, and flavin adenine dinucleotide. Several drug targets within these pathways, including three distantly related adenylyltransferases (orthologs of the E. coli genes nadD, coaD, and ribF), are discussed in detail.
    Journal of Bacteriology 09/2002; 184(16):4555-72. · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nicotinamide/nicotinate mononucleotide (NMN/ NaMN)adenylyltransferase (NMNAT) is an indispensable enzyme in the biosynthesis of NAD(+) and NADP(+). Human NMNAT displays unique dual substrate specificity toward both NMN and NaMN, thus flexible in participating in both de novo and salvage pathways of NAD synthesis. Human NMNAT also catalyzes the rate-limiting step of the metabolic conversion of the anticancer agent tiazofurin to its active form tiazofurin adenine dinucleotide (TAD). The tiazofurin resistance is mainly associated with the low NMNAT activity in the cell. We have solved the crystal structures of human NMNAT in complex with NAD, deamido-NAD, and a non-hydrolyzable TAD analogue beta-CH(2)-TAD. These complex structures delineate the broad substrate specificity of the enzyme toward both NMN and NaMN and reveal the structural mechanism for adenylation of tiazofurin nucleotide. The crystal structure of human NMNAT also shows that it forms a barrel-like hexamer with the predicted nuclear localization signal sequence located on the outside surface of the barrel, supporting its functional role of interacting with the nuclear transporting proteins. The results from the analytical ultracentrifugation studies are consistent with the formation of a hexamer in solution under certain conditions.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2002; 277(15):13148-54. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nicotinamide/Nicotinate mononucleotide (NMN/NaMN) adenylyltransferase is an indispensable enzyme in both de novo biosynthesis and salvage of NAD+ and NADP+. In prokaryotes, it is absolutely required for cell survival, thus representing an attractive target for the development of new broad-spectrum antibacteria inhibitors. The crystal structures of E. coli NaMN adenylyltransferase (NMNAT) and its complex with deamido-NAD (NaAD) revealed that ligand binding causes large conformational changes in several loop regions around the active site. The enzyme specifically recognizes the deamidated pyridine nucleotide through interactions between nicotinate carboxylate with several protein main chain amides and a positive helix dipole. Comparison of E. coli NMNAT with those from archaeal organisms revealed extensive differences in the active site architecture, enzyme-ligand interaction mode, and bound dinucleotide conformations. The bacterial NaMN adenylyltransferase structures described here provide a foundation for structure-based design of specific inhibitors that may have therapeutic potential.
    Structure 02/2002; 10(1):69-79. · 5.99 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

803 Citations
133.08 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2013
    • Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
      • Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center
      La Jolla, California, United States
    • The Ohio State University
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 2012
    • Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences
      Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
  • 2002–2003
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Dallas, TX, United States