[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photosynthetic organisms have developed photoprotective mechanisms to protect themselves from lethal high light intensities. One of these mechanisms involves the dissipation of excess absorbed light energy into heat. In cyanobacteria, light activation of a soluble carotenoid protein, the Orange Carotenoid Protein (OCP), binding a keto carotenoid, is the key inducer of this mechanism. Blue-green light absorption triggers structural changes within the carotenoid and the protein, leading to the conversion of a dark orange form into a red active form. Here we report the role in photoconversion and photoprotection of individual conserved tyrosines and tryptophans surrounding the rings of the carotenoid. Our results demonstrate that the interaction between the keto group of the carotenoid and Tyr201 and Trp288 is essential for OCP photoactivity. In addition, these amino acids are responsible for carotenoid affinity and specificity. We have already demonstrated that the aromatic character of Tyr44 and Trp110 interacting with the hydroxyl ring is critical. Here we show that the replacement of Tyr44 by Ser affects the stability of the red form avoiding its accumulation at any temperature, while Trp110Ser is affected in the energy necessary to the orange to red conversion and in the interaction with the antenna. Collectively our data support the idea that the red form is essential for photoprotection but not sufficient. Specific conformational changes occurring in the protein seem to be critical to the events leading to energy dissipation.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 03/2011; 1807(3):293-301. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cycle inhibiting factor (Cif) is one of the effectors delivered into epithelial cells by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) via the type III secretion system (TTSS). Cif family proteins, which inhibit host cell-cycle progression via mechanisms not yet precisely understood, are highly conserved among EPEC, EHEC, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, Photorhabdus luminescens and Burkholderia pseudomallei. Levels of several proteins relevant to cell-cycle progression are modulated by Cullin-RING ligases (CRLs), which in turn are activated by conjugation and deconjugation of NEDD8 to Cullins. Here we show that Cif interacts with NEDD8 and interferes with SCF (Skp1-Cullin1-F-box protein) complex ubiquitin ligase function. We found that neddylated Cullin family proteins accumulated and ubiquitination of p27 decreased in cells infected with EPEC. Consequently, Cif stabilized SCF substrates such as CyclinD1, Cdt1, and p27, and caused G1 cell-cycle arrest. Using time-lapse-imaging of fluorescent ubiquitination-based cell-cycle indicator (Fucci)-expressing cells, we were able to monitor cell-cycle progression during EPEC infection and confirmed the arrest of infected cells at G1. Our in vitro and in vivo data show that Cif-NEDD8 interaction inhibits deneddylation of Cullins, suppresses CRL activity and induces G1 arrest. We thus conclude that the bacterial effector Cif interferes with neddylation-mediated cell-cycle control.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2010; 401(2):268-74. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the intestinal epithelium is equipped with multiple defense systems that sense bacterial components, transmit alarms to the immune system, clear the bacteria, and renew the injured epithelial lining, mucosal bacterial pathogens are capable of efficiently colonizing the intestinal epithelium, because they have evolved systems that modulate the inflammatory and immune responses of the host and exploit the harmful environments as replicative niches. In this review we highlight current topics concerning Shigella's tactics that interfere with the innate immune systems.
Current opinion in microbiology 10/2010; 14(1):16-23. · 7.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The photoprotective processes of photosynthetic organisms involve the dissipation of excess absorbed light energy as heat. Photoprotection in cyanobacteria is mechanistically distinct from that in plants; it involves the orange carotenoid protein (OCP), a water-soluble protein containing a single carotenoid. The OCP is a new member of the family of blue light-photoactive proteins; blue-green light triggers the OCP-mediated photoprotective response. Here we report structural and functional characterization of the wild type and two mutant forms of the OCP, from the model organism Synechocystis PCC6803. The structural analysis provides high resolution detail of the carotenoid-protein interactions that underlie the optical properties of the OCP, unique among carotenoid-proteins in binding a single pigment per polypeptide chain. Collectively, these data implicate several key amino acids in the function of the OCP and reveal that the photoconversion and photoprotective responses of the OCP to blue-green light can be decoupled.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2010; 285(24):18364-75. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In most cyanobacteria high irradiance induces a photoprotective mechanism that downregulates photosynthesis by increasing thermal dissipation of the energy absorbed by the phycobilisome, the water-soluble antenna. The light activation of a soluble carotenoid protein, the Orange-Carotenoid-Protein (OCP), binding hydroxyechinenone, a keto carotenoid, is the key inducer of this mechanism. Light causes structural changes within the carotenoid and the protein, leading to the conversion of a dark orange form into a red active form. Here, we tested whether echinenone or zeaxanthin can replace hydroxyechinenone in a study in which the nature of the carotenoid bound to the OCP was genetically changed. In a mutant lacking hydroxyechinenone and echinenone, the OCP was found to bind zeaxanthin but the stability of the binding appeared to be lower and light was unable to photoconvert the dark form into a red active form. Moreover, in the strains containing zeaxanthin-OCP, blue-green light did not induce the photoprotective mechanism. In contrast, in mutants in which echinenone is bound to the OCP, the protein is photoactivated and photoprotection is induced. Our results strongly suggest that the presence of the carotenoid carbonyl group that distinguishes echinenone and hydroxyechinenone from zeaxanthin is essential for the OCP activity.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 02/2009; 1787(4):280-8. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intense sunlight is dangerous for photosynthetic organisms. Cyanobacteria, like plants, protect themselves from light-induced stress by dissipating excess absorbed energy as heat. Recently, it was discovered that a soluble orange carotenoid protein, the OCP, is essential for this photoprotective mechanism. Here we show that the OCP is also a member of the family of photoactive proteins; it is a unique example of a photoactive protein containing a carotenoid as the photoresponsive chromophore. Upon illumination with blue-green light, the OCP undergoes a reversible transformation from its dark stable orange form to a red "active" form. The red form is essential for the induction of the photoprotective mechanism. The illumination induces structural changes affecting both the carotenoid and the protein. Thus, the OCP is a photoactive protein that senses light intensity and triggers photoprotection.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2008; 105(33):12075-80. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The TatC protein is an essential component of the Escherichia coli twin-arginine (Tat) protein translocation pathway. It is a polytopic membrane protein that forms a complex with TatB, together acting as the receptor for Tat substrates. In this study we have constructed 57 individual cysteine substitutions throughout the protein. Each of the substitutions resulted in a TatC protein that was competent to support Tat-dependent protein translocation. Accessibility studies with membrane-permeant and -impermeant thiol-reactive reagents demonstrated that TatC has six transmembrane helices, rather than the four suggested by a previous study (K. Gouffi, C.-L. Santini, and L.-F. Wu, FEBS Lett. 525:65-70, 2002). Disulfide cross-linking experiments with TatC proteins containing single cysteine residues showed that each transmembrane domain of TatC was able to interact with the same domain from a neighboring TatC protein. Surprisingly, only three of these cysteine variants retained the ability to cross-link at low temperatures. These results are consistent with the likelihood that most of the disulfide cross-links are between TatC proteins in separate TatBC complexes, suggesting that TatC is located on the periphery of the complex.
Journal of Bacteriology 09/2007; 189(15):5482-94. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cytoplasmic membrane protein TatB is an essential component of the Escherichia coli twin-arginine (Tat) protein translocation pathway. Together with the TatC component it forms a complex that functions as a membrane receptor for substrate proteins. Structural predictions suggest that TatB is anchored to the membrane via an N-terminal transmembrane alpha-helix that precedes an amphipathic alpha-helical section of the protein. From truncation analysis it is known that both these regions of the protein are essential for function. Here we construct 31 unique cysteine substitutions in the first 42 residues of TatB. Each of the substitutions results in a TatB protein that is competent to support Tat-dependent protein translocation. Oxidant-induced disulfide cross-linking shows that both the N-terminal and amphipathic helices form contacts with at least one other TatB protomer. For the transmembrane helix these contacts are localized to one face of the helix. Molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulations provide insight into the possible structural basis of the transmembrane helix interactions. Using variants with double cysteine substitutions in the transmembrane helix, we were able to detect cross-links between up to five TatB molecules. Protein purification showed that species containing at least four cross-linked TatB molecules are found in correctly assembled TatBC complexes. Our results suggest that the transmembrane helices of TatB protomers are in the center rather than the periphery of the TatBC complex.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2006; 281(45):34072-85. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Formate dehydrogenase N (FDH-N) of Escherichia coli is a membrane-bound enzyme comprising FdnG, FdnH, and FdnI subunits organized in an (alphabetagamma)3 configuration. The FdnG subunit carries a Tat-dependent signal peptide, which localizes the protein complex to the periplasmic side of the membrane. We noted that substitution of the first arginine (R5) in the twin arginine signal sequence of FdnG for a variety of other amino acids resulted in a dramatic (up to 60-fold) increase in the levels of protein synthesized. Bioinformatic analysis suggested that the mRNA specifying the first 17 codons of fdnG forms a stable stem-loop structure. A detailed mutational analysis has demonstrated the importance of this mRNA stem-loop in modulating FDH-N translation.
Journal of Bacteriology 10/2004; 186(18):6311-5. · 3.19 Impact Factor