Xiaoqing Li

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

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Publications (16)87.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains a major cause of death due to the lack of treatment accessibility, HIV coinfection, and drug resistance. Development of new drugs targeting previously unexplored pathways is essential to shorten treatment time and eliminate persistent M. tuberculosis. A promising biochemical pathway which may be targeted to kill both replicating and nonreplicating M. tuberculosis is the biosynthesis of NAD(H), an essential cofactor in multiple reactions crucial for respiration, redox balance, and biosynthesis of major building blocks. NaMN adenylyltransferase (NadD) and NAD synthetase (NadE), the key enzymes of NAD biosynthesis, were selected as promising candidate drug targets for M. tuberculosis. Here we report for the first time kinetic characterization of the recombinant purified NadD enzyme, setting the stage for its structural analysis and inhibitor development. A protein knockdown approach was applied to validate bothNadD and NadE as target enzymes. Induced degradation of either target enzyme showed a strong bactericidal effect which coincided with anticipated changes in relative levels of NaMN and NaAD intermediates (substrates of NadD and NadE, respectively) and ultimate depletion of the NAD(H) pool. A metabolic catastrophe predicted as a likely result of NAD(H) deprivation of cellular metabolism was confirmed by (13)C biosynthetic labeling followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. A sharp suppression of metabolic flux was observed in multiple NAD(P)(H)-dependent pathways, including synthesis of many amino acids (serine, proline, aromatic amino acids) and fatty acids. Overall, these results provide strong validation of the essential NAD biosynthetic enzymes, NadD and NadE, as antimycobacterial drug targets. IMPORTANCE To address the problems of M. tuberculosis drug resistance and persistence of tuberculosis, new classes of drug targets need to be explored. The biogenesis of NAD cofactors was selected for target validation because of their indispensable role in driving hundreds of biochemical transformations. We hypothesized that the disruption of NAD production in the cell via genetic suppression of the essential enzymes (NadD and NadE) involved in the last two steps of NAD biogenesis would lead to cell death, even under dormancy conditions. In this study, we confirmed the hypothesis using a protein knockdown approach in the model system of Mycobacterium smegmatis. We showed that induced proteolytic degradation of either target enzyme leads to depletion of the NAD cofactor pool, which suppresses metabolic flux through numerous NAD(P)-dependent pathways of central metabolism of carbon and energy production. Remarkably, bactericidal effect was observed even for nondividing bacteria cultivated under carbon starvation conditions.
    mBio 01/2014; 5(1). · 5.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sulphur is an essential element in the metabolism. The sulphur-containing amino acid methionine is a metabolic precursor for S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), which serves as a coenzyme for ubiquitous methyltrtansferases. Recycling of organic sulphur compounds, e.g. via the SAM cycle, is an important metabolic process that needs to be tightly regulated. Knowledge about transcriptional regulation of these processes is still limited for many free-living bacteria. We identified a novel transcription factor SahR from the ArsR family that controls the SAM cycle genes in diverse microorganisms from soil and aquatic ecosystems. By using comparative genomics, we predicted SahR-binding DNA motifs and reconstructed SahR regulons in the genomes of 62 Proteobacteria. The conserved core of SahR regulons includes all enzymes required for the SAM cycle: the SAH hydrolase AhcY, the methionine biosynthesis enzymes MetE/MetH and MetF, and the SAM synthetase MetK. By using a combination of experimental techniques, we validated the SahR regulon in the sulphate-reducing Deltaproteobacterium Desulfovibrio alaskensis. SahR functions as a negative regulator that responds to the S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH). The elevated SAH level in the cell dissociates SahR from its DNA operators and induces the expression of SAM cycle genes. The effector-sensing domain in SahR is related to SAM-dependent methylases that are able to tightly bind SAH. SahR represents a novel type of transcriptional regulators for the control of sulphur amino acid metabolism.
    Environmental Microbiology 10/2013; · 6.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: L-rhamnose (L-Rha) is a deoxy-hexose sugar commonly found in nature. L-Rha catabolic pathways were previously characterized in various bacteria including Escherichia coli. Nevertheless, homology searches failed to recognize all the genes for the complete L-Rha utilization pathways in diverse microbial species involved in biomass decomposition. Moreover, the regulatory mechanisms of L-Rha catabolism have remained unclear in most species. A comparative genomics approach was used to reconstruct the L-Rha catabolic pathways and transcriptional regulons in the phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Thermotogae. The reconstructed pathways include multiple novel enzymes and transporters involved in the utilization of L-Rha and L-Rha-containing polymers. Large-scale regulon inference using bioinformatics revealed remarkable variations in transcriptional regulators for L-Rha utilization genes among bacteria. A novel bifunctional enzyme, L-rhamnulose-phosphate aldolase (RhaE) fused to L-lactaldehyde dehydrogenase (RhaW), which is not homologous to previously characterized L-Rha catabolic enzymes, was identified in diverse bacteria including Chloroflexi, Bacilli, and Alphaproteobacteria. By using in vitro biochemical assays we validated both enzymatic activities of the purified recombinant RhaEW proteins from Chloroflexus aurantiacus and Bacillus subtilis. Another novel enzyme of the L-Rha catabolism, L-lactaldehyde reductase (RhaZ), was identified in Gammaproteobacteria and experimentally validated by in vitro enzymatic assays using the recombinant protein from Salmonella typhimurium. C. aurantiacus induced transcription of the predicted L-Rha utilization genes when L-Rha was present in the growth medium and consumed L-Rha from the medium. This study provided comprehensive insights to L-Rha catabolism and its regulation in diverse Bacteria.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 01/2013; 4:407. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperthermophilic bacteria from the Thermotogales lineage can produce hydrogen by fermenting a wide range of carbohydrates. Previous experimental studies identified a large fraction of genes committed to carbohydrate degradation and utilization in the model bacterium Thermotoga maritima. Knowledge of these genes enabled comprehensive reconstruction of biochemical pathways comprising the carbohydrate utilization network. However, transcriptional factors (TFs) and regulatory mechanisms driving this network remained largely unknown. Here, we used an integrated approach based on comparative analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data for the reconstruction of the carbohydrate utilization regulatory networks in 11 Thermotogales genomes. We identified DNA-binding motifs and regulons for 19 orthologous TFs in the Thermotogales. The inferred regulatory network in T. maritima contains 181 genes encoding TFs, sugar catabolic enzymes and ABC-family transporters. In contrast to many previously described bacteria, a transcriptional regulation strategy of Thermotoga does not employ global regulatory factors. The reconstructed regulatory network in T. maritima was validated by gene expression profiling on a panel of mono- and disaccharides and by in vitro DNA-binding assays. The observed upregulation of genes involved in catabolism of pectin, trehalose, cellobiose, arabinose, rhamnose, xylose, glucose, galactose, and ribose showed a strong correlation with the UxaR, TreR, BglR, CelR, AraR, RhaR, XylR, GluR, GalR, and RbsR regulons. Ultimately, this study elucidated the transcriptional regulatory network and mechanisms controlling expression of carbohydrate utilization genes in T. maritima. In addition to improving the functional annotations of associated transporters and catabolic enzymes, this research provides novel insights into the evolution of regulatory networks in Thermotogales.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 01/2013; 4:244. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Large and functionally heterogeneous families of transcription factors have complex evolutionary histories. What shapes specificities toward effectors and DNA sites in paralogous regulators is a fundamental question in biology. Bacteria from the deep-branching lineage Thermotogae possess multiple paralogs of the repressor, open reading frame, kinase (ROK) family regulators that are characterized by carbohydrate-sensing domains shared with sugar kinases. We applied an integrated genomic approach to study functions and specificities of regulators from this family. A comparative analysis of 11 Thermotogae genomes revealed novel mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of the sugar utilization networks, DNA-binding motifs and specific functions. Reconstructed regulons for seven groups of ROK regulators were validated by DNA-binding assays using purified recombinant proteins from the model bacterium Thermotoga maritima. All tested regulators demonstrated specific binding to their predicted cognate DNA sites, and this binding was inhibited by specific effectors, mono- or disaccharides from their respective sugar catabolic pathways. By comparing ligand-binding domains of regulators with structurally characterized kinases from the ROK family, we elucidated signature amino acid residues determining sugar-ligand regulator specificity. Observed correlations between signature residues and the sugar-ligand specificities provide the framework for structure functional classification of the entire ROK family.
    Nucleic Acids Research 12/2012; · 8.81 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: Redox-sensing repressor Rex was previously implicated in the control of anaerobic respiration in response to the cellular NADH/NAD(+) levels in gram-positive bacteria. We utilized the comparative genomics approach to infer candidate Rex-binding DNA motifs and assess the Rex regulon content in 119 genomes from 11 taxonomic groups. Both DNA-binding and NAD-sensing domains are broadly conserved in Rex orthologs identified in the phyla Firmicutes, Thermotogales, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Deinococcus-Thermus, and Proteobacteria. The identified DNA-binding motifs showed significant conservation in these species, with the only exception detected in Clostridia, where the Rex motif deviates in two positions from the generalized consensus, TTGTGAANNNNTTCACAA. Comparative analysis of candidate Rex sites revealed remarkable variations in functional repertoires of candidate Rex-regulated genes in various microorganisms. Most of the reconstructed regulatory interactions are lineage specific, suggesting frequent events of gain and loss of regulator binding sites in the evolution of Rex regulons. We identified more than 50 novel Rex-regulated operons encoding functions that are essential for resumption of the NADH:NAD(+) balance. The novel functional role of Rex in the control of the central carbon metabolism and hydrogen production genes was validated by in vitro DNA binding assays using the TM0169 protein in the hydrogen-producing bacterium Thermotoga maritima.
    Journal of bacteriology 12/2011; 194(5):1145-57. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacteria exploit multiple mechanisms for controlling central carbon metabolism (CCM). Thus, a bioinformatic analysis together with some experimental data implicated the HexR transcriptional factor as a global CCM regulator in some lineages of Gammaproteobacteria operating as a functional replacement of the Cra regulator characteristic of Enterobacteriales. In this study, we combined a large scale comparative genomic reconstruction of HexR-controlled regulons in 87 species of Proteobacteria with the detailed experimental analysis of the HexR regulatory network in the Shewanella oneidensis model system. Although nearly all of the HexR-controlled genes are associated with CCM, remarkable variations were revealed in the scale (from 1 to 2 target operons in Enterobacteriales up to 20 operons in Aeromonadales) and gene content of HexR regulons between 11 compared lineages. A predicted 17-bp pseudo-palindrome with a consensus tTGTAATwwwATTACa was confirmed as a HexR-binding motif for 15 target operons (comprising 30 genes) by in vitro binding assays. The negative effect of the key CCM intermediate, 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate, on the DNA-regulator complex formation was verified. A dual mode of HexR action on various target promoters, repression of genes involved in catabolic pathways and activation of gluconeogenic genes, was for the first time predicted by the bioinformatic analysis and experimentally verified by changed gene expression pattern in S. oneidensis ΔhexR mutant. Phenotypic profiling revealed the inability of this mutant to grow on lactate or pyruvate as a single carbon source. A comparative metabolic flux analysis of wild-type and mutant strains of S. oneidensis using [(13)C]lactate labeling and GC-MS analysis confirmed the hypothesized HexR role as a master regulator of gluconeogenic flux from pyruvate via the transcriptional activation of phosphoenolpyruvate synthase (PpsA).
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2011; 286(41):35782-94. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genome-scale prediction of gene regulation and reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in bacteria is one of the critical tasks of modern genomics. The Shewanella genus is comprised of metabolically versatile gamma-proteobacteria, whose lifestyles and natural environments are substantially different from Escherichia coli and other model bacterial species. The comparative genomics approaches and computational identification of regulatory sites are useful for the in silico reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in bacteria. To explore conservation and variations in the Shewanella transcriptional networks we analyzed the repertoire of transcription factors and performed genomics-based reconstruction and comparative analysis of regulons in 16 Shewanella genomes. The inferred regulatory network includes 82 transcription factors and their DNA binding sites, 8 riboswitches and 6 translational attenuators. Forty five regulons were newly inferred from the genome context analysis, whereas others were propagated from previously characterized regulons in the Enterobacteria and Pseudomonas spp.. Multiple variations in regulatory strategies between the Shewanella spp. and E. coli include regulon contraction and expansion (as in the case of PdhR, HexR, FadR), numerous cases of recruiting non-orthologous regulators to control equivalent pathways (e.g. PsrA for fatty acid degradation) and, conversely, orthologous regulators to control distinct pathways (e.g. TyrR, ArgR, Crp). We tentatively defined the first reference collection of ~100 transcriptional regulons in 16 Shewanella genomes. The resulting regulatory network contains ~600 regulated genes per genome that are mostly involved in metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, metals, and stress responses. Several reconstructed regulons including NagR for N-acetylglucosamine catabolism were experimentally validated in S. oneidensis MR-1. Analysis of correlations in gene expression patterns helps to interpret the reconstructed regulatory network. The inferred regulatory interactions will provide an additional regulatory constrains for an integrated model of metabolism and regulation in S. oneidensis MR-1.
    BMC Genomics 01/2011; 12 Suppl 1:S3. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Carbohydrates are a primary source of carbon and energy for many bacteria. Accurate projection of known carbohydrate catabolic pathways across diverse bacteria with complete genomes constitutes a substantial challenge due to frequent variations in components of these pathways. To address a practically and fundamentally important challenge of reconstruction of carbohydrate utilization machinery in any microorganism directly from its genomic sequence, we combined a subsystems-based comparative genomic approach with experimental validation of selected bioinformatic predictions by a combination of biochemical, genetic and physiological experiments. We applied this integrated approach to systematically map carbohydrate utilization pathways in 19 genomes from the Shewanella genus. The obtained genomic encyclopedia of sugar utilization includes ~170 protein families (mostly metabolic enzymes, transporters and transcriptional regulators) spanning 17 distinct pathways with a mosaic distribution across Shewanella species providing insights into their ecophysiology and adaptive evolution. Phenotypic assays revealed a remarkable consistency between predicted and observed phenotype, an ability to utilize an individual sugar as a sole source of carbon and energy, over the entire matrix of tested strains and sugars.Comparison of the reconstructed catabolic pathways with E. coli identified multiple differences that are manifested at various levels, from the presence or absence of certain sugar catabolic pathways, nonorthologous gene replacements and alternative biochemical routes to a different organization of transcription regulatory networks. The reconstructed sugar catabolome in Shewanella spp includes 62 novel isofunctional families of enzymes, transporters, and regulators. In addition to improving our knowledge of genomics and functional organization of carbohydrate utilization in Shewanella, this study led to a substantial expansion of our current version of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Carbohydrate Utilization. A systematic and iterative application of this approach to multiple taxonomic groups of bacteria will further enhance it, creating a knowledge base adequate for the efficient analysis of any newly sequenced genome as well as of the emerging metagenomic data.
    BMC Genomics 01/2010; 11:494. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Background Carbohydrates are a primary source of carbon and energy for many bacteria. Accurate projection of known carbohydrate catabolic pathways across diverse bacteria with complete genomes constitutes a substantial challenge due to frequent variations in components of these pathways. To address a practically and fundamentally important challenge of reconstruction of carbohydrate utilization machinery in any microorganism directly from its genomic sequence, we combined a subsystems-based comparative genomic approach with experimental validation of selected bioinformatic predictions by a combination of biochemical, genetic and physiological experiments. Results We applied this integrated approach to systematically map carbohydrate utilization pathways in 19 genomes from the Shewanella genus. The obtained genomic encyclopedia of sugar utilization includes ~170 protein families (mostly metabolic enzymes, transporters and transcriptional regulators) spanning 17 distinct pathways with a mosaic distribution across Shewanella species providing insights into their ecophysiology and adaptive evolution. Phenotypic assays revealed a remarkable consistency between predicted and observed phenotype, an ability to utilize an individual sugar as a sole source of carbon and energy, over the entire matrix of tested strains and sugars. Comparison of the reconstructed catabolic pathways with E. coli identified multiple differences that are manifested at various levels, from the presence or absence of certain sugar catabolic pathways, nonorthologous gene replacements and alternative biochemical routes to a different organization of transcription regulatory networks. Conclusions The reconstructed sugar catabolome in Shewanella spp includes 62 novel isofunctional families of enzymes, transporters, and regulators. In addition to improving our knowledge of genomics and functional organization of carbohydrate utilization in Shewanella, this study led to a substantial expansion of our current version of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Carbohydrate Utilization. A systematic and iterative application of this approach to multiple taxonomic groups of bacteria will further enhance it, creating a knowledge base adequate for the efficient analysis of any newly sequenced genome as well as of the emerging metagenomic data.
    BMC Genomics 01/2010; · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to use lactate as a sole source of carbon and energy is one of the key metabolic signatures of Shewanellae, a diverse group of dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria commonly found in aquatic and sedimentary environments. Nonetheless, homology searches failed to recognize orthologs of previously described bacterial d- or l-lactate oxidizing enzymes (Escherichia coli genes dld and lldD) in any of the 13 analyzed genomes of Shewanella spp. By using comparative genomic techniques, we identified a conserved chromosomal gene cluster in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 (locus tag: SO_1522-SO_1518) containing lactate permease and candidate genes for both d- and l-lactate dehydrogenase enzymes. The predicted d-LDH gene (dld-II, SO_1521) is a distant homolog of FAD-dependent lactate dehydrogenase from yeast, whereas the predicted l-LDH is encoded by 3 genes with previously unknown functions (lldEGF, SO_1520-SO_1518). Through a combination of genetic and biochemical techniques, we experimentally confirmed the predicted physiological role of these novel genes in S. oneidensis MR-1 and carried out successful functional validation studies in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. We conclusively showed that dld-II and lldEFG encode fully functional d-and l-LDH enzymes, which catalyze the oxidation of the respective lactate stereoisomers to pyruvate. Notably, the S. oneidensis MR-1 LldEFG enzyme is a previously uncharacterized example of a multisubunit lactate oxidase. Comparative analysis of >400 bacterial species revealed the presence of LldEFG and Dld-II in a broad range of diverse species accentuating the potential importance of these previously unknown proteins in microbial metabolism.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2009; 106(8):2874-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A comparative genomic approach was used to reconstruct transcriptional regulation of NAD biosynthesis in bacteria containing orthologs of Bacillus subtilis gene yrxA, a previously identified niacin-responsive repressor of NAD de novo synthesis. Members of YrxA family (re-named here NiaR) are broadly conserved in the Bacillus/Clostridium group and in the deeply branching Fusobacteria and Thermotogales lineages. We analyzed upstream regions of genes associated with NAD biosynthesis to identify candidate NiaR-binding DNA motifs and assess the NiaR regulon content in these species. Representatives of the two distinct types of candidate NiaR-binding sites, characteristic of the Firmicutes and Thermotogales, were verified by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. In addition to transcriptional control of the nadABC genes, the NiaR regulon in some species extends to niacin salvage (the pncAB genes) and includes uncharacterized membrane proteins possibly involved in niacin transport. The involvement in niacin uptake proposed for one of these proteins (re-named NiaP), encoded by the B. subtilis gene yceI, was experimentally verified. In addition to bacteria, members of the NiaP family are conserved in multicellular eukaryotes, including human, pointing to possible NaiP involvement in niacin utilization in these organisms. Overall, the analysis of the NiaR and NrtR regulons (described in the accompanying paper) revealed mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of NAD metabolism in nearly a hundred diverse bacteria.
    Nucleic Acids Research 05/2008; 36(6):2032-46. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Members of a novel glycerate-2-kinase (GK-II) family were tentatively identified in a broad range of species, including eukaryotes and archaea and many bacteria that lack a canonical enzyme of the GarK (GK-I) family. The recently reported three-dimensional structure of GK-II from Thermotoga maritima (TM1585; PDB code 2b8n) revealed a new fold distinct from other known kinase families. Here, we verified the enzymatic activity of TM1585, assessed its kinetic characteristics, and used directed mutagenesis to confirm the essential role of the two active-site residues Lys-47 and Arg-325. The main objective of this study was to apply comparative genomics for the reconstruction of metabolic pathways associated with GK-II in all bacteria and, in particular, in T. maritima. Comparative analyses of approximately 400 bacterial genomes revealed a remarkable variety of pathways that lead to GK-II-driven utilization of glycerate via a glycolysis/gluconeogenesis route. In the case of T. maritima, a three-step serine degradation pathway was inferred based on the tentative identification of two additional enzymes, serine-pyruvate aminotransferase and hydroxypyruvate reductase (TM1400 and TM1401, respectively), that convert serine to glycerate via hydroxypyruvate. Both enzymatic activities were experimentally verified, and the entire pathway was validated by its in vitro reconstitution.
    Journal of bacteriology 04/2008; 190(5):1773-82. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial NadM-Nudix is a bifunctional enzyme containing a nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) adenylyltransferase and an ADP-ribose (ADPR) pyrophosphatase domain. While most members of this enzyme family, such as that from a model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp., are involved primarily in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) salvage/recycling pathways, its close homolog in a category-A biodefense pathogen, Francisella tularensis, likely plays a central role in a recently discovered novel pathway of NAD de novo synthesis. The crystal structures of NadM-Nudix from both species, including their complexes with various ligands and catalytic metal ions, revealed detailed configurations of the substrate binding and catalytic sites in both domains. The structure of the N-terminal NadM domain may be exploited for designing new antitularemia therapeutics. The ADPR binding site in the C-terminal Nudix domain is substantially different from that of Escherichia coli ADPR pyrophosphatase, and is more similar to human NUDT9. The latter observation provided new insights into the ligand binding mode of ADPR-gated Ca2+ channel TRPM2.
    Structure 03/2008; 16(2):196-209. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We used a comparative genomics approach implemented in the SEED annotation environment to reconstruct the chitin and GlcNAc utilization subsystem and regulatory network in most proteobacteria, including 11 species of Shewanella with completely sequenced genomes. Comparative analysis of candidate regulatory sites allowed us to characterize three different GlcNAc-specific regulons, NagC, NagR, and NagQ, in various proteobacteria and to tentatively assign a number of novel genes with specific functional roles, in particular new GlcNAc-related transport systems, to this subsystem. Genes SO3506 and SO3507, originally annotated as hypothetical in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, were suggested to encode novel variants of GlcN-6-P deaminase and GlcNAc kinase, respectively. Reconstitution of the GlcNAc catabolic pathway in vitro using these purified recombinant proteins and GlcNAc-6-P deacetylase (SO3505) validated the entire pathway. Kinetic characterization of GlcN-6-P deaminase demonstrated that it is the subject of allosteric activation by GlcNAc-6-P. Consistent with genomic data, all tested Shewanella strains except S. frigidimarina, which lacked representative genes for the GlcNAc metabolism, were capable of utilizing GlcNAc as the sole source of carbon and energy. This study expands the range of carbon substrates utilized by Shewanella spp., unambiguously identifies several genes involved in chitin metabolism, and describes a novel variant of the classical three-step biochemical conversion of GlcNAc to fructose 6-phosphate first described in Escherichia coli.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2006; 281(40):29872-85. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

228 Citations
87.39 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute
      • Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center
      La Jolla, California, United States
  • 2013
    • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2008–2012
    • Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences
      Shanghai, Shanghai Shi, China
  • 2011
    • The Institute for Information Transmission Problems
      Moskva, Moscow, Russia