Structure and Insight into Blue Light-Induced Changes in the BlrP1 BLUF Domain

Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-8816, USA.
Biochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.02). 03/2009; 48(12):2620-9. DOI: 10.1021/bi802237r
Source: PubMed


BLUF domains (sensors of blue light using flavin adenine dinucleotide) are a group of flavin-containing blue light photosensory domains from a variety of bacterial and algal proteins. While spectroscopic studies have indicated that these domains reorganize their interactions with an internally bound chromophore upon illumination, it remains unclear how these are converted into structural and functional changes. To address this, we have solved the solution structure of the BLUF domain from Klebsiella pneumoniae BlrP1, a light-activated c-di-guanosine 5'-monophosphate phosphodiesterase which consists of a sensory BLUF and a catalytic EAL (Glu-Ala-Leu) domain [Schmidt et. al. (2008) J. Bacteriol. 187, 4774-4781]. Our dark state structure of the sensory domain shows that it adopts a standard BLUF domain fold followed by two C-terminal alpha helices which adopt a novel orientation with respect to the rest of the domain. Comparison of NMR spectra acquired under dark and light conditions suggests that residues throughout the BlrP1 BLUF domain undergo significant light-induced chemical shift changes, including sites clustered on the beta(4)beta(5) loop, beta(5) strand, and alpha(3)alpha(4) loop. Given that these changes were observed at several sites on the helical cap, over 15 A from chromophore, our data suggest a long-range signal transduction process in BLUF domains.

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    • ", 2006 ; Barends et al . , 2009 ; Wu and Gardner , 2009 ; Ren et al . , 2012 ) . "
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    ABSTRACT: The resting and signaling structures of the blue-light sensing using flavin (BLUF) photoreceptor domains are still controversially debated due to differences in the molecular models obtained by crystal and NMR structures. Photocycles for the given preferred structural framework have been established, but a unifying picture combining experiment and theory remains elusive. We summarize present work on the AppA BLUF domain from both experiment and theory. We focus on IR and UV/vis spectra, and to what extent theory was able to reproduce experimental data and predict the structural changes upon formation of the signaling state. We find that the experimental observables can be theoretically reproduced employing any structural model, as long as the orientation of the signaling essential Gln63 and its tautomer state are a choice of the modeler. We also observe that few approaches are comparative, e.g. by considering all structures in the same context. Based on recent experimental findings and a few basic calculations, we suggest the possibility for a BLUF activation mechanism that only relies on electron transfer and its effect on the local electrostatics, not requiring an associated proton transfer. In this regard, we investigate the impact of dispersion correction on the interaction energies arising from weakly bound amino acids.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
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    • ", 2001 ; Yuan et al . , 2006 ; Wu and Gardner , 2009 ) . Despite these initial achievements in unraveling signal - transduction pathways , several major questions regarding these secondary steps in photoreception remain unanswered : Up to now , the interaction between individual multi - domain photoreceptors ( e . "
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    ABSTRACT: Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is a well-established spectroscopic method for the examination of paramagnetic molecules. Proteins can contain paramagnetic moieties in form of stable cofactors, transiently formed intermediates, or spin labels artificially introduced to cysteine sites. The focus of this review is to evaluate potential scopes of application of EPR to the emerging field of optogenetics. The main objective for EPR spectroscopy in this context is to unravel the complex mechanisms of light-active proteins, from their primary photoreaction to downstream signal transduction. An overview of recent results from the family of flavin-containing, blue-light dependent photoreceptors is given. In detail, mechanistic similarities and differences are condensed from the three classes of flavoproteins, the cryptochromes, LOV (Light-oxygen-voltage), and BLUF (blue-light using FAD) domains. Additionally, a concept that includes spin-labeled proteins and examination using modern pulsed EPR is introduced, which allows for a precise mapping of light-induced conformational changes.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Frontiers in Bioscience
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    • "In the second case, complex formation is necessary, but not sufficient, for signal transduction of the information initially encoded in blue light that is transmitted by a BLUF protein. The crystal and solution structures of several BLUF proteins have been determined (Anderson et al. 2005, Jung et al. 2005, Kita et al. 2005, Grinstead et al. 2006, Jung et al. 2006, Yuan et al. 2006, Barends et al. 2009, Wu and Gardner 2009). Although the overall structures of the core BLUF regions (the two N-terminal a-helices and the five-stranded b-sheet) are not very different for the proteins, two distinct conformations have been found for their C-terminal regions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Blue light-using flavin (BLUF) proteins form a subfamily of blue light photoreceptors, are found in many bacteria and algae, and are further classified according to their structures. For one type of BLUF-containing protein, e.g. PixD, the central axes of its two C-terminal α-helices are perpendicular to the β-sheet of its N-terminal BLUF domain. For another type, e.g. PapB, the central axes of its two C-terminal α-helices are parallel to its BLUF domain β-sheet. However, the functional significance of the different orientations with respect to phototransduction is not clear. For the study reported herein, we constructed a chimeric protein, Pix0522, containing the core of the PixD BLUF domain and the C-terminal region of PapB, including the two α-helices, and characterized its biochemical and spectroscopic properties. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy detected similar light-induced conformational changes in the C-terminal α-helices of Pix0522 and PapB. Pix0522 interacts with and activates the PapB-interacting enzyme, PapA, demonstrating the functionality of Pix0522. These results provide direct evidence that the BLUF C-terminal α-helices function as an intermediary that accepts the flavin-sensed blue light signal and transmits it downstream during phototransduction.
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