All bactericidal antibiotics were recently proposed to kill by inducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, causing destabilization of iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters and generating Fenton chemistry. We find that the ROS response is dispensable upon treatment with bactericidal antibiotics. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Fe-S clusters are required for killing only by aminoglycosides. In contrast to cells, using the major Fe-S cluster biosynthesis machinery, ISC, cells using the alternative machinery, SUF, cannot efficiently mature respiratory complexes I and II, resulting in impendence of the proton motive force (PMF), which is required for bactericidal aminoglycoside uptake. Similarly, during iron limitation, cells become intrinsically resistant to aminoglycosides by switching from ISC to SUF and down-regulating both respiratory complexes. We conclude that Fe-S proteins promote aminoglycoside killing by enabling their uptake.
A novel class of molecular chaperones co-ordinates the assembly and targeting of complex metalloproteins by binding to an amino-terminal peptide of the cognate substrate. We have previously shown that the NarJ chaperone interacts with the N-terminus of the NarG subunit coming from the nitrate reductase complex, NarGHI. In the present study, NMR structural analysis revealed that the NarG(1-15) peptide adopts an alpha-helical conformation in solution. Moreover, NarJ recognizes and binds the helical NarG(1-15) peptide mostly via hydrophobic interactions as deduced from isothermal titration calorimetry analysis. NMR and differential scanning calorimetry analysis revealed a modification of NarJ conformation during complex formation with the NarG(1-15) peptide. Isothermal titration calorimetry and BIAcore experiments support a model whereby the protonated state of the chaperone controls the time dependence of peptide interaction.
DNA double-strand breaks pose a significant threat to cell survival and must be repaired. In higher eukaryotes, such damage is repaired efficiently by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). Within this pathway, XRCC4 and XLF fulfill key roles required for end joining. Using DNA-binding and -bridging assays, combined with direct visualization, we present evidence for how XRCC4-XLF complexes robustly bridge DNA molecules. This unanticipated, DNA Ligase IV-independent bridging activity by XRCC4-XLF suggests an early role for this complex during end joining, in addition to its more well-established later functions. Mutational analysis of the XRCC4-XLF C-terminal tail regions further identifies specialized functions in complex formation and interaction with DNA and DNA Ligase IV. Based on these data and the crystal structure of an extended protein filament of XRCC4-XLF at 3.94?Å, a model for XRCC4-XLF complex function in NHEJ is presented.
XRCC4 and XLF are structurally related proteins important for DNA Ligase IV function. XRCC4 forms a tight complex with DNA Ligase IV while XLF interacts directly with XRCC4. Both XRCC4 and XLF form homodimers that can polymerize as heterotypic filaments independently of DNA Ligase IV. Emerging structural and in vitro biochemical data suggest that XRCC4 and XLF together generate a filamentous structure that promotes bridging between DNA molecules. Here, we show that ablating XRCC4s affinity for XLF results in DNA repair deficits including a surprising deficit in VDJ coding, but not signal end joining. These data are consistent with a model whereby XRCC4/XLF complexes hold DNA ends together--stringently required for coding end joining, but dispensable for signal end joining. Finally, DNA-PK phosphorylation of XRCC4/XLF complexes disrupt DNA bridging in vitro, suggesting a regulatory role for DNA-PKs phosphorylation of XRCC4/XLF complexes.
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