The Staphylococcus aureus agr quorum-sensing system plays a major role in the transition from the persistent to the virulent phenotype. S. aureus agr type I to IV strains are characterized by mutations in the sensor domain of the histidine kinase AgrC and differences in the sequences of the secreted autoinducing peptides (AIP). Here we demonstrate that interactions between the cytosolic domain of AgrC (AgrCCyto) and the response regulator domain of AgrA (AgrARR) dictate the spontaneity of the cellular response to AIP stimuli. The crystal structure of AgrCCyto provided a basis for a mechanistic model of AgrC-AgrA interactions. This model enabled an analysis of the biochemical and biophysical parameters of AgrC-AgrA interactions in the context of the conformational features of the AgrC-AgrA complex. This analysis revealed distinct sequence and conformational features that determine the affinity, specificity, and kinetics of the phosphotransfer reaction. This step, which governs the response time for transcriptional reengineering triggered by an AIP stimulus, is independent of the agr type and similar for agonist and antagonist stimuli. These experimental data could serve as a basis on which to validate simulations of the quorum-sensing response and for strategies that employ the agr quorum-sensing system to combat biofilm formation in S. aureus infections.
Abstract Significance: The bi-domain protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) exemplify functional evolution in signaling proteins for optimal spatiotemporal signal transduction. Bi-domain PTPs are products of gene duplication. The catalytic activity, however, is often localized to one PTP domain. The inactive PTP domain adopts multiple functional roles. These include modulation of catalytic activity, substrate specificity, and stability of the bi-domain enzyme. In some cases, the inactive PTP domain is a receptor for redox stimuli. Since multiple bi-domain PTPs are concurrently active in related cellular pathways, a stringent regulatory mechanism and selective cross-talk is essential to ensure fidelity in signal transduction. Recent Advances: The inactive PTP domain is an activator for the catalytic PTP domain in some cases, whereas it reduces catalytic activity in other bi-domain PTPs. The relative orientation of the two domains provides a conformational rationale for this regulatory mechanism. Recent structural and biochemical data reveal that these PTP domains participate in substrate recruitment. The inactive PTP domain has also been demonstrated to undergo substantial conformational rearrangement and oligomerization under oxidative stress. Critical Issues and Future Directions: The role of the inactive PTP domain in coupling environmental stimuli with catalytic activity needs to be further examined. Another aspect that merits attention is the role of this domain in substrate recruitment. These aspects have been poorly characterized in vivo. These lacunae currently restrict our understanding of neo-functionalization of the inactive PTP domain in the bi-domain enzyme. It appears likely that more data from these research themes could form the basis for understanding the fidelity in intracellular signal transduction. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00: 000-000.
Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive nosocomial pathogen. The prevalence of multidrug-resistant S. aureus strains in both hospital and community settings makes it imperative to characterize new drug targets to combat S. aureus infections. In this context, enzymes involved in cell-wall maintenance and essential amino-acid biosynthesis are significant drug targets. Homoserine dehydrogenase (HSD) is an oxidoreductase that is involved in the reversible conversion of L-aspartate semialdehyde to L-homoserine in a dinucleotide cofactor-dependent reduction reaction. HSD is thus a crucial intermediate enzyme linked to the biosynthesis of several essential amino acids such as lysine, methionine, isoleucine and threonine.
The relative levels of different ? factors dictate the expression profile of a bacterium. Extracytoplasmic function ? factors synchronize the transcriptional profile with environmental conditions. The cellular concentration of free extracytoplasmic function ? factors is regulated by the localization of this protein in a ?/anti-? complex. Anti-? factors are multi-domain proteins with a receptor to sense environmental stimuli and a conserved anti-? domain (ASD) that binds a ? factor. Here we describe the structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis anti-?(D) (RsdA) in complex with the -35 promoter binding domain of ?(D) (?(D)4). We note distinct conformational features that enable the release of ?(D) by the selective proteolysis of the ASD in RsdA. The structural and biochemical features of the ?(D)/RsdA complex provide a basis to reconcile diverse regulatory mechanisms that govern ?/anti-? interactions despite high overall structural similarity. Multiple regulatory mechanisms embedded in an ASD scaffold thus provide an elegant route to rapidly re-engineer the expression profile of a bacterium in response to an environmental stimulus.
Among the many different objectives of large scale structural genomics projects are expanding the protein fold space, enhancing understanding of a model or disease-related organism, and providing foundations for structure-based drug discovery. Systematic analysis of protein structures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been ongoing towards meeting some of these objectives. Indian participation in these efforts has been enthusiastic and substantial. The proteins of M. tuberculosis chosen for structural analysis by the Indian groups span almost all the functional categories. The structures determined by the Indian groups have led to significant improvement in the biochemical knowledge on these proteins and consequently have started providing useful insights into the biology of M. tuberculosis. Moreover, these structures form starting points for inhibitor design studies, early results of which are encouraging. The progress made by Indian structural biologists in determining structures of M. tuberculosis proteins is highlighted in this review.
Signal transduction events often involve transient, yet specific, interactions between structurally conserved protein domains and polypeptide sequences in target proteins. The identification and validation of these associating domains is crucial to understand signal transduction pathways that modulate different cellular or developmental processes. Bioinformatics strategies to extract and integrate information from diverse sources have been shown to facilitate the experimental design to understand complex biological events. These methods, primarily based on information from high-throughput experiments, have also led to the identification of new connections thus providing hypothetical models for cellular events. Such models, in turn, provide a framework for directing experimental efforts for validating the predicted molecular rationale for complex cellular processes. In this context, it is envisaged that the rational design of peptides for protein-peptide binding studies could substantially facilitate the experimental strategies to evaluate a predicted interaction. This rational design procedure involves the integration of protein-protein interaction data, gene ontology, physico-chemical calculations, domain-domain interaction data and information on functional sites or critical residues.
Proteases belonging to the M20 family are characterized by diverse substrate specificity and participate in several metabolic pathways. The Staphylococcus aureus metallopeptidase, Sapep, is a member of the aminoacylase-I/M20 protein family. This protein is a Mn(2+)-dependent dipeptidase. The crystal structure of this protein in the Mn(2+)-bound form and in the open, metal-free state suggests that large interdomain movements could potentially regulate the activity of this enzyme. We note that the extended inactive conformation is stabilized by a disulfide bond in the vicinity of the active site. Although these cysteines, Cys(155) and Cys(178), are not active site residues, the reduced form of this enzyme is substantially more active as a dipeptidase. These findings acquire further relevance given a recent observation that this enzyme is only active in methicillin-resistant S. aureus. The structural and biochemical features of this enzyme provide a template for the design of novel methicillin-resistant S. aureus-specific therapeutics.
Bacilysin is a non-ribosomally synthesized dipeptide antibiotic that is active against a wide range of bacteria and some fungi. Synthesis of bacilysin (l-alanine-[2,3-epoxycyclohexano-4]-l-alanine) is achieved by proteins in the bac operon, also referred to as the bacABCDE (ywfBCDEF) gene cluster in B. subtilis. Extensive genetic analysis from several strains of B. subtilis suggests that the bacABC gene cluster encodes all the proteins that synthesize the epoxyhexanone ring of l-anticapsin. These data, however, were not consistent with the putative functional annotation for these proteins whereby BacA, a prephenate dehydratase along with a potential isomerase/guanylyl transferase, BacB and an oxidoreductase, BacC, could synthesize l-anticapsin. Here we demonstrate that BacA is a decarboxylase that acts on prephenate. Further, based on the biochemical characterization and the crystal structure of BacB, we show that BacB is an oxidase that catalyzes the synthesis of 2-oxo-3-(4-oxocyclohexa-2,5-dienyl)propanoic acid, a precursor to l-anticapsin. This protein is a bi-cupin, with two putative active sites each containing a bound metal ion. Additional electron density at the active site of the C-terminal domain of BacB could be interpreted as a bound phenylpyruvic acid. A significant decrease in the catalytic activity of a point variant of BacB with a mutation at the N-terminal domain suggests that the N-terminal cupin domain is involved in catalysis.
The members of cupin superfamily exhibit large variations in their sequences, functions, organization of domains, quaternary associations and the nature of bound metal ion, despite having a conserved beta-barrel structural scaffold. Here, an attempt has been made to understand structure-function relationships among the members of this diverse superfamily and identify the principles governing functional diversity. The cupin superfamily also contains proteins for which the structures are available through world-wide structural genomics initiatives but characterized as "hypothetical". We have explored the feasibility of obtaining clues to functions of such proteins by means of comparative analysis with cupins of known structure and function.
Experimental conditions or the presence of interacting components can lead to variations in the structural models of macromolecules. However, the role of these factors in conformational selection is often omitted by in silico methods to extract dynamic information from protein structural models. Structures of small peptides, considered building blocks for larger macromolecular structural models, can substantially differ in the context of a larger protein. This limitation is more evident in the case of modeling large multi-subunit macromolecular complexes using structures of the individual protein components. Here we report an analysis of variations in structural models of proteins with high sequence similarity. These models were analyzed for sequence features of the protein, the role of scaffolding segments including interacting proteins or affinity tags and the chemical components in the experimental conditions. Conformational features in these structural models could be rationalized by conformational selection events, perhaps induced by experimental conditions. This analysis was performed on a non-redundant dataset of protein structures from different SCOP classes. The sequence-conformation correlations that we note here suggest additional features that could be incorporated by in silico methods to extract dynamic information from protein structural models.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.