In recent years, our understanding of the functioning of ABC (ATP-binding cassette) systems has been boosted by the combination of biochemical and structural approaches. However, the origin and the distribution of ABC proteins among living organisms are difficult to understand in a phylogenetic perspective, because it is hard to discriminate orthology and paralogy, due to the existence of horizontal gene transfer. In this chapter, I present an update of the classification of ABC systems and discuss a hypothetical scenario of their evolution. The hypothetical presence of ABC ATPases in the last common ancestor of modern organisms is discussed, as well as the additional possibility that ABC systems might have been transmitted to eukaryotes, after the two endosymbiosis events that led to the constitution of eukaryotic organelles. I update the functional information of selected ABC systems and introduce new families of ABC proteins that have been included recently into this vast superfamily, thanks to the availability of high-resolution three-dimensional structures.
Dickeya dadantii is a plant-pathogenic enterobacterium responsible for the soft rot disease of many plants of economic importance. We present here the sequence of strain 3937, a strain widely used as a model system for research on the molecular biology and pathogenicity of this group of bacteria.
The Uup protein belongs to a subfamily of soluble ATP-binding cassette (ABC) ATPases that have been implicated in several processes different from transmembrane transport of molecules, such as transposon precise excision. We have demonstrated previously that Escherichia coli Uup is able to bind DNA. DNA binding capacity is lowered in a truncated Uup protein lacking its C-terminal domain (CTD), suggesting a contribution of CTD to DNA binding. In the present study, we characterize the role of CTD in the function of Uup, on its overall stability and in DNA binding. To this end, we expressed and purified isolated CTD and we investigated the structural and functional role of this domain. The results underline that CTD is essential for the function of Uup, is stable and able to fold up autonomously. We compared the DNA binding activities of three versions of the protein (Uup, UupDeltaCTD and CTD) by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. CTD is able to bind DNA although less efficiently than intact Uup and UupDeltaCTD. These observations suggest that CTD is an essential domain that contributes directly to the DNA binding ability of Uup.
Brucellosis is a prevalent zoonotic disease and is endemic in the Middle East, South America, and other areas of the world. In this study, complete inventories of putative functional ABC systems of five Brucella species have been compiled and compared. ABC systems of Brucella melitensis 16M, Brucella abortus 9-941, Brucella canis RM6/66, Brucella suis 1330, and Brucella ovis 63/290 were identified and aligned. High numbers of ABC systems, particularly nutrient importers, were found in all Brucella species. However, differences in the total numbers of ABC systems were identified (B. melitensis, 79; B. suis, 72; B. abortus 64; B. canis, 74; B. ovis, 59) as well as specific differences in the functional ABC systems of the Brucella species. Since B. ovis is not known to cause human brucellosis, functional ABC systems absent in the B. ovis genome may represent virulence factors in human brucellosis.
The bacterial Uup protein belongs to the REG subfamily of soluble ATP-binding cassette (ABC) ATPases, and is implicated in precise excision of transposons. In Escherichia coli, the uup gene encodes a 72 kDa polypeptide that comprises two ABC domains, separated by a linker region, and a 12kDa C-terminal domain (CTD). Uup binds double-stranded DNA with no sequence specificity, and we previously demonstrated that the CTD domain is a crucial region that participates in DNA-binding activity. We report herein the NMR structure of Uup CTD, consisting of an intramolecular antiparallel two-stranded coiled coil motif. Structural comparison with analogous coiled coil domains reveals that Uup CTD contains an atypical 3(10)-helix in the ?-hairpin region that contributes to the hydrophobic core. Using NMR titration experiments, we identified residues of the CTD domain involved in the binding to double-stranded DNA. These residues are located on two opposite surfaces at the base of the coiled coil, formed by the N- and C-terminal extremities, where a strictly conserved proline residue induces an overwinding of the coiled coil. Finally, preliminary analysis of NMR spectra recorded on distinct Uup constructs precludes a fully flexible positioning of the CTD domain in full-length Uup. These structural data are the first reported for a non-ATPase domain within ABC REG subfamily.
ATP-binding cassette (ABC) systems belong to a large superfamily of proteins that couple the energy released from ATP hydrolysis to a wide variety of cellular processes, including not only transport of various molecules, but also gene regulation, and DNA repair. Mutations in the bacterial uup gene, which encodes a cytosolic ABC ATPase, lead to an increase in the frequency of precise excision of transposons Tn10 and Tn5, suggesting a role of the Uup protein in DNA metabolism. Uup is a 72 kDa polypeptide which comprises two ABC domains, separated by a 75-residue linker, and a C-terminal domain (CTD) of unknown function. The Uup protein from Escherichia coli has been shown to bind DNA in vitro, and the CTD domain contributes to the DNA-binding affinity. We have produced and purified uniformly labeled (15)N- and (15)N/(13)C Uup CTD domain (region 528-635), and assigned backbone and side-chains resonances using heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy. Secondary structure evaluation based on backbone chemical shifts is consistent with the presence of three ?-helices, including two long ones (residues 564-590 and 601-632), suggesting that Uup CTD may fold as an intramolecular coiled coil motif. This work provides the starting point towards determining the first atomic structure of a non-ATPase domain within the vast REG subfamily of ABC soluble ATPases.
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