Bacterial uptake of phosphate is usually accomplished via high-affinity transporters that are commonly regulated by two-component systems, which are activated when the concentration of phosphate is low. Mycobacterium smegmatis possesses two such transporters, the widely distributed PstSCAB system and PhnDCE, a transporter that in other bacteria mediates the uptake of alternative phosphorus sources. We previously reported that the transcriptional regulator PhnF controls the production of the Phn system, acting as a repressor under high-phosphate conditions. Here we show that the phnDCE genes are common among environmental mycobacteria, where they are often associated with phnF-like genes. In contrast, pathogenic mycobacteria were not found to encode Phn-like systems but instead were found to possess multiple copies of the pst genes. A detailed biochemical analysis of PhnF binding to its identified binding sites in the phnD-phnF intergenic region of M. smegmatis has allowed us to propose a quantitative model for repressor binding, which shows that a PhnF dimer binds independently to each site. We present the crystal structure of M. smegmatis PhnF at 1.8-Å resolution, showing a homodimer with a helix-turn-helix N-terminal domain and a C-terminal domain with a UbiC transcription regulator-associated fold. The C-terminal domain crystallized with a bound sulfate ion instead of the so far unidentified physiological ligand, allowing the identification of residues involved in effector binding. Comparison of the positioning of the DNA binding domains in PhnF with that in homologous proteins suggests that its DNA binding activity is regulated via a conformational change in the linker region, triggering a movement of the N-terminal domains.
AnPRT (anthranilate phosphoribosyltransferase), required for the biosynthesis of tryptophan, is essential for the virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). AnPRT catalyses the Mg2+-dependent transfer of a phosphoribosyl group from PRPP (5'-phosphoribosyl-1'-pyrophosphate) to anthranilate to form PRA (5'-phosphoribosyl anthranilate). Mtb-AnPRT was shown to catalyse a sequential reaction and significant substrate inhibition by anthranilate was observed. Antimycobacterial fluoroanthranilates and methyl-substituted analogues were shown to act as alternative substrates for Mtb-AnPRT, producing the corresponding substituted PRA products. Structures of the enzyme complexed with anthranilate analogues reveal two distinct binding sites for anthranilate. One site is located over 8 Å (1 Å=0.1 nm) from PRPP at the entrance to a tunnel leading to the active site, whereas in the second, inner, site anthranilate is adjacent to PRPP, in a catalytically relevant position. Soaking the analogues for variable periods of time provides evidence for anthranilate located at transient positions during transfer from the outer site to the inner catalytic site. PRPP and Mg2+ binding have been shown to be associated with the rearrangement of two flexible loops, which is required to complete the inner anthranilate-binding site. It is proposed that anthranilate first binds to the outer site, providing an unusual mechanism for substrate capture and efficient transfer to the catalytic site following the binding of PRPP.
The emergence of extensively drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) highlights the need for new therapeutics to treat tuberculosis. We are attempting to fast-track a targeted approach to drug design by generating analogues of a validated hit from molecular library screening that shares its chemical scaffold with a current therapeutic, the anti-arthritic drug Lobenzarit (LBZ). Our target, anthranilate phosphoribosyltransferase (AnPRT), is an enzyme from the tryptophan biosynthetic pathway in Mtb. A bifurcated hydrogen bond was found to be a key feature of the LBZ-like chemical scaffold and critical for enzyme inhibition. We have determined crystal structures of compounds in complex with the enzyme that indicate that the bifurcated hydrogen bond assists in orientating compounds in the correct conformation to interact with key residues in the substrate-binding tunnel of Mtb-AnPRT. Characterising the inhibitory potency of the hit and its analogues in different ways proved useful, due to the multiple substrates and substrate binding sites of this enzyme. Binding in a site other than the catalytic site was found to be associated with partial inhibition. An analogue, 2-(2-5-methylcarboxyphenylamino)-3-methylbenzoic acid, that bound at the catalytic site and caused complete, rather than partial, inhibition of enzyme activity was found. Therefore, we designed and synthesised an extended version of the scaffold on the basis of this observation. The resultant compound, 2,6-bis-(2-carboxyphenylamino)benzoate, is a 40-fold more potent inhibitor of the enzyme than the original hit and provides direction for further structure-based drug design.
Non-proton pumping type II NADH dehydrogenase (NDH-2) plays a central role in the respiratory metabolism of bacteria, and in the mitochondria of fungi, plants and protists. The lack of NDH-2 in mammalian mitochondria and its essentiality in important bacterial pathogens suggests these enzymes may represent a potential new drug target to combat microbial pathogens. Here, we report the first crystal structure of a bacterial NDH-2 enzyme at 2.5?Å resolution from Caldalkalibacillus thermarum. The NDH-2 structure reveals a homodimeric organization that has a unique dimer interface. NDH-2 is localized to the cytoplasmic membrane by two separated C-terminal membrane-anchoring regions that are essential for membrane localization and FAD binding, but not NDH-2 dimerization. Comparison of bacterial NDH-2 with the yeast NADH dehydrogenase (Ndi1) structure revealed non-overlapping binding sites for quinone and NADH in the bacterial enzyme. The bacterial NDH-2 structure establishes a framework for the structure-based design of small-molecule inhibitors.
In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the protein MbtN (Rv1346) catalyzes the formation of a double bond in the fatty-acyl moiety of the siderophore mycobactin, which is used by this organism to acquire essential iron. MbtN is homologous to acyl-CoA dehydrogenases, whose general role is to catalyze the ?,?-dehydrogenation of fatty-acyl-CoA conjugates. Mycobactins, however, contain a long unsaturated fatty-acid chain with an unusual cis double bond conjugated to the carbonyl group of the mycobactin core. To characterize the role of MbtN in the dehydrogenation of this fatty-acyl moiety, the enzyme has been expressed, purified and crystallized. The crystals diffracted to 2.3?Å resolution at a synchrotron source and were found to belong to the hexagonal space group H32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 139.10, c = 253.09?Å, ? = ? = 90, ? = 120°.
The ABC toxin complexes produced by certain bacteria are of interest owing to their potent insecticidal activity and potential role in human disease. These complexes comprise at least three proteins (A, B and C), which must assemble to be fully toxic. The carboxy-terminal region of the C protein is the main cytotoxic component, and is poorly conserved between different toxin complexes. A general model of action has been proposed, in which the toxin complex binds to the cell surface via the A protein, is endocytosed, and subsequently forms a pH-triggered channel, allowing the translocation of C into the cytoplasm, where it can cause cytoskeletal disruption in both insect and mammalian cells. Toxin complexes have been visualized using single-particle electron microscopy, but no high-resolution structures of the components are available, and the role of the B protein in the mechanism of toxicity remains unknown. Here we report the three-dimensional structure of the complex formed between the B and C proteins, determined to 2.5?Å by X-ray crystallography. These proteins assemble to form an unprecedented, large hollow structure that encapsulates and sequesters the cytotoxic, C-terminal region of the C protein like the shell of an egg. The shell is decorated on one end by a ?-propeller domain, which mediates attachment of the B-C heterodimer to the A protein in the native complex. The structure reveals how C auto-proteolyses when folded in complex with B. The C protein is the first example, to our knowledge, of a structure that contains rearrangement hotspot (RHS) repeats, and illustrates a marked structural architecture that is probably conserved across both this widely distributed bacterial protein family and the related eukaryotic tyrosine-aspartate (YD)-repeat-containing protein family, which includes the teneurins. The structure provides the first clues about the function of these protein repeat families, and suggests a generic mechanism for protein encapsulation and delivery.
Nedd4-1 (neuronal precursor cell expressed developmentally downregulated gene 4-1) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that interacts with and negatively regulates the epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC). The WW domains of Nedd4-1 bind to the ENaC subunits via recognition of PY motifs. Human Nedd4-1 (hNedd4-1) contains four WW domains with the third domain (WW3*) showing the strongest affinity to the PY motif. To understand the mechanism underlying this binding affinity, we have carried out NMR structural and dynamics analyses of the hNedd4-1 WW3* domain in complex with a peptide comprising the C-terminal tail of the human ENaC ?-subunit. The structure reveals that the peptide interacts in a similar manner to other WW domain-ENaC peptide structures. Crucial interactions that likely provide binding affinity are the broad XP groove facilitating additional contacts between the WW3* domain and the peptide, compared to similar complexes, and the large surface area buried (83?(2)) between R430 (WW3*) and L647 (?ENaC). This corroborates the model-free analysis of the (15)N backbone relaxation data, which showed that R430 is the most rigid residue in the domain (S(2)=0.90±0.01). Carr-Purcell-Meiboom-Gill relaxation dispersion analysis identified two different conformational exchange processes on the ?s-ms time-scale. One of these processes involves residues located at the peptide binding interface, suggesting conformational exchange may play a role in peptide recognition. Thus, both structural and dynamic features of the complex appear to define the high binding affinity. The results should aid interpretation of biochemical data and modeling interfaces between Nedd4-1 and other interacting proteins.
Anthranilate phosphoribosyltransferase (AnPRT, EC 126.96.36.199) is a homodimeric enzyme that catalyzes the reaction between 5-phosphoribosyl 1-pyrophosphate (PRPP) and anthranilate, as part of the tryptophan biosynthesis pathway. Here we present the results of the first chemical screen for inhibitors against Mycobacterium tuberculosis AnPRT (Mtb-AnPRT), along with crystal structures of Mtb-AnPRT in complex with PRPP and several inhibitors. Previous work revealed that PRPP is bound at the base of a deep cleft in Mtb-AnPRT and predicted two anthranilate binding sites along the tunnel leading to the PRPP binding site. Unexpectedly, the inhibitors presented here almost exclusively bound at the entrance of the tunnel, in the presumed noncatalytic anthranilate binding site, previously hypothesized to have a role in substrate capture. The potencies of the inhibitors were measured, yielding Ki values of 1.5-119 ?M, with the strongest inhibition displayed by a bianthranilate compound that makes hydrogen bond and salt bridge contacts with Mtb-AnPRT via its carboxyl groups. Our results reveal how the substrate capture mechanism of AnPRT can be exploited to inhibit the enzymes activity and provide a scaffold for the design of improved Mtb-AnPRT inhibitors that may ultimately form the basis of new antituberculosis drugs with a novel mode of action.
Toxin complex (Tc) proteins are a class of bacterial protein toxins that form large, multisubunit complexes. Comprising TcA, B, and C components, they are of great interest because many exhibit potent insecticidal activity. Here we report the structure of a novel Tc, Yen-Tc, isolated from the bacterium Yersinia entomophaga MH96, which differs from the majority of bacterially derived Tcs in that it exhibits oral activity toward a broad range of insect pests, including the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella). We have determined the structure of the Yen-Tc using single particle electron microscopy and studied its mechanism of toxicity by comparative analyses of two variants of the complex exhibiting different toxicity profiles. We show that the A subunits form the basis of a fivefold symmetric assembly that differs substantially in structure and subunit arrangement from its most well characterized homologue, the Xenorhabdus nematophila toxin XptA1. Histopathological and quantitative dose response analyses identify the B and C subunits, which map to a single, surface-accessible region of the structure, as the sole determinants of toxicity. Finally, we show that the assembled Yen-Tc has endochitinase activity and attribute this to putative chitinase subunits that decorate the surface of the TcA scaffold, an observation that may explain the oral toxicity associated with the complex.
Yersinia entomophaga MH96 is a native New Zealand soil bacterium that secretes a large ABC-type protein toxin complex, Yen-Tc, similar to those produced by nematode-associated bacteria such as Photorhabdus luminescens. Y. entomophaga displays an exceptionally virulent pathogenic phenotype in sensitive insect species, causing death within 72 h of infection. Because of this phenotype, there is intrinsic interest in the mechanism of action of Yen-Tc, and it also has the potential to function as a novel class of biopesticide. We have identified genes that encode chitinases as part of the toxin complex loci in Y. entomophaga MH96, P. luminescens, Photorhabdus asymbiotica and Xenorhabdus nematophila. Furthermore, we have shown that the secreted toxin complex from Y. entomophaga MH96 includes two chitinases as an integral part of the complex, a feature not described previously in other ABC toxins and possibly related to the severe disease caused by this bacterium. We present here the structure of the Y. entomophaga MH96 Chi1 chitinase, determined by X-ray crystallography to 1.74 Å resolution, and show that a ring of five symmetrically arranged lobes on the surface of the Yen-Tc toxin complex structure, as determined by single-particle electron microscopy, provides a good fit to the Chi1 monomer. We also confirm that the isolated chitinases display endochitinase activity, as does the complete toxin complex.
A number of genes encoding non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) have been identified in fungi of Epichloë/Neotyphodium species, endophytes of Pooid grasses, including sidN, putatively encoding a ferrichrome siderophore-synthesizing NRPS. Targeted gene replacement and complementation of sidN in Epichloë festucae has established that extracellular siderophore epichloënin A is the major product of the SidN enzyme complex (Johnson et al., 2007a). We report here high resolution mass spectrometric fragmentation experiments and NMR analysis of an isolated fraction establishing that epichloënin A is a siderophore of the ferrichrome family, comprising a cyclic sequence of four glycines, a glutamine and three N(?)-trans-anhydromevalonyl-N(?)-hydroxyornithine (AMHO) moieties. Epichloënin A is unusual among ferrichrome siderophores in comprising an octapeptide rather than hexapeptide sequence, and in incorporating a glutamine residue. During this investigation we have established that desferrichrome siderophores with pendant trans-AMHO groups can be distinguished from those with pendant cis-AMHO groups by the characteristic neutral loss of an hydroxyornithine moiety in the MS/MS spectrum. A minor component, epichloënin B, has been characterized as the triglycine variant by mass spectrometry. A peptide characterized by mass spectrometry as the putative deoxygenation product, epichloëamide has been detected together with ferriepichloënin A in guttation fluid from ryegrass (Lolium perenne) plants infected with wild-type E. festucae, but not in plants infected with the ?sidN mutant strain, and also detected at trace levels in wild-type E. festucae fungal culture.
The TB Structural Genomics Consortium is a worldwide organization of collaborators whose mission is the comprehensive structural determination and analyses of Mycobacterium tuberculosis proteins to ultimately aid in tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment. Congruent to the overall vision, Consortium members have additionally established an integrated facilities core to streamline M. tuberculosis structural biology and developed bioinformatics resources for data mining. This review aims to share the latest Consortium developments with the TB community, including recent structures of proteins that play significant roles within M. tuberculosis. Atomic resolution details may unravel mechanistic insights and reveal unique and novel protein features, as well as important protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions, which ultimately lead to a better understanding of M. tuberculosis biology and may be exploited for rational, structure-based therapeutics design.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis salicylate synthase (MbtI), a member of the chorismate-utilizing enzyme family, catalyses the first committed step in the biosynthesis of the siderophore mycobactin T. This complex secondary metabolite is essential for both virulence and survival of M. tuberculosis, the etiological agent of tuberculosis (TB). It is therefore anticipated that inhibitors of this enzyme may serve as TB therapies with a novel mode of action. Herein we describe the first inhibition study of M. tuberculosis MbtI using a library of functionalized benzoate-based inhibitors designed to mimic the substrate (chorismate) and intermediate (isochorismate) of the MbtI-catalyzed reaction. The most potent inhibitors prepared were those designed to mimic the enzyme intermediate, isochorismate. These compounds, based on a 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate scaffold, proved to be low-micromolar inhibitors of MbtI. The most potent inhibitors in this series possessed hydrophobic enol ether side chains at C3 in place of the enol-pyruvyl side chain found in chorismate and isochorismate.
Nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) are large multimodular and multidomain enzymes that are involved in synthesising an array of molecules that are important in human and animal health. NRPSs are found in both bacteria and fungi but most of the research to date has focused on the bacterial enzymes. This is largely due to the technical challenges in producing active fungal NRPSs, which stem from their large size and multidomain nature. In order to target fungal NRPS domains for biochemical and structural characterisation, we tackled this challenge by using the cloning and expression tools of structural genomics to screen the many variables that can influence the expression and purification of proteins. Using these tools we have screened 32 constructs containing 16 different fungal NRPS domains or domain combinations for expression and solubility. Two of these yielded soluble protein with one, the third adenylation domain of the SidN NRPS (SidNA3) from the grass endophyte Neotyphodium lolii, being tractable for purification using Ni-affinity resin. The initial purified protein exhibited poor solution behaviour but optimisation of the expression construct and the buffer conditions used for purification, resulted in stable recombinant protein suitable for biochemical characterisation, crystallisation and structure determination.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is able to use a variety of carbon sources in vivo and current knowledge suggests that cholesterol is used as a carbon source during infection. The catabolized cholesterol is used both as an energy source (ATP generation) and as a source of precursor molecules for the synthesis of complex methyl-branched fatty acids. In previous studies, we described a TetR-type transcriptional repressor, kstR, that controls the expression of a number of genes involved in cholesterol catabolism. In this study, we describe a second TetR-type repressor, which we call kstR2. We knocked this gene out in Mycobacterium smegmatis and used microarrays and quantitative RT-PCR to examine the effects on gene expression. We identified a palindromic regulatory motif for KstR2, showed that this motif is present in three promoter regions in mycobacteria and rhodococcus, and demonstrated binding of purified KstR2 to the motif. Using a combination of motif location analysis, gene expression analysis and the examination of gene conservation, we suggest that kstR2 controls the expression of a 15 gene regulon. Like kstR, kstR2 and the kstR2 regulon are highly conserved among the actinomycetes and studies in rhodococcus suggest a role for these genes in cholesterol catabolism. The functional significance of the regulon and implications for the control of cholesterol utilization are discussed.
The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is an integral component of the pathway for Na(+) absorption in epithelial cells. The ubiquitin ligases Nedd4 and Nedd4-2 bind to ENaC and decrease its activity. Conversely, Serum- and Glucocorticoid regulated Kinase-1 (SGK1), a downstream mediator of aldosterone, increases ENaC activity. This effect is at least partly mediated by direct interaction between SGK and Nedd4-2. SGK binds both Nedd4 and Nedd4-2, but it is only able to phosphorylate Nedd4-2. Phosphorylation of Nedd4-2 reduces its ability to bind to ENaC, due to the interaction of phosphorylated Nedd4-2 with 14-3-3 proteins, and hence increases ENaC activity. WW-domains in Nedd4-like proteins bind PY-motifs (PPXY) present in ENaC subunits, and SGK also has a PY-motif.
Nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) are large, multidomain proteins that are involved in the biosynthesis of an array of secondary metabolites. We report the structure of the third adenylation domain from the siderophore-synthesizing NRPS, SidN, from the endophytic fungus Neotyphodium lolii. This is the first structure of a eukaryotic NRPS domain, and it reveals a large binding pocket required to accommodate the unusual amino acid substrate, N(delta)-cis-anhydromevalonyl-N(delta)-hydroxy-L-ornithine (cis-AMHO). The specific activation of cis-AMHO was confirmed biochemically, and an AMHO moiety was unambiguously identified as a component of the fungal siderophore using mass spectroscopy. The protein structure shows that the substrate binding pocket is defined by 17 amino acid residues, in contrast to both prokaryotic adenylation domains and to previous predictions based on modeling. Existing substrate prediction methods for NRPS adenylation domains fail for domains from eukaryotes due to the divergence of their signature sequences from those of prokaryotes. Thus, this new structure will provide a basis for improving prediction methods for eukaryotic NRPS enzymes that play important and diverse roles in the biology of fungi.
Recent polymorphism analyses of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains have identified missense mutations unique to the W-Beijing lineage in genes belonging to the Nudix hydrolase superfamily. This study investigates the structure and function of one of these Nudix hydrolases, MutT2, and examines the effect that the W-Beijing mutation (G58R) has on enzyme characteristics. MutT2 has a preference for cytidine triphosphates, and although the G58R mutation does not alter nucleotide specificity, it reduces the proteins affinity for divalent cations. The K(D) of free Mg(2+) is 79-fold higher for the G58R mutant (3.30 +/- 0.19 mM) compared with that for the wild-type (41.7 +/- 1.4 microM). Circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy measurements show that while the mutation does not perturb the overall structure of the protein, protein stability is significantly compromised by the presence of the arginine with DeltaG (H(2)O), the free-energy of unfolding, being reduced by 2.48 kcal mol(-1) in the G58R mutant. Homology modeling of MutT2 shows that Gly-58 is in close proximity (10.8 A) to the Mg(2+) binding site formed by the highly conserved Nudix box residues and hydrogen bonds with Ala-54 in the preceding alpha-helix. This may explain the increased divalent cation requirement and decreased stability observed when an arginine is substituted for glycine at this position. A role for MutT2 in the regulation of cytidine-triphosphates available for nucleotide-dependent reactions is postulated, and the impact that the G58R mutation may have on these reactions is discussed.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis salicylate synthase (MbtI) catalyses the first committed step in the biosynthesis of mycobactin T, an iron-chelating siderophore essential for the virulence and survival of M. tuberculosis. Co-crystal structures of MbtI with members of a first generation inhibitor library revealed large inhibitor-induced rearrangements within the active site of the enzyme. This plasticity of the MbtI active site was probed via the preparation of a library of inhibitors based on a 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate scaffold with a range of substituted phenylacrylate side chains appended to the C3 position. Most compounds exhibited moderate inhibitory activity against the enzyme, with inhibition constants in the micromolar range, while several dimethyl ester variants possessed promising anti-tubercular activity in vitro.
MbtI is the salicylate synthase that catalyzes the first committed step in the synthesis of the iron chelating compound mycobactin in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We previously developed a series of aromatic inhibitors against MbtI based on the reaction intermediate for this enzyme, isochorismate. The most potent of these inhibitors had hydrophobic substituents, ranging in size from a methyl to a phenyl group, appended to the terminal alkene of the enolpyruvyl group. These compounds exhibited low micromolar inhibition constants against MbtI and were at least an order of magnitude more potent than the parental compound for the series, which carries a native enolpyruvyl group. In this study, we sought to understand how the substituted enolpyruvyl group confers greater potency, by determining cocrystal structures of MbtI with six inhibitors from the series. A switch in binding mode at the MbtI active site is observed for inhibitors carrying a substituted enolpyruvyl group, relative to the parental compound. Computational studies suggest that the change in binding mode, and higher potency, is due to the effect of the substituents on the conformational landscape of the core inhibitor structure. The crystal structures and fluorescence-based thermal shift assays indicate that substituents larger than a methyl group are accommodated in the MbtI active site through significant but localized flexibility in the peptide backbone. These findings have implications for the design of improved inhibitors of MbtI, as well as other chorismate-utilizing enzymes from this family.
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