Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) inhibit neurotransmitter release by hydrolysing SNARE proteins. The most important serotype BoNT/A employs the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2) isoforms A-C as neuronal receptors. Here, we identified their binding site by blocking SV2 interaction using monoclonal antibodies with characterised epitopes within the cell binding domain (HC). The site is located on the backside of the conserved ganglioside binding pocket at the interface of the HCC and HCN subdomains. The dimension of the binding pocket was characterised in detail by site directed mutagenesis allowing the development of potent inhibitors as well as modifying receptor binding properties.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by Clostridium botulinum and cause the fatal disease botulism, a flaccid paralysis of the muscle. BoNTs are released together with several auxiliary proteins as progenitor toxin complexes (PTCs) to become highly potent oral poisons. Here, we report the structure of a ?760 kDa 14-subunit large PTC of serotype A (L-PTC/A) and reveal insight into its absorption mechanism. Using a combination of X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and functional studies, we found that L-PTC/A consists of two structurally and functionally independent sub-complexes. A hetero-dimeric 290 kDa complex protects BoNT, while a hetero-dodecameric 470 kDa complex facilitates its absorption in the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract. BoNT absorption is mediated by nine glycan-binding sites on the dodecameric sub-complex that forms multivalent interactions with carbohydrate receptors on intestinal epithelial cells. We identified monosaccharides that blocked oral BoNT intoxication in mice, which suggests a new strategy for the development of preventive countermeasures for BoNTs based on carbohydrate receptor mimicry.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are used in a wide variety of medical applications, but there is limited pharmacokinetic data on active BoNT. Monitoring BoNT activity in the circulation is challenging because BoNTs are highly toxic and are rapidly taken up by neurons and removed from the bloodstream. Previously we reported a sensitive BoNT "Assay with a Large Immunosorbent Surface Area" that uses conversion of fluorogenic peptide substrates to measure the intrinsic endopeptidase activity of bead-captured BoNT. However, in complex biological samples, protease contaminants can also cleave the substrates, reducing sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Here, we present a novel set of fluorogenic peptides that serve as BoNT-specific substrates and protease-sensitive controls. BoNT-cleavable substrates contain a C-terminal Nle, while BoNT-noncleavable controls contain its isomer ?-Ahx. The substrates are cleaved by BoNT subtypes A1-A3 and A5. Substrates and control peptides can be cleaved by non-BoNT proteases (e.g., trypsin, proteinase K, and thermolysin) while obeying Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Using this novel substrate/control set, we studied BoNT/A1 activity in two mouse models of botulism. We detected BoNT/A serum activities ranging from ~3600 to 10 amol/L in blood of mice that had been intravenously injected 1 h prior with BoNT/A1 complex (100 to 4 pg/mouse). We also detected the endopeptidase activity of orally administered BoNT/A1 complex (1 ?g) in blood 5 h after administration; activity was greatest 7 h after administration. Redistribution and elevation rates for active toxin were measured and are comparable to those reported for inactive toxin.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) block neurotransmitter release by proteolyzing SNARE proteins in peripheral nerve terminals. Entry into neurons occurs subsequent to interaction with gangliosides and a synaptic vesicle protein. Isoforms I and II of synaptotagmin were shown to act as protein receptors for two of the seven BoNT serotypes, BoNT/B and BoNT/G, and for mosaic-type BoNT/DC. BoNT/B and BoNT/G exhibit a homologous binding site for synaptotagmin whose interacting part adopts helical structure upon binding to BoNT/B. Whereas the BoNT/B-synaptotagmin-II interaction has been elucidated in molecular detail, corresponding information about BoNT/G is lacking. Here we systematically mutated the synaptotagmin binding site in BoNT/G and performed a comparative binding analysis with mutants of the cell binding subunit of BoNT/B. The results suggest that synaptotagmin takes the same overall orientation in BoNT/B and BoNT/G governed by the strictly conserved central parts of the toxins binding site. The surrounding nonconserved areas differently contribute to receptor binding. Reciprocal mutations Y1186W and L1191Y increased the level of binding of BoNT/G approximately to the level of BoNT/B affinity, suggesting a similar synaptotagmin-bound state. The effects of the mutations were confirmed by studying the activity of correspondingly mutated full-length BoNTs. On the basis of these data, molecular modeling experiments were employed to reveal an atomistic model of BoNT/G-synaptotagmin recognition. These data suggest a reduced length and/or a bend in the C-terminal part of the synaptotagmin helix that forms upon contact with BoNT/G as compared with BoNT/B and are in agreement with the data of the mutational analyses.
The highly specific binding and uptake of BoNTs (botulinum neurotoxins; A-G) into peripheral cholinergic motoneurons turns them into the most poisonous substances known. Interaction with gangliosides accumulates the neurotoxins on the plasma membrane and binding to a synaptic vesicle membrane protein leads to neurotoxin endocytosis. SV2 (synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2) mediates the uptake of BoNT/A and /E, whereas Syt (synaptotagmin) is responsible for the endocytosis of BoNT/B and /G. The Syt-binding site of the former was identified by co-crystallization and mutational analyses. In the present study we report the identification of the SV2-binding interface of BoNT/E. Mutations interfering with SV2 binding were located at a site that corresponds to the Syt-binding site of BoNT/B and at an extended surface area located on the back of the conserved ganglioside-binding site, comprising the N- and C-terminal half of the BoNT/E-binding domain. Mutations impairing the affinity also reduced the neurotoxicity of full-length BoNT/E at mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm preparations demonstrating the crucial role of the identified binding interface. Furthermore, we show that a monoclonal antibody neutralizes BoNT/E activity because it directly interferes with the BoNT/E-SV2 interaction. The results of the present study suggest a novel mode of binding for BoNTs that exploit SV2 as a cell surface receptor.
The modular four domain structure of clostridial neurotoxins supports the idea to reassemble individual domains from tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins to generate novel molecules with altered pharmacological properties. To treat disorders of the central nervous system drug transporter molecules based on catalytically inactive clostridial neurotoxins circumventing the passage of the blood-brain-barrier are desired. Such molecules can be produced based on the highly effective botulinum neurotoxin serotype A incorporating the retrograde axonal sorting property of tetanus neurotoxin which is supposed to be encoded within its C-terminal cell binding domain HC. The corresponding exchange of the tetanus neurotoxin HC-fragment in botulinum neurotoxin A yielded the novel hybrid molecule AATT which displayed decreased potency at the neuromuscular junction like tetanus neurotoxin but exerted equal activity in cortical neurons compared to botulinum neurotoxin A wild-type. Minimizing the tetanus neurotoxin cell binding domain to its N- or C-terminal half drastically reduced the potencies of AATA and AAAT in cortical neurons indicating that the structural motif mediating sorting of tetanus neurotoxin is predominantly encoded within the entire HC-fragment. However, the reciprocal exchange resulted in TTAA which showed a similar potency as tetanus neurotoxin at the neuromuscular junction indicating that the tetanus neurotoxin portion prevents a high potency as observed for botulinum neurotoxins. In conclusion, clostridial neurotoxin based inactivated drug transporter for targeting central neurons should contain the cell binding domain of tetanus neurotoxin to exert its tropism for the central nervous system.
The seven botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) cause muscle paralysis by selectively cleaving core components of the vesicular fusion machinery. Their extraordinary activity primarily relies on highly specific entry into neurons. Data on BoNT/A, B, E, F and G suggest that entry follows a dual receptor interaction with complex gangliosides via an established ganglioside binding region and a synaptic vesicle protein. Here, we report high resolution crystal structures of the BoNT/C cell binding fragment alone and in complex with sialic acid. The WY-motif characteristic of the established ganglioside binding region was located on an exposed loop. Sialic acid was co-ordinated at a novel position neighbouring the binding pocket for synaptotagmin in BoNT/B and G and the sialic acid binding site in BoNT/D and TeNT respectively. Employing synaptosomes and immobilized gangliosides binding studies with BoNT/C mutants showed that the ganglioside binding WY-loop, the newly identified sialic acid-co-ordinating pocket and the area corresponding to the established ganglioside binding region of other BoNTs are involved in ganglioside interaction. Phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm activity tests employing ganglioside deficient mice furthermore evidenced that the biological activity of BoNT/C depends on ganglioside interaction with at least two binding sites. These data suggest a unique cell binding and entry mechanism for BoNT/C among clostridial neurotoxins.
The extraordinarily high toxicity of botulinum neurotoxins primarily results from their specific binding and uptake into neurons. At motor neurons, the seven BoNT (botulinum neurotoxin) serotypes A-G inhibit acetylcholine release leading to flaccid paralysis. Uptake of BoNT/A, B, E, F and G requires a dual interaction with gangliosides and the synaptic vesicle proteins synaptotagmin or SV2 (synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2), whereas little is known about the cell entry mechanisms of the serotypes C and D, which display the lowest amino acid sequence identity compared with the other five serotypes. In the present study we demonstrate that the neurotoxicity of BoNT/D depends on the presence of gangliosides by employing phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm preparations derived from mice expressing the gangliosides GM3, GM2, GM1 and GD1a, or only GM3 [a description of our use of ganglioside nomenclature is given in Svennerholm (1994) Prog. Brain Res. 101, XI-XIV]. High-resolution crystal structures of the 50 kDa cell-binding domain of BoNT/D alone and in complex with sialic acid, as well as biological analyses of single-site BoNT/D mutants identified two carbohydrate-binding sites. One site is located at a position previously identified in BoNT/A, B, E, F and G, but is lacking the conserved SXWY motif. The other site, co-ordinating one molecule of sialic acid, resembles the second ganglioside-binding pocket (the sialic-acid-binding site) of TeNT (tetanus neurotoxin).
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly poisonous substances that are also effective medicines. Accidental BoNT poisoning often occurs through ingestion of Clostridium botulinum-contaminated food. Here, we present the crystal structure of a BoNT in complex with a clostridial nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA) protein at 2.7 angstroms. Biochemical and functional studies show that NTNHA provides large and multivalent binding interfaces to protect BoNT from gastrointestinal degradation. Moreover, the structure highlights key residues in BoNT that regulate complex assembly in a pH-dependent manner. Collectively, our findings define the molecular mechanisms by which NTNHA shields BoNT in the hostile gastrointestinal environment and releases it upon entry into the circulation. These results will assist in the design of small molecules for inhibiting oral BoNT intoxication and of delivery vehicles for oral administration of biologics.
Lipophilic corynebacteria are involved in the generation of volatile odorous products in the process of human body odor formation by degrading skin lipids and specific odor precursors. Therefore, these bacteria represent appropriate model systems for the cosmetic industry to examine axillary malodor formation on the molecular level. To understand the transcriptional control of metabolic pathways involved in this process, the transcriptional regulatory network of the lipophilic axilla isolate Corynebacterium jeikeium K411 was reconstructed from the complete genome sequence. This bioinformatic approach detected a gene-regulatory repertoire of 83 candidate proteins, including 56 DNA-binding transcriptional regulators, nine two-component systems, nine sigma factors, and nine regulators with diverse physiological functions. Furthermore, a cross-genome comparison among selected corynebacterial species of the taxonomic cluster 3 revealed a common gene-regulatory repertoire of 44 transcriptional regulators, including the MarR-like regulator Jk0257, which is exclusively encoded in the genomes of this taxonomical subline. The current network reconstruction comprises 48 transcriptional regulators and 674 gene-regulatory interactions that were assigned to five interconnected functional modules. Most genes involved in lipid degradation are under the combined control of the global cAMP-sensing transcriptional regulator GlxR and the LuxR-family regulator RamA, probably reflecting the essential role of lipid degradation in C. jeikeium. This study provides the first genome-scale in silico analysis of the transcriptional regulation of metabolism in a lipophilic bacterium involved in the formation of human body odor.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) inhibit neurotransmitter release by hydrolysing SNARE proteins essential for exocytosis. The synaptic vesicle protein synaptotagmin-II of rat and mouse acts as neuronal high affinity receptor for BoNT/B and BoNT/G. Here, we show that human synaptotagmin-II is not a high affinity receptor for BoNT/B and G due to a phenylalanine to leucine mutation in its luminal domain present only in humans and chimpanzees. It eliminates one of three major interactions between synaptotagmin-II and BoNT/B and hereby explains the disparity in potency of BoNT/B in humans and mice as well as the 40-fold higher dosage of rimabotulinumtoxinB versus onabotulinumtoxinA.
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