The intracellularly replicating lung pathogen Legionella pneumophila consists of an extraordinary variety of phospholipases, including at least 15 different phospholipases A (PLA). Among them, PlaB, the first characterized member of a novel lipase family, is a hemolytic virulence factor that exhibits the most prominent PLA activity in L. pneumophila. We analyzed here protein oligomerization, the importance of oligomerization for activity, addressed further essential regions for activity within the PlaB C terminus, and the significance of PlaB-derived lipolytic activity for L. pneumophila intracellular replication. We determined by means of analytical ultracentrifugation and small angle x-ray scattering analysis that PlaB forms homodimers and homotetramers. The C-terminal 5, 10, or 15 amino acids, although the individual regions contributed to PLA activity, were not essential for protein tetramerization. Infection of mouse macrophages with L. pneumophila wild type, plaB knock-out mutant, and plaB complementing or various mutated plaB-harboring strains showed that catalytic activity of PlaB promotes intracellular replication. We observed that PlaB was most active in the lower nanomolar concentration range but not at or only at a low level at concentration above 0.1 ?m where it exists in a dimer/tetramer equilibrium. We therefore conclude that PlaB is a virulence factor that, on the one hand, assembles in inactive tetramers at micromolar concentrations. On the other hand, oligomer dissociation at nanomolar concentrations activates PLA activity. Our data highlight the first example of concentration-dependent phospholipase inactivation by tetramerization, which may protect the bacterium from internal PLA activity, but enzyme dissociation may allow its activation after export.
There are several human serum proteins for which no clear role is yet known. Among these is the abundant serum protein beta2-glycoprotein-I (?2GPI), which is known to bind to negatively charged phospholipids as well as to bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and was therefore proposed to play a role in the immune response. To understand the details of these interactions, a biophysical analysis of the binding of ?2GPI to LPS and phosphatidylserine (PS) was performed. The data indicate only a moderate tendency of the protein (1) to influence the LPS-induced cytokine production in vitro, (2) to react exothermally with LPS in a non-saturable way, and (3) to change its local microenvironment upon LPS association. Additionally, we found that the protein binds more strongly to phosphatidylserine (PS) than to LPS. Furthermore, ?2GPI converts the LPS bilayer aggregates into a stronger multilamellar form, and reduces the fluidity of the hydrocarbon moiety of LPS due to a rigidification of the acyl chains. From these data it can be concluded that ?2GPI plays a role as an immune-modulating agent, but there is much less evidence for a role in immune defense against bacterial toxins such as LPS.
Endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides, LPS) are one of the strongest immunostimulators in nature, responsible for beneficial effects at low, and pathophysiological effects at high concentrations, the latter frequently leading to sepsis and septic shock associated with high mortality in critical care settings. There are no drugs specifically targeting the pathophysiology of sepsis, and new therapeutic agents are therefore urgently needed. The lipopolyamines are a novel class of small molecules designed to sequester and neutralize LPS. To understand the mechanisms underlying the binding and neutralization of LPS toxicity, we have performed detailed biophysical analyses of the interactions of LPS with candidate lipopolyamines which differ in their potencies of LPS neutralization. We examined gel-to-liquid crystalline phase behavior of LPS and of its supramolecular aggregate structures in the absence and presence of lipopolyamines, the ability of such compounds to incorporate into different membrane systems, and the thermodynamics of the LPS:lipopolyamine binding. We have found that the mechanisms which govern the inactivation process of LPS obey similar rules as found for other active endotoxin neutralizers such as certain antimicrobial peptides.
The interaction of selected endotoxin preparations (lipid A from Erwinia carotovora and LPS Re and Ra from Salmonella enterica sv. Minnesota strains R595 and R60, respectively) with selected bile acids was investigated biophysically. Endotoxin aggregates were analyzed for their gel-to-liquid crystalline phase behavior, the type of their aggregates, the conformation of particular functional groups, and their Zeta potential in the absence and presence of the bile acids by applying Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, measurements of the electrophoretic mobility, and synchrotron radiation X-ray scattering. In addition, the ability of the endotoxins to induce cytokines in human mononuclear cells was tested in the absence and presence of varying concentrations of bile acids. The data show that the endotoxin:bile acid interaction is not governed by Coulomb forces, rather a hydrophobic interaction takes place. This leads to an enhanced formation of the inherent cubic aggregate structures of the endotoxins, concomitant with a slight disaggregation, as evidenced by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Parallel to this, the addition of bile acids increased the bioactivity of lipid A and, to a lower degree, also that of the tested rough mutant LPS at lower concentrations of the endotoxin preparation, a finding similar as reported for the interaction of other agents such as hemoglobin. These data imply that there are general mechanisms that govern the expression of biological activities of endotoxins.
Bacterial endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides (LPS)) are strong elicitors of the human immune system by interacting with serum and membrane proteins such as lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) and CD14 with high specificity. At LPS concentrations as low as 0.3 ng/ml, such interactions may lead to severe pathophysiological effects, including sepsis and septic shock. One approach to inhibit an uncontrolled inflammatory reaction is the use of appropriate polycationic and amphiphilic antimicrobial peptides, here called synthetic anti-LPS peptides (SALPs). We designed various SALP structures and investigated their ability to inhibit LPS-induced cytokine secretion in vitro, their protective effect in a mouse model of sepsis, and their cytotoxicity in physiological human cells. Using a variety of biophysical techniques, we investigated selected SALPs with considerable differences in their biological responses to characterize and understand the mechanism of LPS inactivation by SALPs. Our investigations show that neutralization of LPS by peptides is associated with a fluidization of the LPS acyl chains, a strong exothermic Coulomb interaction between the two compounds, and a drastic change of the LPS aggregate type from cubic into multilamellar, with an increase in the aggregate sizes, inhibiting the binding of LBP and other mammalian proteins to the endotoxin. At the same time, peptide binding to phospholipids of human origin (e.g., phosphatidylcholine) does not cause essential structural changes, such as changes in membrane fluidity and bilayer structure. The absence of cytotoxicity is explained by the high specificity of the interaction of the peptides with LPS.
Systemic bacterial infections are associated with high mortality. The access of bacteria or constituents thereof to systemic circulation induces the massive release of immunomodulatory mediators, ultimately causing tissue hypoperfusion and multiple-organ failure despite adequate antibiotic treatment. Lipid A, the "endotoxic principle" of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), is one of the major bacterial immunostimuli. Here we demonstrate the biological efficacy of rationally designed new synthetic antilipopolysaccharide peptides (SALPs) based on the Limulus anti-LPS factor for systemic application. We show efficient inhibition of LPS-induced cytokine release and protection from lethal septic shock in vivo, whereas cytotoxicity was not observed under physiologically relevant conditions and concentrations. The molecular mechanism of LPS neutralization was elucidated by biophysical techniques. The lipid A part of LPS is converted from its "endotoxic conformation," the cubic aggregate structure, into an inactive multilamellar structure, and the binding affinity of the peptide to LPS exceeds those of known LPS-binding proteins, such as LPS-binding protein (LBP). Our results thus delineate a novel therapeutic strategy for the clinical management of patients with septic shock.
The structure of the C-terminus of subunit E (E(101-206)) of Methanocaldococcus jannaschii A-ATP synthase was determined at 4.1 A. E(101-206) consist of a N-terminal globular domain with three alpha-helices and four antiparallel beta-strands and an alpha-helix at the very C-terminus. Comparison of M. jannaschii E(101-206) with the C-terminus E(81-198) subunit E from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3 revealed that the kink in the C-terminal alpha-helix of E(81-198), involved in dimer formation, is absent in M. jannaschii E(101-206). Whereas a major dimeric surface interface is present between the P. horikoshii E(81-198) molecules in the asymmetric unit, no such interaction could be found in the M. jannaschii E(101-206) molecules. To verify the oligomeric behaviour, the low resolution structure of the recombinant E(85-206) from M. jannaschii was determined using small angle X-ray scattering. Rigid body modeling of two copies of one of the monomer established a fit with a tail to tail arrangement.
The Golgi-associated four-phosphate adaptor protein 2 (FAPP2) has been shown to possess transfer activity for glucosylceramide both in vitro and in cells. We have previously shown that FAPP2 is involved in apical transport from the Golgi complex in epithelial MDCK cells. In this paper we assign an unknown activity for the protein as well as providing structural insight into protein assembly and a low-resolution envelope structure. By applying analytical ultracentrifugation and small-angle x-ray scattering, we show that FAPP2 is a dimeric protein in solution, having a curved shape 30 nm in length. The purified FAPP2 protein has the capability to form tubules from membrane sheets in vitro. This activity is dependent on the phosphoinositide-binding activity of the PH domain of FAPP2. These data suggest that FAPP2 functions directly in the formation of apical carriers in the trans-Golgi network.
Crustacean crustacyanin proteins are linked to the production and modification of carapace colour, with direct implications for fitness and survival. Here, the structural and functional properties of the two recombinant crustacyanin subunits H(1) and H(2) from the American lobster Homarus americanus are reported. The two subunits are structurally highly similar to the corresponding natural apo crustacyanin CRTC and CRTA subunits from the European lobster H. gammarus. Reconstitution studies of the recombinant crustacyanin proteins H(1) and H(2) with astaxanthin reproduced the bathochromic shift of 85-95?nm typical of the natural crustacyanin subunits from H. gammarus in complex with astaxanthin. Moreover, correlations between the presence of crustacyanin genes in crustacean species and the resulting carapace colours with the spectral properties of the subunits in complex with astaxanthin confirmed this genotype-phenotype linkage.
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.