Fungi and bacteria compete with an arsenal of secreted molecules for their ecological niche. This repertoire represents a rich and inexhaustible source for antibiotics and fungicides. Antimicrobial peptides are an emerging class of fungal defense molecules that are promising candidates for pharmaceutical applications. Based on a co-cultivation system, we studied the interaction of the coprophilous basidiomycete Coprinopsis cinerea with different bacterial species and identified a novel defensin, copsin. The polypeptide was recombinantly produced in Pichia pastoris and the 3D structure was solved by NMR. The cysteine stabilized ?/?-fold with a unique disulfide connectivity and an N-terminal pyroglutamate rendered copsin extremely stable against high temperatures and protease digestion. Copsin was bactericidal against a diversity of Gram positive bacteria, including human pathogens such as Enterococcus faecium and Listeria monocytogenes. Characterization of the antibacterial activity revealed that copsin bound specifically to the peptidoglycan precursor lipid II and therefore interfered with the cell wall biosynthesis. In particular, and unlike lantibiotics and other defensins, the third position of the lipid II pentapeptide is essential for effective copsin binding. The unique structural properties of copsin make it a possible scaffold for new antibiotics.
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.