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 translocate their enzymatic domain across vesicular membranes. The molecular triggers of this process are unknown. Here, we tested the possibility that this is elicited by protonation of conserved surface carboxylates. Glutamate-48, glutamate-653 and aspartate-877 were identified as possible candidates and changed into amide. This triple mutant showed increased neurotoxicity due to faster cytosolic delivery of the enzymatic domain; membrane translocation could take place at less acidic pH. Thus, neutralisation of specific negative surface charges facilitates membrane contact permitting a faster initiation of the toxin membrane insertion.
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 four-domain structure of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) reflects their multistep intoxication process. The high toxicity of BoNTs primarily results from specific binding and uptake into neurons mediated by their 50-kDa cell-binding fragment (H(C) ). X-ray crystallography data have revealed that the H(C) fragment consists of two domains of equal size, named the 25-kDa N-terminal half of H(C) (H(CN) ) and the 25-kDa C-terminal half of H(C) (H(CC) ). In recent years, the ganglioside-binding sites of all seven BoNT serotypes have been allocated to the H(CC) domain. For BoNT/A, BoNT/B and BoNT/G, the protein receptor-binding site has been also been localized to the H(CC) domain. Here, we demonstrate that the H(CC) serotype can modulate the affinity of the H(C) fragment for neuronal membranes as well as the potency of full-length BoNT by replacing the BoNT/A H(CC) domain with the BoNT/B H(CC) , BoNT/C H(CC) and BoNT/E H(CC) domains, which exhibit higher affinity for synaptosomes. Indeed, the hybrids H(C) AB and H(C) AC display a higher affinity than wild-type H(C) A. Furthermore, the potency of a BoNT/A-based full-length hybrid containing the H(CC) B domain (AAAB; letters represent the serotype origin of the four domains) was quadrupled as compared with wild-type BoNT/A. Analogously, exchange of the H(C) fragment (AABB) yielded a neurotoxin with four-fold higher potency. As BoNT/A and BoNT/B are extensively used to treat neurological disorders, thereby facing the problem of BoNT neutralizing antibody formation, a BoNT with increased potency would lower the repeatedly administered protein dosage while maintaining the clinical benefit. Such a lowered protein load will delay the onset of neurotoxin antibody formation in patients.
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).
The clostridial neurotoxin family consists of tetanus neurotoxin and seven distinct botulinum neurotoxins which cause the diseases tetanus and botulism. The extreme potency of these toxins primarily relies not only on their ability to specifically enter motoneurons but also on the activity their catalytic domains display inside presynaptic motoneuronal terminals. Subsequent to neurotoxin binding and endocytosis the catalytic domains become translocated across endosomal membranes and proteolyze unique peptide bonds of one of three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment receptors (SNAREs), vesicle associated membrane protein/synaptobrevin, synaptosome associated protein of 25 kDa, or syntaxin. As these substrate proteins are core components of the vesicular membrane fusion apparatus, cleavage of any of the substrate molecules results in the blockade of neurotransmitter release. This review summarizes the present knowledge about the molecular basis of the specific substrate recognition and cleavage mechanism and assesses the feasibility of reengineering catalytic domains to hydrolyze non-substrate members of the three SNARE families in order to expand the therapeutic application of botulinum neurotoxins.
The high toxicity of clostridial neurotoxins primarily results from their specific binding and uptake into neurons. At motor neurons, the seven botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A-G (BoNT/A-G) inhibit acetylcholine release, leading to flaccid paralysis, while tetanus neurotoxin blocks neurotransmitter release in inhibitory neurons, resulting in spastic paralysis. Uptake of BoNT/A, B, E and G requires a dual interaction with gangliosides and the synaptic vesicle (SV) proteins synaptotagmin or SV2, whereas little is known about the entry mechanisms of the remaining serotypes. Here, we demonstrate that BoNT/F as wells depends on the presence of gangliosides, by employing phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm preparations derived from mice expressing GM3, GM2, GM1 and GD1a or only GM3. Subsequent site-directed mutagenesis based on homology models identified the ganglioside binding site at a conserved location in BoNT/E and F. Using the mice phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay as a physiological model system, cross-competition of full-length neurotoxin binding by recombinant binding fragments, plus accelerated neurotoxin uptake upon increased electrical stimulation, indicate that BoNT/F employs SV2 as protein receptor, whereas BoNT/C and D utilise different SV receptor structures. The co-precipitation of SV2A, B and C from Triton-solubilised SVs by BoNT/F underlines this conclusion.
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.