Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells express an invariant T cell receptor (TCR) ?-chain (TRAV1-2 joined to TRAJ33, TRAJ20, or TRAJ12 in humans), which pairs with an array of TCR ?-chains. MAIT TCRs can bind folate- and riboflavin-based metabolites restricted by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-related class I-like molecule, MR1. However, the impact of MAIT TCR and MR1-ligand heterogeneity on MAIT cell biology is unclear. We show how a previously uncharacterized MR1 ligand, acetyl-6-formylpterin (Ac-6-FP), markedly stabilized MR1, potently up-regulated MR1 cell surface expression, and inhibited MAIT cell activation. These enhanced properties of Ac-6-FP were attributable to structural alterations in MR1 that subsequently affected MAIT TCR recognition via conformational changes within the complementarity-determining region (CDR) 3? loop. Analysis of seven TRBV6-1(+) MAIT TCRs demonstrated how CDR3? hypervariability impacted on MAIT TCR recognition by altering TCR flexibility and contacts with MR1 and the Ag itself. Ternary structures of TRBV6-1, TRBV6-4, and TRBV20(+) MAIT TCRs in complex with MR1 bound to a potent riboflavin-based antigen (Ag) showed how variations in TRBV gene usage exclusively impacted on MR1 contacts within a consensus MAIT TCR-MR1 footprint. Moreover, differential TRAJ gene usage was readily accommodated within a conserved MAIT TCR-MR1-Ag docking mode. Collectively, MAIT TCR heterogeneity can fine-tune MR1 recognition in an Ag-dependent manner, thereby modulating MAIT cell recognition.
Legionella pneumophila is an opportunistic pathogen that replicates within alveolar macrophages resulting in the onset of severe atypical pneumonia. Previously we have identified Lpg1905, a eukaryotic-type ecto-NTPDase (nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase) from L. pneumophila that was required for optimal intracellular replication and virulence in a mouse lung infection model. In the present study, we characterized the activity of a second eukaryotic-type NTPDase, Lpg0971, from L. pneumophila. We observed that recombinant Lpg0971 hydrolysed only ATP and exhibited divalent cation preference for manganese (II) ions. Similar to lpg1905, an lpg0971 mutant carrying the plasmid pMIP was attenuated in a mouse lung infection model and impaired for replication in human macrophages and amoebae. Increased trafficking of the LCV (Legionella-containing vacuole) to a LAMP-1 (lysosome-associated membrane protein-1)-positive compartment was observed for both the lpg1905 and lpg0971 mutants carrying pMIP. Complementation with either lpg1905 or lpg0971 restored intracellular replication, suggesting that a minimum level of ATPase activity was required for this function. A double lpg1905/0971 mutant was not more impaired for intracellular replication than the single mutants and complementation of the double mutant with lpg0971, but not lpg1905, restored intracellular replication. This suggested that although the NTPDases have overlapping activities they have distinct functions. Unlike many eukaryotic-type proteins from L. pneumophila, neither Lpg1905 nor Lpg0971 were translocated into the host cell by the Dot/Icm (defective in organelle trafficking/intracellular multiplication) type IV secretion system. Overall our data suggest that the ability of L. pneumophila to replicate in eukaryotic cells relies in part on the ability of the pathogen to hydrolyse ATP within an intracellular compartment.
Bacterial autotransporters comprise a 12-stranded membrane-embedded ?-barrel domain, which must be folded in a process that entraps segments of an N-terminal passenger domain. This first stage of autotransporter folding determines whether subsequent translocation can deliver the N-terminal domain to its functional form on the bacterial cell surface. Here, paired glycine-aromatic 'mortise and tenon' motifs are shown to join neighbouring ?-strands in the C-terminal barrel domain, and mutations within these motifs slow the rate and extent of passenger domain translocation to the surface of bacterial cells. In line with this, biophysical studies of the autotransporter Pet show that the conserved residues significantly quicken completion of the folding reaction and promote stability of the autotransporter barrel domain. Comparative genomics demonstrate conservation of glycine-aromatic residue pairings through evolution as a previously unrecognized feature of all autotransporter proteins.
The success of pathogenic mycobacterial species is owing in part to their ability to parasitize the generally inhospitable phagosomal environment of host macrophages, utilizing a variety of strategies to avoid their antimycobacterial capabilities and thereby enabling their survival. A recently identified gene target in Mycobacterium smegmatis, highly conserved within Mycobacterium spp. and denoted MSMEG_5817, has been found to be important for bacterial survival within host macrophages. To gain insight into its function, the crystal structure of MSMEG_5817 has been solved to 2.40?Å resolution. The structure reveals a high level of structural homology to the sterol carrier protein (SCP) family, suggesting a potential role of MSMEG_5817 in the binding and transportation of biologically relevant lipids required for bacterial survival. The lipid-binding capacity of MSMEG_5817 was confirmed by ELISA, revealing binding to a number of phospholipids with varying binding specificities compared with Homo sapiens SCP. A potential lipid-binding site was probed by alanine-scanning mutagenesis, revealing structurally relevant residues and a binding mechanism potentially differing from that of the SCPs.
The present study focussed on investigating CD59-like molecules of Fasciola hepatica. A cDNA encoding a CD59-like protein (termed FhCD59-1) identified previously in the membrane fraction of the F. hepatica tegument was isolated. This homologue was shown to encode a predicted open reading frame (ORF) of 122 amino acids (aa) orthologous to human CD59 with a 25 aa signal peptide, a mature protein containing 10 cysteines and a conserved CD59/Ly-6 family motif "CCXXXXCN". An analysis of cDNAs from two different adult specimens of F. hepatica revealed seven variable types of FhCD59-1 sequences, designated FhCD59-1.1 to FhCD59-1.7, which had 94.3-99.7% amino acid sequence identity upon pairwise comparison. Molecular modeling of FhCD59-1.1 with human CD59 confirmed the presence of the three-finger protein domain found in the CD59 family and predicted three disulphide bonds in the F. hepatica sequence. The interrogation of F. hepatica databases identified two additional sequences, designated FhCD59-2 and FhCD59-3, which had only 23.4-29.5% amino acid identity to FhCD59-1.1. Orthologues of the inferred CD59 protein sequences of F. hepatica were also identified in other flatworms, including Fasciola gigantica, Fascioloides magna, Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum, Schistosoma mansoni, Clonorchis sinensis, Opisthorchis viverrini, Taenia solium, Echinococcus granulosus and the free living Schmidtea mediterannea. The results revealed a considerable degree of sequence complexity in the CD59-like sequence families in F. hepatica and flatworms. Phylogenetic analysis of CD59-like aa sequences from F. hepatica and flatworms showed that FhCD59-2 clustered with the known surface-associated protein SmCD59-2 of S. mansoni. Relatively well-supported clades specific to schistosomes, fasciolids and opisthorchiids were identified. The qPCR analysis of gene transcription showed that the relative expression of these 3 FhCD59-like sequences varied by 11-47-fold during fluke maturation, from the newly excysted juvenile (NEJ) to the adult stage. These findings suggest that different FhCD59-like sequences play distinct roles during the development of F. hepatica.
Aldo-keto reductases (AKR) are a large superfamily of NADPH-dependent oxidoreductases and play a role in detoxification of toxic metabolites. Rv2971, an AKR in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has recently been identified as a target of isoniazid, a key first-line drug against tuberculosis. Here, the cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and structural characterization of Rv2971 are described. To gain insight into its function, the crystal structure of Rv2971 was successfully determined to 1.60 Å resolution in its unliganded form. The structure exhibits a TIM-barrel fold typical of AKRs, revealing structural characteristics essential for function and substrate specificities, allowing a structural comparison between Rv2971 and other mycobacterial AKRs.
Pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli produce a number of toxins that belong to the AB5 toxin family, which comprise a catalytic A-subunit that induces cellular dysfunction and a B-pentamer that recognizes host glycans. Although the molecular actions of many of the individual subunits of AB5 toxins are well understood, how they self-associate and the effect of this association on cytotoxicity are poorly understood. Here we have solved the structure of the holo-SubAB toxin that, in contrast to other AB5 toxins whose molecular targets are located in the cytosol, cleaves the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone BiP. SubA interacts with SubB in a similar manner to other AB5 toxins via the A2 helix and a conserved disulfide bond that joins the A1 domain with the A2 helix. The structure revealed that the active site of SubA is not occluded by the B-pentamer, and the B-pentamer does not enhance or inhibit the activity of SubA. Structure-based sequence comparisons with other AB5 toxin family members, combined with extensive mutagenesis studies on SubB, show how the hydrophobic patch on top of the B-pentamer plays a dominant role in binding the A-subunit. The structure of SubAB and the accompanying functional characterization of various mutants of SubAB provide a framework for understanding the important role of the B-pentamer in the assembly and the intracellular trafficking of this AB5 toxin.
AB5 toxins are composed of an enzymatic A subunit that disrupts cellular function associated with a pentameric B subunit required for host cell invasion. EcxAB is an AB5 toxin isolated from clinical strains of Escherichia coli classified as part of the cholera family due to B subunit homology. Cholera-group toxins have catalytic ADP-ribosyltransferases as their A subunits, so it was surprising that EcxA did not. We confirmed that EcxAB self-associates as a functional toxin and obtained its structure. EcxAB is a prototypical member of a hybrid AB5 toxin family containing metzincin-type metalloproteases as their active A subunit paired to a cholera-like B subunit. Furthermore, EcxA is distinct from previously characterized proteases and thus founds an AB5-associated metzincin family that we term the toxilysins. EcxAB provides the first observation of conserved B subunit usage across different AB5 toxin families and provides evidence that the intersubunit interface of these toxins is far more permissive than previously supposed.
AB? toxins are key virulence factors found in a range of pathogenic bacteria. AB? toxins consist of two components: a pentameric B subunit that targets eukaryotic cells by binding to glycans located on the cell surface and a catalytic A subunit that disrupts host cellular function following internalization. To date, the A subunits of AB? toxins either have RNA-N-glycosidase, ADP-ribosyltransferase or serine protease activity. However, it has been suggested that a novel AB? toxin produced by clinical isolates of Escherichia coli and Citrobacter freundii has an A subunit with metalloproteinase activity. Here, the expression, purification and crystallization of this novel AB? toxin from E. coli (EcxAB) and the collection of X-ray data to 1.9 Å resolution are reported.
The T cell repertoire comprises ?? and ?? T cell lineages. Although it is established how ?? T cell antigen receptors (TCRs) interact with antigen presented by antigen-presenting molecules, this is unknown for ?? TCRs. We describe a population of human V?1(+) ?? T cells that exhibit autoreactivity to CD1d and provide a molecular basis for how a ?? TCR binds CD1d-?-galactosylceramide (?-GalCer). The ?? TCR docked orthogonally, over the A pocket of CD1d, in which the V?1-chain, and in particular the germ line-encoded CDR1? loop, dominated interactions with CD1d. The TCR ?-chain sat peripherally to the interface, with the CDR3? loop representing the principal determinant for ?-GalCer specificity. Accordingly, we provide insight into how a ?? TCR binds specifically to a lipid-loaded antigen-presenting molecule.
The mucosal-associated invariant T-cell antigen receptor (MAIT TCR) recognizes MR1 presenting vitamin B metabolites. Here we describe the structures of a human MAIT TCR in complex with human MR1 presenting a non-stimulatory ligand derived from folic acid and an agonist ligand derived from a riboflavin metabolite. For both vitamin B antigens, the MAIT TCR docks in a conserved manner above MR1, thus acting as an innate-like pattern recognition receptor. The invariant MAIT TCR ?-chain usage is attributable to MR1-mediated interactions that prise open the MR1 cleft to allow contact with the vitamin B metabolite. Although the non-stimulatory antigen does not contact the MAIT TCR, the stimulatory antigen does. This results in a higher affinity of the MAIT TCR for a stimulatory antigen in comparison with a non-stimulatory antigen. We formally demonstrate a structural basis for MAIT TCR recognition of vitamin B metabolites, while illuminating how TCRs recognize microbial metabolic signatures.
Mycobacterium species have developed numerous strategies to avoid the antimycobacterial actions of macrophages, enabling them to survive within the generally inhospitable environment of the cell. The recently identified MSMEG_5817 protein from M. smegmatis is highly conserved in Mycobacterium spp. and is required for bacterial survival in macrophages. Here, the cloning, expression, purification and crystallization of MSMEG_5817 is reported. Crystals of MSMEG_5817 were grown in 1.42?M Li2SO4, 0.1?M Tris-HCl pH 7.7, 0.1?M sodium citrate tribasic dihydrate. Native and multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion (MAD) data sets have been collected and structure determination is in progress.
Activating and inhibitory receptors on natural killer (NK) cells have a crucial role in innate immunity, although the basis of the engagement of activating NK cell receptors is unclear. The activating receptor Ly49H confers resistance to infection with murine cytomegalovirus by binding to the immunoevasin m157. We found that m157 bound to the helical stalk of Ly49H, whereby two m157 monomers engaged the Ly49H dimer. The helical stalks of Ly49H lay centrally across the m157 platform, whereas its lectin domain was not required for recognition. Instead, m157 targeted an aromatic peg motif present in stalks of both activating and inhibitory receptors of the Ly49 family, and substitution of this motif abrogated binding. Furthermore, ligation of m157 to Ly49H or Ly49C resulted in intracellular signaling. Accordingly, m157 has evolved to tackle the legs of a family of NK cell receptors.
Human T cells that express a T cell antigen receptor (TCR) containing ?-chain variable region 9 and ?-chain variable region 2 (V?9V?2) recognize phosphorylated prenyl metabolites as antigens in the presence of antigen-presenting cells but independently of major histocompatibility complex (MHC), the MHC class I-related molecule MR1 and antigen-presenting CD1 molecules. Here we used genetic approaches to identify the molecule that binds and presents phosphorylated antigens. We found that the butyrophilin BTN3A1 bound phosphorylated antigens with low affinity, at a stoichiometry of 1:1, and stimulated mouse T cells with transgenic expression of a human V?9V?2 TCR. The structures of the BTN3A1 distal domain in complex with host- or microbe-derived phosphorylated antigens had an immunoglobulin-like fold in which the antigens bound in a shallow pocket. Soluble V?9V?2 TCR interacted specifically with BTN3A1-antigen complexes. Accordingly, BTN3A1 represents an antigen-presenting molecule required for the activation of V?9V?2 T cells.
Type I interferons are important in regulating immune responses to pathogens and tumors. All interferons are considered to signal via the heterodimeric IFNAR1-IFNAR2 complex, yet some subtypes such as interferon-? (IFN-?) can exhibit distinct functional properties, although the molecular basis of this is unclear. Here we demonstrate IFN-? can uniquely and specifically ligate to IFNAR1 in an IFNAR2-independent manner, and we provide the structural basis of the IFNAR1-IFN-? interaction. The IFNAR1-IFN-? complex transduced signals that modulated expression of a distinct set of genes independently of Jak-STAT pathways. Lipopolysaccharide-induced sepsis was ameliorated in Ifnar1(-/-) mice but not Ifnar2(-/-) mice, suggesting that IFNAR1-IFN-? signaling is pathologically relevant. Thus, we provide a molecular basis for understanding specific functions of IFN-?.
Produced by CD4(+) helper T cells and natural killer T (NKT) cells, interleukin-21 (IL-21) performs broad regulatory functions on B cells, CD4(+) T cells, CD8(+) T cells, NK cells and NKT cells. Targeting IL-21 to enhance the immune system has attracted great interests in the development of vaccination, anti-infection and anti-tumor therapies. Administration of IL-21 in pre-clinical models is however limited by relatively high expense of the recombinant IL-21 protein. Here, we report a rapid and cost-effective method to produce IL-21 using Escherichia coli (E. coli) by introducing a novel two-step dilution strategy for refolding. The method has been validated to produce milligrams of human IL-21, human IL-21/IL-4 chimera and mouse IL-21 with high bioactivities and low endotoxin, mostly suitable for in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical studies.
NKT cells respond to a variety of CD1d-restricted glycolipid Ags that are structurally related to the prototypic Ag ?-galactosylceramide (?-GalCer). A modified analog of ?-GalCer with a carbon-based glycosidic linkage (?-C-GalCer) has generated great interest because of its apparent ability to promote prolonged, Th1-biased immune responses. In this study, we report the activation of spleen NKT cells to ?-C-GalCer, and related C-glycoside ligands, is weaker than that of ?-GalCer. Furthermore, the V?8.2 and V?7 NKT TCR affinity for CD1d-?-C-GalCer, and some related analogs, is ?10-fold lower than that for the NKT TCR-CD1d-?-GalCer interaction. Nevertheless, the crystal structure of the V?8.2 NKT TCR-CD1d-?-C-GalCer complex is similar to that of the corresponding NKT TCR-CD1d-?-GalCer complex, although subtle differences at the interface provide a basis for understanding the lower affinity of the NKT TCR-CD1d-?-C-GalCer interaction. Our findings support the concept that for CD1d-restricted NKT cells, altered glycolipid ligands can promote markedly different responses while adopting similar TCR-docking topologies.
Members of the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) family, a large group of polymorphic receptors expressed on natural killer (NK) cells, recognize particular peptide-laden human leukocyte antigen (pHLA) class I molecules and have a pivotal role in innate immune responses. Allelic variation and extensive polymorphism within the three-domain KIR family (KIR3D, domains D0-D1-D2) affects pHLA binding specificity and is linked to the control of viral replication and the treatment outcome of certain haematological malignancies. Here we describe the structure of a human KIR3DL1 receptor bound to HLA-B*5701 complexed with a self-peptide. KIR3DL1 clamped around the carboxy-terminal end of the HLA-B*5701 antigen-binding cleft, resulting in two discontinuous footprints on the pHLA. First, the D0 domain, a distinguishing feature of the KIR3D family, extended towards ?2-microglobulin and abutted a region of the HLA molecule with limited polymorphism, thereby acting as an innate HLA sensor domain. Second, whereas the D2-HLA-B*5701 interface exhibited a high degree of complementarity, the D1-pHLA-B*5701 contacts were suboptimal and accommodated a degree of sequence variation both within the peptide and the polymorphic region of the HLA molecule. Although the two-domain KIR (KIR2D) and KIR3DL1 docked similarly onto HLA-C and HLA-B respectively, the corresponding D1-mediated interactions differed markedly, thereby providing insight into the specificity of KIR3DL1 for discrete HLA-A and HLA-B allotypes. Collectively, in association with extensive mutagenesis studies at the KIR3DL1-pHLA-B*5701 interface, we provide a framework for understanding the intricate interplay between peptide variability, KIR3D and HLA polymorphism in determining the specificity requirements of this essential innate interaction that is conserved across primate species.
The most potent foreign antigens for natural killer T cells (NKT cells) are ?-linked glycolipids, whereas NKT cell self-reactivity involves weaker recognition of structurally distinct ?-linked glycolipid antigens. Here we provide the mechanism for the autoreactivity of T cell antigen receptors (TCRs) on NKT cells to the mono- and tri-glycosylated ?-linked agonists ?-galactosylceramide (?-GalCer) and isoglobotrihexosylceramide (iGb3), respectively. In binding these disparate antigens, the NKT cell TCRs docked onto CD1d similarly, achieving this by flattening the conformation of the ?-linked ligands regardless of the size of the glycosyl head group. Unexpectedly, the antigenicity of iGb3 was attributable to its terminal sugar group making compensatory interactions with CD1d. Thus, the NKT cell TCR molds the ?-linked self ligands to resemble the conformation of foreign ?-linked ligands, which shows that induced-fit molecular mimicry can underpin the self-reactivity of NKT cell TCRs to ?-linked antigens.
The highly complex and unique mycobacterial cell wall is critical to the survival of Mycobacteria in host cells. However, the biosynthetic pathways responsible for its synthesis are, in general, incompletely characterized. Rv3802c from Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a partially characterized phospholipase/thioesterase encoded within a genetic cluster dedicated to the synthesis of core structures of the mycobacterial cell wall, including mycolic acids and arabinogalactan. Enzymatic assays performed with purified recombinant proteins Rv3802c and its close homologs from Mycobacterium smegmatis (MSMEG_6394) and Corynebacterium glutamicum (NCgl2775) show that they all have significant lipase activities that are inhibited by tetrahydrolipstatin, an anti-obesity drug that coincidently inhibits mycobacterial cell wall biosynthesis. The crystal structure of MSMEG_6394, solved to 2.9 ? resolution, revealed an ?/? hydrolase fold and a catalytic triad typically present in esterases and lipases. Furthermore, we demonstrate direct evidence of gene essentiality in M. smegmatis and show the structural consequences of loss of MSMEG_6394 function on the cellular integrity of the organism. These findings, combined with the predicted essentiality of Rv3802c in M. tuberculosis, indicate that the Rv3802c family performs a fundamental and indispensable lipase-associated function in mycobacteria.
alphabeta T cell receptors (TCRs) are genetically restricted to corecognize peptide antigens bound to self-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) molecules; however, the basis for this MHC specificity remains unclear. Despite the current dogma, evaluation of the TCR-pMHC-I structural database shows that the nongermline-encoded complementarity-determining region (CDR)-3 loops often contact the MHC-I, and the germline-encoded CDR1 and -2 loops frequently participate in peptide-mediated interactions. Nevertheless, different TCRs adopt a roughly conserved docking mode over the pMHC-I, in which three MHC-I residues (65, 69, and 155) are invariably contacted by the TCR in one way or another. Nonetheless, the impact of mutations at these three positions, either individually or together, was not uniformly detrimental to TCR recognition of pHLA-B*0801 or pHLA-B*3508. Moreover, when TCR-pMHC-I recognition was impaired, this could be partially restored by expression of the CD8 coreceptor. The structure of a TCR-pMHC-I complex in which these three (65, 69, and 155) MHC-I positions were all mutated resulted in shifting of the TCR footprint relative to the cognate complex and formation of compensatory interactions. Collectively, our findings reveal the inherent adaptability of the TCR in maintaining peptide recognition while accommodating changes to the central docking site on the pMHC-I.
The pre-T-cell antigen receptor (pre-TCR), expressed by immature thymocytes, has a pivotal role in early T-cell development, including TCR ?-selection, survival and proliferation of CD4(-)CD8(-) double-negative thymocytes, and subsequent ?? T-cell lineage differentiation. Whereas ??TCR ligation by the peptide-loaded major histocompatibility complex initiates T-cell signalling, pre-TCR-induced signalling occurs by means of a ligand-independent dimerization event. The pre-TCR comprises an invariant ?-chain (pre-T?) that pairs with any TCR ?-chain (TCR?) following successful TCR ?-gene rearrangement. Here we provide the basis of pre-T?-TCR? assembly and pre-TCR dimerization. The pre-T? chain comprised a single immunoglobulin-like domain that is structurally distinct from the constant (C) domain of the TCR ?-chain; nevertheless, the mode of association between pre-T? and TCR? mirrored that mediated by the C?-C? domains of the ??TCR. The pre-TCR had a propensity to dimerize in solution, and the molecular envelope of the pre-TCR dimer correlated well with the observed head-to-tail pre-TCR dimer. This mode of pre-TCR dimerization enabled the pre-T? domain to interact with the variable (V) ? domain through residues that are highly conserved across the V? and joining (J) ? gene families, thus mimicking the interactions at the core of the ??TCRs V?-V? interface. Disruption of this pre-T?-V? dimer interface abrogated pre-TCR dimerization in solution and impaired pre-TCR expression on the cell surface. Accordingly, we provide a mechanism of pre-TCR self-association that allows the pre-T? chain to simultaneously sample the correct folding of both the V and C domains of any TCR ?-chain, regardless of its ultimate specificity, which represents a critical checkpoint in T-cell development. This unusual dual-chaperone-like sensing function of pre-T? represents a unique mechanism in nature whereby developmental quality control regulates the expression and signalling of an integral membrane receptor complex.
Many pathogenic bacteria have sophisticated mechanisms to interfere with the mammalian immune response. These include the disruption of host extracellular ATP levels that, in humans, is tightly regulated by the nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase family (NTPDases). NTPDases are found almost exclusively in eukaryotes, the notable exception being their presence in some pathogenic prokaryotes. To address the function of bacterial NTPDases, we describe the structures of an NTPDase from the pathogen Legionella pneumophila (Lpg1905/Lp1NTPDase) in its apo state and in complex with the ATP analog AMPPNP and the subtype-specific NTPDase inhibitor ARL 67156. Lp1NTPDase is structurally and catalytically related to eukaryotic NTPDases and the structure provides a basis for NTPDase-specific inhibition. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the activity of Lp1NTPDase correlates directly with intracellular replication of Legionella within macrophages. Collectively, these findings provide insight into the mechanism of this enzyme and highlight its role in host-pathogen interactions.
Aldo-keto reductases (AKRs) are a large superfamily of NADPH-dependent enzymes that catalyze the reduction of aldehydes, aldoses, dicarbonyls, steroids, and monosaccharides. While their precise physiological role is generally unknown, AKRs are nevertheless involved in the detoxification of a broad range of toxic metabolites. Mycobacteria contain a number of AKRs, the majority of which are uncharacterised. Here, we report the 1.9 and 1.6 A resolution structures of the apoenzyme and NADPH-bound forms, respectively, of an AKR (MSMEG_2407) from Mycobacterium smegmatis, a close homologue of the M. tuberculosis enzyme Rv2971, whose function is essential to this bacterium. MSMEG_2407 adopted the triosephosphate isomerase (alpha/beta)(8)-barrel fold exhibited by other AKRs. MSMEG_2407 (AKR5H1) bound NADPH via an induced-fit mechanism, in which the NADPH was ligated in an extended fashion. Polar-mediated interactions dominated the interactions with the cofactor, which is atypical of the mode of NADPH binding within the AKR family. Moreover, the nicotinamide ring of NADPH was disordered, and this was attributed to the lack of an "AKR-conserved" bulky residue within the nicotinamide-binding cavity of MSMEG_2407. Enzymatic characterisation of MSMEG_2407 and Rv2971 identified dicarbonyls as a preferred substrate family for hydrolysis, and the frontline antituberculosis drug isoniazid (INH) was shown to inhibit the enzyme activity of both recombinant MSMEG_2407 and Rv2971. However, differences between the affinities of MSMEG_2407 and Rv2971 for dicarbonyls and INH were observed, and this was attributable to amino acid substitutions within the cofactor- and substrate-binding sites. The structures of MSMEG_2407 and the accompanying biochemical characterisation of MSMEG_2407 and Rv2971 provide insight into the structure and function of AKRs from mycobacteria.
AB(5) toxins are important virulence factors for several major bacterial pathogens, including Bordetella pertussis, Vibrio cholerae, Shigella dysenteriae and at least two distinct pathotypes of Escherichia coli. The AB(5) toxins are so named because they comprise a catalytic A-subunit, which is responsible for disruption of essential host functions, and a pentameric B-subunit that binds to specific glycan receptors on the target cell surface. The molecular mechanisms by which the AB(5) toxins cause disease have been largely unravelled, including recent insights into a novel AB(5) toxin family, subtilase cytotoxin (SubAB). Furthermore, AB(5) toxins have become a valuable tool for studying fundamental cellular functions, and are now being investigated for potential applications in the clinical treatment of human diseases.
Neisseria meningitidis encodes three DsbA oxidoreductases (NmDsbA1-NmDsbA3) that are vital for the oxidative folding of many membrane and secreted proteins, and these three enzymes are considered to exhibit different substrate specificities. This has led to the suggestion that each N. meningitidis DsbA (NmDsbA) may play a specialized role in different stages of pathogenesis; however, the molecular and structural bases of the different roles of NmDsbAs are unclear. With the aim of determining the molecular basis for substrate specificity and how this correlates to pathogenesis, we undertook a biochemical and structural characterization of the three NmDsbAs. We report the 2.0-A-resolution crystal structure of the oxidized form of NmDsbA1, which adopted a canonical DsbA fold similar to that observed in the structures of NmDsbA3 and Escherichia coli DsbA (EcDsbA). Structural comparisons revealed variations around the active site and candidate peptide-binding region. Additionally, we demonstrate that all three NmDsbAs are strong oxidases with similar redox potentials; however, they differ from EcDsbA in their ability to be reoxidized by E. coli DsbB. Collectively, our studies suggest that the small structural differences between the NmDsbA enzymes and EcDsbA are functionally significant and are the likely determinants of substrate specificity.
Ligation of the alphabeta T cell receptor (TCR) by a specific peptide-loaded major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) molecule initiates T cell signaling via the CD3 complex. However, the initial events that link antigen recognition to T cell signal transduction remain unclear. Here we show, via fluorescence-based experiments and structural analyses, that MHC-restricted antigen recognition by the alphabeta TCR results in a specific conformational change confined to the A-B loop within the alpha chain of the constant domain (Calpha). The apparent affinity constant of this A-B loop movement mirrored that of alphabeta TCR-pMHC ligation and was observed in two alphabeta TCRs with distinct pMHC specificities. The Ag-induced A-B loop conformational change could be inhibited by fixing the juxtapositioning of the constant domains and was shown to be reversible upon pMHC disassociation. Notably, the loop movement within the Calpha domain, although specific for an agonist pMHC ligand, was not observed with a pMHC antagonist. Moreover, mutagenesis of residues within the A-B loop impaired T cell signaling in an in vitro system of antigen-specific TCR stimulation. Collectively, our findings provide a basis for the earliest molecular events that underlie Ag-induced T cell triggering.
Spirochetes of the genus Leptospira cause leptospirosis in humans and animals worldwide. Proteins exposed on the bacterial cell surface are implicated in the pathogenesis of leptospirosis. However, the biological role of the majority of these proteins is unknown; this is principally due to the lack of genetic systems for investigating Leptospira and the absence of any structural information on leptospiral antigens. To address this, we have determined the 2.0-A-resolution structure of the lipoprotein LipL32, the most abundant outer-membrane and surface protein present exclusively in pathogenic Leptospira species. The extracellular domain of LipL32 revealed a compact, globular, "jelly-roll" fold from which projected an unusual extended beta-hairpin that served as a principal mediator of the observed crystallographic dimer. Two acid-rich patches were also identified as potential binding sites for positively charged ligands, such as laminin, to which LipL32 has a propensity to bind. Although LipL32 shared no significant sequence identity to any known protein, it possessed structural homology to the adhesins that bind components of the extracellular matrix, suggesting that LipL32 functions in an analogous manner. Moreover, the structure provides a framework for understanding the immunological role of this major surface lipoprotein.
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene polymorphism plays a critical role in protective immunity, disease susceptibility, autoimmunity, and drug hypersensitivity, yet the basis of how HLA polymorphism influences T cell receptor (TCR) recognition is unclear. We examined how a natural micropolymorphism in HLA-B44, an important and large HLA allelic family, affected antigen recognition. T cell-mediated immunity to an Epstein-Barr virus determinant (EENLLDFVRF) is enhanced when HLA-B*4405 was the presenting allotype compared with HLA-B*4402 or HLA-B*4403, each of which differ by just one amino acid. The micropolymorphism in these HLA-B44 allotypes altered the mode of binding and dynamics of the bound viral epitope. The structure of the TCR-HLA-B*4405(EENLLDFVRF) complex revealed that peptide flexibility was a critical parameter in enabling preferential engagement with HLA-B*4405 in comparison to HLA-B*4402/03. Accordingly, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) polymorphism can alter the dynamics of the peptide-MHC landscape, resulting in fine-tuning of T cell responses between closely related allotypes.
The principal function of bacterial AB5 toxin B subunits is to interact with glycan receptors on the surfaces of target cells and mediate the internalization of holotoxin. However, B subunit-receptor interactions also have the potential to impact cell signaling pathways and, in so doing, contribute to pathogenesis independently of the catalytic (toxic) A subunits. Various Salmonella enterica serovars, including Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, encode an AB5 toxin (ArtAB), the A subunit of which is an ADP-ribosyltransferase related to the S1 subunit of pertussis toxin. However, although the A subunit is able to catalyze ADP-ribosylation of host G proteins, a cytotoxic phenotype has yet to be identified for the holotoxin. We therefore examined the capacity of the purified B subunit (ArtB) from S. Typhi to elicit cytokine, chemokine, and adhesion molecule responses in human macrophage (U937), colonic epithelial (HCT-8) cell, and brain microvascular endothelial cell (HBMEC) lines. Secretion of the chemokines monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1) and interleukin 8 (IL-8) was increased in all three tested cell lines, with macrophage inflammatory protein 1? (MIP-1?), MIP-1?, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) also significantly increased in U937 cells. ArtB also upregulated the cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?) and IL-6 in HBMECs and HCT-8 cells, but not in U937 cells, while intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) was upregulated in HCT-8 and U937 cells and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) was upregulated in HBMECs. Thus, ArtB may contribute to pathogenesis independently of the A subunit by promoting and maintaining a strong inflammatory response at the site of infection.
Celiac disease is a human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ2- and/or DQ8-associated T cell-mediated disorder that is induced by dietary gluten. Although it is established how gluten peptides bind HLA-DQ8 and HLA-DQ2, it is unclear how such peptide-HLA complexes are engaged by the T cell receptor (TCR), a recognition event that triggers disease pathology. We show that biased TCR usage (TRBV9(?)01) underpins the recognition of HLA-DQ8-?-I-gliadin. The structure of a prototypical TRBV9(?)01-TCR-HLA-DQ8-?-I-gliadin complex shows that the TCR docks centrally above HLA-DQ8-?-I-gliadin, in which all complementarity-determining region-? (CDR?) loops interact with the gliadin peptide. Mutagenesis at the TRBV9(?)01-TCR-HLA-DQ8-?-I-gliadin interface provides an energetic basis for the V? bias. Moreover, CDR3 diversity accounts for TRBV9(?)01(+) TCRs exhibiting differing reactivities toward the gliadin epitopes at various deamidation states. Accordingly, biased TCR usage is an important factor in the pathogenesis of DQ8-mediated celiac disease.
Australia is facing a major national medical challenge with the emergence of the Hendra virus (HeV) as a medically and economically important pathogen of humans and animals. Clinical symptoms of human HeV infection can include fever, hypotension, dizziness, encephalitis, respiratory haemorrhage and edema. The window of opportunity for successful patient treatment remains unknown, but is likely to be very narrow. Currently, very few effective therapeutic options are available for the case management of severe HeV infections or the rapid silencing of local outbreaks. This underscores the need for more activity in the drug discovery arena to develop much needed therapeutics that specifically targets this deadly disease. The structural analysis of HeV is very much in its infancy, which leaves many gaps in our understanding of the biology of HeV and makes structure-guided drug design difficult. Structural studies of the viral RNA-dependent-RNA polymerase (RdRp), which is the heart of the viral replication machinery, will set the stage for rational drug design and fill a major gap in our understanding of the HeV replication machinery. This review examines the current knowledge based on the multi-domain architecture of the Hendra RdRp and highlights which essential domain functions represent tangible targets for drug development against this deadly disease.
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