Crystal structure of the Staphylococcus aureus pI258 CadC Cd(II)/Pb(II)/Zn(II)-responsive repressor.
ABSTRACT: The Staphylococcus aureus plasmid pI258 cadCA operon encodes a P-type ATPase, CadA, that confers resistance to the heavy metals Cd(II), Zn(II), and Pb(II). Expression of this heavy-metal efflux pump is regulated by CadC, a homodimeric repressor that dissociates from the cad operator/promoter upon binding of Cd(II), Pb(II), or Zn(II). CadC is a member of the ArsR/SmtB family of metalloregulatory proteins. Here we report the X-ray crystal structure of CadC at 1.9 angstroms resolution. The dimensions of the protein dimer are approximately 30 angstroms by 40 angstroms by 70 angstroms. Each monomer contains six alpha-helices and a three-stranded beta-sheet. Helices 4 and 5 form a classic helix-turn-helix motif that is the putative DNA binding region. The alpha1 helix of one monomer crosses the dimer to approach the alpha4 helix of the other monomer, consistent with the previous proposal that these two regulatory metal binding sites for the inducer cadmium or lead are each formed by Cys-7 and Cys-11 from the N terminus of one monomer and Cys-58 and Cys-60 of the other monomer. Two nonregulatory metal binding sites containing zinc are formed between the two antiparallel alpha6 helices at the dimerization interface. This is the first reported three-dimensional structure of a member of the ArsR/SmtB family with regulatory metal binding sites at the DNA binding domain and the first structure of a transcription repressor that responds to the heavy metals Cd(II) and Pb(II).
Project description:The Staphylococcus aureus plasmid pI258 cadCA operon encodes a P-type ATPase, CadA, that confers resistance to Cd(II)/Pb(II)/Zn(II). Expression is regulated by CadC, a homodimeric repressor that dissociates from the cad operator/promoter upon binding of Cd(II), Pb(II), or Zn(II). CadC is a member of the ArsR/SmtB family of metalloregulatory proteins. The crystal structure of CadC shows two types of metal binding sites, termed Site 1 and Site 2, and the homodimer has two of each. Site 1 is the physiological inducer binding site. The two Site 2 metal binding sites are formed at the dimerization interface. Site 2 is not regulatory in CadC but is regulatory in the homologue SmtB. Here the role of each site was investigated by mutagenesis. Both sites bind either Cd(II) or Zn(II). However, Site 1 has higher affinity for Cd(II) over Zn(II), and Site 2 prefers Zn(II) over Cd(II). Site 2 is not required for either derepression or dimerization. The crystal structure of the wild type with bound Zn(II) and of a mutant lacking Site 2 was compared with the SmtB structure with and without bound Zn(II). We propose that an arginine residue allows for Zn(II) regulation in SmtB and, conversely, a glycine results in a lack of regulation by Zn(II) in CadC. We propose that a glycine residue was ancestral whether the repressor binds Zn(II) at a Site 2 like CadC or has no Site 2 like the paralogous ArsR and implies that acquisition of regulatory ability in SmtB was a more recent evolutionary event.
Project description:Expression of the genes for resistance to heavy metals and metalloids is transcriptionally regulated by the toxic ions themselves. Members of the ArsR/SmtB family of small metalloregulatory proteins respond to transition metals, heavy metals, and metalloids, including As(III), Sb(III), Cd(II), Pb(II), Zn(II), Co(II), and Ni(II). These homodimeric repressors bind to DNA in the absence of inducing metal(loid) ion and dissociate from the DNA when inducer is bound. The regulatory sites are often three- or four-coordinate metal binding sites composed of cysteine thiolates. Surprisingly, in two different As(III)-responsive regulators, the metalloid binding sites were in different locations in the repressor, and the Cd(II) binding sites were in two different locations in two Cd(II)-responsive regulators. We hypothesize that ArsR/SmtB repressors have a common backbone structure, that of a winged helix DNA-binding protein, but have considerable plasticity in the location of inducer binding sites. Here we show that an As(III)-responsive member of the family, CgArsR1 from Corynebacterium glutamicum, binds As(III) to a cysteine triad composed of Cys(15), Cys(16), and Cys(55). This binding site is clearly unrelated to the binding sites of other characterized ArsR/SmtB family members. This is consistent with our hypothesis that metal(loid) binding sites in DNA binding proteins evolve convergently in response to persistent environmental pressures.
Project description:Members of the ArsR/SmtB family of transcriptional repressors, such as CadC, regulate the intracellular levels of heavy metals like Cd(II), Hg(II), and Pb(II). These metal sensing proteins bind their target metals with high specificity and affinity, however, a lack of structural information about these proteins makes defining the coordination sphere of the target metal difficult. Lingering questions as to the identity of Cd(II) coordination in CadC are addressed via protein design techniques. Two designed peptides with tetrathiolate metal binding sites were prepared and characterized, revealing fast exchange between CdS3O and CdS4 coordination spheres. Correlation of (111m)Cd PAC spectroscopy and (113)Cd NMR spectroscopy suggests that Cd(II) coordinated to CadC is in fast exchange between CdS3O and CdS4 forms, which may provide a mechanism for rapid sensing of heavy metal contaminants by this regulatory protein.
Project description:A metal-mediated interprotomer hydrogen bond has been implicated in the allosteric mechanism of DNA operator binding in several metal-sensing proteins. Using computational methods, we investigate the energetics of such zinc-mediated interactions in members of the ArsR/SmtB family of proteins (CzrA, SmtB, CadC, and NmtR) and the MarR family zinc-uptake repressor AdcR, which feature similar interactions, but in sites that differ widely in their allosteric responsiveness. We provide novel structural insight into previously uncharacterized allosteric forms of these proteins using computational methodologies. We find this metal-mediated interaction to be significantly stronger (?8 kcal/mol) at functional allosteric metal binding sites compared to a nonresponsive site (CadC) and the apo-proteins. Simulations of the apo-proteins further reveal that the high interaction energy works to overcome the considerable disorder at these hydrogen-bonding sites and functions as a "switch" to lock in a weak DNA-binding conformation once metal is bound. These findings suggest a conserved functional role of metal-mediated second coordination shell hydrogen bonds at allosterically responsive sites in zinc-sensing transcription regulators.
Project description:ArsR As(III)-responsive transcriptional repressors, members of the ArsR/SmtB family of metalloregulatory proteins, have been characterized biochemically but, to date, no As(III)-bound structure has been solved. Here we report two crystal structures of ArsR repressors from Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (AfArsR) and Corynebacterium glutamicum (CgArsR) in the As(III)-bound form. AfArsR crystallized in P21 space group and diffracted up to 1.86?Å. CgArsR crystallized in P212121 and diffracted up to 1.6?Å. AfArsR showed one As(III) bound in one subunit of the homodimer, while the CgArsR structure showed two As(III) bound with S3 coordination, one in each monomer. Previous studies indicated that in AfArsR As(III) binds to Cys95, Cys96 and Cys102 from the same monomer, while, in CgArsR, to Cys15, Cys16 from one monomer and Cys55 from the other monomer. The dimer interfaces of these structures showed distinct differences from other members of the ArsR/SmtB family of proteins, which potentially renders multiple options for evolving metal(loid) binding sites in this family of proteins. Also, CgArsR presents a new ?2-N binding site, not the previously predicted ?3-N site. Despite differences in the location of the binding cysteines in the primary sequences of these proteins, the two metal binding sites are almost congruent on their structures, an example of convergent evolution. Analyses of the electrostatic surface of the proteins at the DNA binding domain indicate that there two different modes of derepression in the ArsR/SmtB family of metalloregulatory proteins.
Project description:De novo protein design is a biologically relevant approach that provides a novel process in elucidating protein folding and modeling the metal centers of metalloproteins in a completely unrelated or simplified fold. An integral step in de novo protein design is the establishment of a well-folded scaffold with one conformation, which is a fundamental characteristic of many native proteins. Here, we report the NMR solution structure of apo ?3DIV at pH 7.0, a de novo designed three-helix bundle peptide containing a triscysteine motif (Cys18, Cys28, and Cys67) that binds toxic heavy metals. The structure comprises 1067 NOE restraints derived from multinuclear multidimensional NOESY, as well as 138 dihedral angles (?, ?, and ?1). The backbone and heavy atoms of the 20 lowest energy structures have a root mean square deviation from the mean structure of 0.79 (0.16) Å and 1.31 (0.15) Å, respectively. When compared to the parent structure ?3D, the substitution of Leu residues to Cys enhanced the ?-helical content of ?3DIV while maintaining the same overall topology and fold. In addition, solution studies on the metalated species illustrated metal-induced stability. An increase in the melting temperatures was observed for Hg(II), Pb(II), or Cd(II) bound ?3DIV by 18-24 °C compared to its apo counterpart. Further, the extended X-ray absorption fine structure analysis on Hg(II)-?3DIV produced an average Hg(II)-S bond length at 2.36 Å, indicating a trigonal T-shaped coordination environment. Overall, the structure of apo ?3DIV reveals an asymmetric distorted triscysteine metal binding site, which offers a model for native metalloregulatory proteins with thiol-rich ligands that function in regulating toxic heavy metals, such as ArsR, CadC, MerR, and PbrR.
Project description:Metal homeostasis and resistance in bacteria is maintained by a panel of metal-sensing transcriptional regulators that collectively control transition metal availability and mediate resistance to heavy metal xenobiotics, including As(III), Cd(II), Pb(II), and Hg(II). The ArsR family constitutes a superfamily of metal sensors that appear to conform to the same winged helical, homodimeric fold, that collectively "sense" a wide array of beneficial metal ions and heavy metal pollutants. The genomes of many actinomycetes, including the soil dwelling bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor and the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, encode over ten ArsR family regulators, most of unknown function. Here, we present the characterization of a homologue of M. tuberculosis CmtR (CmtR(Mtb)) from S. coelicolor, denoted CmtR(Sc). We show that CmtR(Sc), in contrast to CmtR(Mtb), binds two monomer mol equivalents of Pb(II) or Cd(II) to form two pairs of sulfur-rich coordination complexes per dimer. Metal site 1 conforms exactly to the alpha4C site previously characterized in CmtR(Mtb) while metal site 2 is coordinated by a C-terminal vicinal thiolate pair, Cys110 and Cys111. Biological assays reveal that only Cd(II) and, to a lesser extent, Pb(II) mediate transcriptional derepression in the heterologous host Mycobacterium smegmatis in a way that requires metal site 1. In contrast, mutagenesis of metal site 2 ligands Cys110 or Cys111 significantly reduces Cd(II) responsiveness, with no detectable effect on Pb(II) sensing. The implications of these findings on the ability to predict metal specificity and function from metal-site signatures in the primary structure of ArsR family proteins are discussed.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>From a human health viewpoint, contaminated milk and its products could be a source of long-term exposure to toxic metals. Simple, inexpensive, and on-site assays would enable constant monitoring of their contents. Bioassays that can measure toxic metals in milk or yoghurt might reduce the risk. For this purpose, the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged trans factors, ArsR-GFP and CadC-GFP, together with their cis elements were used to develop such bioassays.<h4>Results</h4>ArsR-GFP or CadC-GFP, which binds either toxic metal or DNA fragment including cis element, was directly mixed with cow's milk or yoghurt within a neutral pH range. The fluorescence of GFP, which is reflected by the association/dissociation ratio between cis element and trans factor, significantly changed with increasing externally added As (III) or Cd (II) whereas smaller responses to externally added Pb (II) and Zn (II) were found. Preparation and dilution of whey fraction at low pH were essential to intrinsic zinc quantification using CadC-GFP. Using the extraction procedure and bioassay, intrinsic Zn (II) concentrations ranging from 1.4 to 4.8 mg/l for milk brands and from 1.2 to 2.9 mg/kg for yoghurt brands were determined, which correlated to those determined using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy.<h4>Conclusions</h4>GFP-tagged bacterial trans factors and cis elements can work in the neutralized whole composition and diluted whey fraction of milk and yoghurt. The feature of regulatory elements is advantageous for establishment of simple and rapid assays of toxic metals in dairy products.
Project description:Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans has an arsenic resistance operon that is controlled by an As(III)-responsive transcriptional repressor, AfArsR, a member of the ArsR/SmtB family of metalloregulators. AfArsR lacks the As(III) binding site of the ArsRs from plasmid R773 and Escherichia coli, which have a Cys(32)-Val-Cys(34)-Asp-Leu-Cys(37) sequence in the DNA binding site. In contrast, it has three cysteine residues, Cys(95), Cys(96), and Cys(102), that are not present in the R773 and E. coli ArsRs. The results of direct As(III) binding measurements and x-ray absorption spectroscopy show that these three cysteine residues form a 3-coordinate As(III) binding site. DNA binding studies indicate that binding of As(III) to these cysteine residues produces derepression. Homology modeling indicates that As(III) binding sites in AfArsR are located at the ends of antiparallel C-terminal helices in each monomer that form a dimerization domain. These results suggest that the As(III)-S(3) binding sites in AfArsR and R773 ArsR arose independently at spatially distinct locations in their three-dimensional structures.
Project description:SmtB is a member of a family of repressors which dissociate from DNA in the presence of metals; Zn2+ being the most potent inducer of metallothionein gene (smtA) transcription in vivo. In Synechococcus PCC 7942 cells devoid of chromosomal smtB, four plasmid-encoded mutants of SmtB (C61S, T11S/C14S, C121S and H105R/H106R) repressed lacZ expression driven by the smtA operator-promoter. Gel retardation assays with extracts from the complemented cells detected multiple SmtB-dependent complexes similar to those obtained with extracts from wild-type cells or with recombinant-SmtB. Elevated [Zn2+] alleviated repression in vivo by all of the mutants except H105R/H106R. These His residues (one or both) are therefore essential for Zn2+-sensing while, contrary to expectations, Cys residues are not. Hence different motifs facilitate metal-induced DNA-dissociation by SmtB and ArsR (the related oxyanion-sensing repressor), presumably generating variety in the spectra of metals sensed. Nucleotides and amino acids involved in DNA-SmtB interaction have been further defined/inferred and we also confirm that additional unknown factors form specific associations with the smt operator-promoter in elevated [Zn2+].