An unusual route to thermostability disclosed by the comparison of Thermus thermophilus and Escherichia coli inorganic pyrophosphatases.
ABSTRACT: The structures of Escherichia coli soluble inorganic pyrophosphatase (E-PPase) and Thermus thermophilus soluble inorganic pyrophosphatase (T-PPase) have been compared to find the basis for the superior thermostability of T-PPase. Both enzymes are D3 hexamers and crystallize in the same space group with very similar cell dimensions. Two rather small changes occur in the T-PPase monomer: a systematic removal of Ser residues and insertion of Arg residues, but only in the C-terminal part of the protein, and more long-range ion pairs from the C-terminal helix to the rest of the molecule. Apart from the first five residues, the three-dimensional structures of E-PPase and T-PPase monomers are very similar. The one striking difference, however, is in the oligomeric interactions. In comparison with an E-PPase monomer, each T-PPase monomer is skewed by about 1 A in the xy plane, is 0.3 A closer to the center of the hexamer in the z direction, and is rotated by approximately 7 degrees about its center of gravity. Consequently, there are a number of additional hydrogen bond and ionic interactions, many of which form an interlocking network that covers all of the oligomeric surfaces. The change can also be seen in local distortions of three small loops involved in the oligomeric interfaces. The complex rigid-body motion has the effect that the hexamer is more tightly packed in T-PPase: the amount of surface area buried upon oligomerization increases by 16%. The change is sufficiently large to account for all of the increased thermostability of T-PPase over E-PPase and further supports the idea that bacterial PPases, most active as hexamers or tetramers, achieve a large measure of their stabilization through oligomerization. Rigid-body motions of entire monomers to produce tighter oligomers may be yet another way in which proteins can be made thermophilic.
Project description:The first crystal structure of an inorganic pyrophosphatase (S-PPase) from an archaebacterium, the thermophile Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, has been solved by molecular replacement and refined to an R-factor of 19.7% at 2.7 A. S-PPase is a D3 homohexameric protein with one Mg2+ per active site in a position similar to, but not identical with, the first activating metal in mesophilic pyrophosphatases (PPase). In mesophilic PPases, Asp65, Asp70, and Asp102 coordinate the Mg2+, while only Asp65 and Asp102 do in S-PPase, and the Mg2+ moves by 0.7 A. S-PPase may therefore be deactivated at low temperature by mispositioning a key metal ion. The monomer S-PPase structure is very similar to that of Thermus thermophilus (T-PPase) and Escherichia coli (E-PPase), root-mean-square deviations around 1 A/Calpha. But the hexamer structures of S- and T-PPase are more tightly packed and more similar to each other than they are to that of E-PPase, as shown by the increase in surface area buried upon oligomerization. In T-PPase, Arg116 creates an interlocking ionic network to both twofold and threefold related monomers; S-PPase has hydrophilic interactions to threefold related monomers absent in both E- and T-PPase. In addition, the thermostable PPases have about 7% more hydrogen bonds per monomer than E-PPase, and, especially in S-PPase, additional ionic interactions anchor the C-terminus to the rest of the protein. Thermostability in PPases is thus due to subtle improvements in both monomer and oligomer interactions.
Project description:A homolog to the eubacteria inorganic pyrophosphatase (PPase, EC 184.108.40.206) was found in the genome of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii. This inorganic pyrophosphatase (Pho-PPase) grows optimally at 88 degrees C. To understand the structural basis for the thermostability of Pho-PPase, we have determined the crystal structure to 2.66 A resolution. The crystallographic asymmetric unit contains three monomers related by approximate threefold symmetry, and a hexamer is built up by twofold crystallographic symmetry. The main-chain fold of Pho-PPase is almost identical to that of the known crystal structure of the model from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. A detailed comparison of the crystal structure of Pho-PPase with related structures from S. acidocaldarius, Thermus thermophilus, and Escherichia coli shows significant differences that may account for the difference in their thermostabilities. A reduction in thermolabile residues, additional aromatic residues, and more intimate association between subunits all contribute to the larger thermophilicity of Pho-PPase. In particular, deletions in two loops surrounding the active site help to stabilize its conformation, while ion-pair networks unique to Pho-PPase are located in the active site and near the C-terminus. The identification of structural features that make PPases more adaptable to extreme temperature should prove helpful for future biotechnology applications.
Project description:Each of two histidine residues and one tryptophan residue in thermophilic bacterium PS-3 inorganic pyrophosphatase (PPase) was replaced by alanine. The activities of the H125A and W143A variants decreased to one-fifth, whereas the activity of H118A remained unaltered. CD spectra in the near-UV region indicated that the conformations of the first two variants changed with the substitution. In contrast with wild-type PPase, which is hexameric beyond an enzyme concentration of 0.1 microM in the presence of Mg2+, the H118A and H125A variants cannot be assembled from trimers into hexamers at less than an enzyme concentration of 10 microM even at a higher concentration of Mg2+. In particular, H118A was irreversibly inactivated in a diluted state. In contrast, the enzyme concentration dependence of W143A PPase activity was almost the same as that of wild-type PPase. These results indicated that His-118 and His-125 are important for both trimer-trimer interaction and structural integrity, whereas Trp-143 is important structurally. The trimer-trimer interaction is absolutely necessary for the thermostability of the PS-3 enzyme.
Project description:Oligomerization has important functional implications for many membrane proteins. However, obtaining structural insight into oligomeric assemblies is challenging, as they are large and resist crystallization. We focus on proteorhodopsin (PR), a protein with seven transmembrane ?-helices that was found to assemble to hexamers in densely packed lipid membrane, or detergent-solubilized environments. Yet, the structural organization and the subunit interface of these PR oligomers were unknown. We used site-directed spin-labeling together with electron spin-resonance lineshape and Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization analysis to construct a model for the specific orientation of PR subunits within the hexameric complex. We found intersubunit distances to average 16 Å between neighboring 55 residues and that residues 177 are >20 Å apart from each other. These distance constraints show that PR has a defined and radial orientation within a hexamer, with the 55-site of the A-B loop facing the hexamer core and the 177-site of the E-F loop facing the hexamer exterior. Dynamic nuclear polarization measurements of the local solvent dynamics complement the electron spin-resonance-based distance analysis, by resolving whether protein surfaces at positions 55, 58, and 177 are exposed to solvent, or covered by protein-protein or protein-detergent contacts.
Project description:The structural analyses of four metabolic enzymes that maintain and regulate the stationary growth phase of Escherichia coli have been performed primarily drawing on the results obtained from solution small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and other structural techniques. The proteins are (i) class I fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (FbaB); (ii) inorganic pyrophosphatase (PPase); (iii) 5-keto-4-deoxyuronate isomerase (KduI); and (iv) glutamate decarboxylase (GadA). The enzyme FbaB, that until now had an unknown structure, is predicted to fold into a TIM-barrel motif that form globular protomers which SAXS experiments show associate into decameric assemblies. In agreement with previously reported crystal structures, PPase forms hexamers in solution that are similar to the previously reported X-ray crystal structure. Both KduI and GadA that are responsible for carbohydrate (pectin) metabolism and acid stress responses, respectively, form polydisperse mixtures consisting of different oligomeric states. Overall the SAXS experiments yield additional insights into shape and organization of these metabolic enzymes and further demonstrate the utility of hybrid methods, i.e., solution SAXS combined with X-ray crystallography, bioinformatics and predictive 3D-structural modeling, as tools to enrich structural studies. The results highlight the structural complexity that the protein components of metabolic networks may adopt which cannot be fully captured using individual structural biology techniques.
Project description:Mutations in the insulin gene can impair proinsulin folding and cause diabetes mellitus. Although crystal structures of insulin dimers and hexamers are well established, proinsulin is refractory to crystallization. Although an NMR structure of an engineered proinsulin monomer has been reported, structures of the wild-type monomer and hexamer remain undetermined. We have utilized hydroxyl radical footprinting and molecular modeling to characterize these structures. Differences between the footprints of insulin and proinsulin, defining a "shadow" of the connecting (C) domain, were employed to refine the model. Our results demonstrate that in its monomeric form, (i) proinsulin contains a native-like insulin moiety and (ii) the C-domain footprint resides within an adjoining segment (residues B23-B29) that is accessible to modification in insulin but not proinsulin. Corresponding oxidation rates were observed within core insulin moieties of insulin and proinsulin hexamers, suggesting that the proinsulin hexamer retains an A/B structure similar to that of insulin. Further similarities in rates of oxidation between the respective C-domains of proinsulin monomers and hexamers suggest that this loop in each case flexibly projects from an outer surface. Although dimerization or hexamer assembly would not be impaired, an ensemble of predicted C-domain positions would block hexamer-hexamer stacking as visualized in classical crystal lattices. We anticipate that protein footprinting in combination with modeling, as illustrated here, will enable comparative studies of diabetes-associated mutant proinsulins and their aberrant modes of aggregation.
Project description:The 3-dimensional structure of inorganic pyrophosphatase from Thermus thermophilus (T-PPase) has been determined by X-ray diffraction at 2.0 A resolution and refined to R = 15.3%. The structure consists of an antiparallel closed beta-sheet and 2 alpha-helices and resembles that of the yeast enzyme in spite of the large difference in size (174 and 286 residues, respectively), little sequence similarity beyond the active center (about 20%), and different oligomeric organization (hexameric and dimeric, respectively). The similarity of the polypeptide folding in the 2 PPases provides a very strong argument in favor of an evolutionary relationship between the yeast and bacterial enzymes. The same Greek-key topology of the 5-stranded beta-barrel was found in the OB-fold proteins, the bacteriophage gene-5 DNA-binding protein, toxic-shock syndrome toxin-1, and the major cold-shock protein of Bacillus subtilis. Moreover, all known nucleotide-binding sites in these proteins are located on the same side of the beta-barrel as the active center in T-PPase. Analysis of the active center of T-PPase revealed 17 residues of potential functional importance, 16 of which are strictly conserved in all sequences of soluble PPases. Their possible role in the catalytic mechanism is discussed on the basis of the present crystal structure and with respect to site-directed mutagenesis studies on the Escherichia coli enzyme. The observed oligomeric organization of T-PPase allows us to suggest a possible mechanism for the allosteric regulation of hexameric PPases.
Project description:The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus virus non-structural protein 15 is a Mn2+-dependent endoribonuclease with specificity for cleavage at uridylate residues. To better understand structural and functional characteristics of Nsp15, 22 mutant versions of Nsp15 were produced in Escherichia coli as His-tagged proteins and purified by metal-affinity and ion-exchange chromatography. Nineteen of the mutants were soluble and were analyzed for enzymatic activity. Six mutants, including four at the putative active site, were significantly reduced in endoribonuclease activity. Two of the inactive mutants had unusual secondary structures compared to the wild-type protein, as measured by circular dichroism spectroscopy. Gel-filtration analysis, velocity sedimentation ultracentrifugation, and native gradient pore electrophoresis all showed that the wild-type protein exists in an equilibrium between hexamers and monomers in solution, with hexamers dominating at micromolar protein concentration, while native gradient pore electrophoresis also revealed the presence of trimers. A mutant in the N terminus of Nsp15 was impaired in hexamer formation and had low endoribonuclease activity, suggesting that oligomerization is required for endoribonuclease activity. This idea was supported by titration experiments showing that enzyme activity was strongly concentration-dependent, indicating that oligomeric Nsp15 is the active form. Three-dimensional reconstruction of negatively stained single particles of Nsp15 viewed by transmission electron microscopic analysis suggested that the six subunits were arranged as a dimer of trimers with a number of cavities or channels that may constitute RNA binding sites.
Project description:Enzymes that regulate their activity by modulating an equilibrium of alternate, nonadditive, functionally distinct oligomeric assemblies (morpheeins) constitute a recently described mode of allostery. The oligomeric equilibrium for porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS) consists of high-activity octamers, low-activity hexamers, and two dimer conformations. A phylogenetically diverse allosteric site specific to hexamers is proposed as an inhibitor binding site. Inhibitor binding is predicted to draw the oligomeric equilibrium toward the low-activity hexamer. In silico docking enriched a selection from a small-molecule library for compounds predicted to bind to this allosteric site. In vitro testing of selected compounds identified one compound whose inhibition mechanism is species-specific conversion of PBGS octamers to hexamers. We propose that this strategy for inhibitor discovery can be applied to other proteins that use the morpheein model for allosteric regulation.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Minichromosome maintenance proteins (Mcm) 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are related by sequence and form a variety of complexes that unwind DNA, including Mcm4/6/7. A Mcm4/6/7 trimer forms one half of the Mcm2-7 hexameric ring and can be thought of as the catalytic core of Mcm2-7, the replicative helicase in eukaryotic cells. Oligomeric analysis of Mcm4/6/7 suggests that it forms a hexamer containing two Mcm4/6/7 trimers, however, under certain conditions trimeric Mcm4/6/7 has also been observed. The functional significance of the different Mcm4/6/7 oligomeric states has not been assessed. The results of such an assessment would have implications for studies of both Mcm4/6/7 and Mcm2-7. RESULTS: Here, we show that Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mcm4/6/7 reconstituted from individual subunits exists in an equilibrium of oligomeric forms in which smaller oligomers predominate in the absence of ATP. In addition, we found that ATP, which is required for Mcm4/6/7 activity, shifts the equilibrium towards larger oligomers, likely hexamers of Mcm4/6/7. ATP?S and to a lesser extent ADP also shift the equilibrium towards hexamers. Study of Mcm4/6/7 complexes containing mutations that interfere with the formation of inter-subunit ATP sites (arginine finger mutants) indicates that full activity of Mcm4/6/7 requires all of its ATP sites, which are formed in a hexamer and not a trimer. In keeping with this observation, Mcm4/6/7 binds DNA as a hexamer. CONCLUSIONS: The minimal functional unit of Mcm4/6/7 is a hexamer. One of the roles of ATP binding by Mcm4/6/7 may be to stabilize formation of hexamers.