The D-Alanyl carrier protein in Lactobacillus casei: cloning, sequencing, and expression of dltC.
ABSTRACT: The incorporation of D-alanine into membrane-associated D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid in Lactobacillus casei requires the 56-kDa D-alanine-D-alanyl carrier protein ligase (Dcl) and the 8.9-kDa D-alanyl carrier protein (Dcp). To identify and isolate the gene encoding Dcp, we have cloned and sequenced a 4.3-kb chromosomal fragment that contains dcl (dltA). In addition to this gene, the fragment contains three other genes, dltB, d1tC, and a partial dltD gene. dltC (246 nucleotides) was subcloned from this region and expressed in Escherichia coli. The product was identified as apo-Dcp lacking the N-terminal methionine (8,787.9 Da). The in vitro conversion of the recombinant apo-Dcp to holo-Dcp by recombinant E. coli holo-ACP synthase provided Dcp which accepts activated D-alanine in the reaction catalyzed by Bcl. The recombinant D-alanyl-Dcp was functionally identical to native D-alanyl-Dcp in the incorporation of D-alanine into lipoteichoic acid. L. casei Dcp is 46% identical to the putative product of dltC in the Bacillus subtilis dlt operon (M. Perego, P. Glaser, A. Minutello, M. A. Strauch, K. Leopold, and W. Fischer, J. Biol. Chem. 270:15598-15606, 1995), and therefore, this gene also encodes Dcp. Comparisons of the primary sequences and predicted secondary structures of the L. casei and B. subtilis Dcps with that of the E. coli acyl carrier protein (ACP) were undertaken together with homology modeling to identify the functional determinants of the donor and acceptor specificities of Dcp. In the region of the phospho-pantetheine attachment site, significant similarity between Dcps and ACPs was observed. This similarity may account for the relaxed acceptor specificity of the Dcps and ACPs in the ligation Of D-alanine catalyzed by Dcl. In contrast, two Dcp consensus sequences, KXXVLDXLA and DXVKXNXD, share little identity with the rest of the ACP family and, thus, may determine the donor specificity of D-alanyl-Dcp in the D-alanylation of membrane-associated D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid.
Project description:The dlt operon (dltA to dltD) of Lactobacillus rhamnosus 7469 encodes four proteins responsible for the esterification of lipoteichoic acid (LTA) by D-alanine. These esters play an important role in controlling the net anionic charge of the poly (GroP) moiety of LTA. dltA and dltC encode the D-alanine-D-alanyl carrier protein ligase (Dcl) and D-alanyl carrier protein (Dcp), respectively. Whereas the functions of DltA and DltC are defined, the functions of DltB and DltD are unknown. To define the role of DltD, the gene was cloned and sequenced and a mutant was constructed by insertional mutagenesis of dltD from Lactobacillus casei 102S. Permeabilized cells of a dltD::erm mutant lacked the ability to incorporate D-alanine into LTA. This defect was complemented by the expression of DltD from pNZ123/dlt. In in vitro assays, DltD bound Dcp for ligation with D-alanine by Dcl in the presence of ATP. In contrast, the homologue of Dcp, the Escherichia coli acyl carrier protein (ACP), involved in fatty acid biosynthesis, was not bound to DltD and thus was not ligated with D-alanine. DltD also catalyzed the hydrolysis of the mischarged D-alanyl-ACP. The hydrophobic N-terminal sequence of DltD was required for anchoring the protein in the membrane. It is hypothesized that this membrane-associated DltD facilitates the binding of Dcp and Dcl for ligation of Dcp with D-alanine and that the resulting D-alanyl-Dcp is translocated to the primary site of D-alanylation.
Project description:D-alanylation of the lipoteichoic acid on Gram-positive cell wall is dependent on dlt gene-encoded proteins DltA, DltB, DltC and DltD. The D-alanyl carrier protein ligase DltA, as a remote homolog of acyl-(coenzyme A) (CoA) synthetase, cycles through two active conformations for the catalysis of adenylation and subsequent thiolation of D-alanine (D-Ala). The crystal structure of DltA in the absence of any substrate was observed to have a noticeably more disordered pocket for ATP which would explain why DltA has relatively low affinity for ATP in the absence of any D-alanyl carrier. We have previously enabled the thiolation of D-alanine in the presence of CoA as the mimic of D-alanyl carrier protein DltC which carries a 4'-phosphopantetheine group on a serine residue. Here we show that the resulting Michaelis constants in the presence of saturating CoA for both ATP and D-alanine were reduced more than 10 fold as compared to the values obtained in the absence of CoA. The presence of CoA also made DltA ~100-fold more selective on D-alanine over L-alanine. The CoA-enhanced substrate recognition further implies that the ATP and D-alanine substrates of the adenylation reaction are incorporated when the DltA enzyme cycles through its thiolation conformation.
Project description:The D-alanyl lipoteichoic acids (D-alanyl LTAs) present in the cell walls of Gram-positive bacteria play crucial roles in autolysis, cation homeostasis and biofilm formation. The alanylation of LTAs requires the D-alanyl carrier protein DltC to transfer D-Ala onto a membrane-associated LTA. Here, DltC from Staphylococcus epidermidis (SeDltC) was purified and crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals diffracted to a resolution of 1.83 Å and belonged to space group P2, with unit-cell parameters a = 66.26, b = 53.28, c = 88.05 Å, β = 98.22°. The results give a preliminary crystallographic analysis of SeDltC and shed light on the functional role of DltC in the alanylation of LTAs.
Project description:In the cariogenic organism, Streptococcus mutans, low pH induces an acid tolerance response (ATR). To identify acid-regulated proteins comprising the ATR, transposon mutagenesis with the thermosensitive plasmid pGh9:ISS1 was used to produce clones that were able to grow at neutral pH, but not in medium at pH 5.0. Sequence analysis of one mutant (IS1A) indicated that transposition had created a 6.3-kb deletion, one end of which was in dltB of the dlt operon encoding four proteins (DltA-DltD) involved in the synthesis of D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid. Inactivation of the dltC gene, encoding the D-alanyl carrier protein (Dcp), resulted in the generation of the acid-sensitive mutant, BH97LC. Compared to the wild-type strain, LT11, the mutant exhibited a threefold-longer doubling time and a 33% lower growth yield. In addition, it was unable to initiate growth below pH 6.5 and unadapted cells were unable to survive a 3-h exposure in medium buffered at pH 3.5, while a pH of 3.0 was required to kill the wild type in the same time period. Also, induction of the ATR in BH97LC, as measured by the number of survivors at a pH killing unadapted cells, was 3 to 4 orders of magnitude lower than that exhibited by the wild type. While the LTA of both strains contained a similar average number of glycerolphosphate residues, permeabilized cells of BH97LC did not incorporate D-[(14)C]alanine into this amphiphile. This defect was correlated with the deficiency of Dcp. Chemical analysis of the LTA purified from the mutant confirmed the absence of D-alanine-esters. Electron micrographs showed that BH97LC is characterized by unequal polar caps and is devoid of a fibrous extracellular matrix present on the surface of the wild-type cells. Proton permeability assays revealed that the mutant was more permeable to protons than the wild type. This observation suggests a mechanism for the loss of the characteristic acid tolerance response in S. mutans.
Project description:The D-alanine-activating enzyme (Dae; EC 184.108.40.206) encoded by the dae gene from Lactobacillus casei ATCC 7469 is a cytosolic protein essential for the formation of the D-alanyl esters of membrane-bound lipoteichoic acid. The gene has been cloned, sequenced, and expressed in Escherichia coli, an organism which does not possess Dae activity. The open reading frame is 1,518 nucleotides and codes for a protein of 55.867 kDa, a value in agreement with the 56 kDa obtained by electrophoresis. A putative promoter and ribosome-binding site immediately precede the dae gene. A second open reading frame contiguous with the dae gene has also been partially sequenced. The organization of these genetic elements suggests that more than one enzyme necessary for the biosynthesis of D-alanyl-lipoteichoic acid may be present in this operon. Analysis of the amino acid sequence deduced from the dae gene identified three regions with significant homology to proteins in the following groups of ATP-utilizing enzymes: (i) the acid-thiol ligases, (ii) the activating enzymes for the biosynthesis of enterobactin, and (iii) the synthetases for tyrocidine, gramicidin S, and penicillin. From these comparisons, a common motif (GXXGXPK) has been identified that is conserved in the 19 protein domains analyzed. This motif may represent the phosphate-binding loop of an ATP-binding site for this class of enzymes. A DNA fragment (1,568 nucleotides) containing the dae gene and its putative ribosome-binding site has been subcloned and expressed in E. coli. Approximately 0.5% of the total cell protein is active Dae, whereas 21% is in the form of inclusion bodies. The isolation of this minimal fragment without a native promoter sequence provides the basis for designing a genetic system for modulating the D-alanine ester content of lipoteichoic acid.
Project description:The dlt operon of gram-positive bacteria comprises four genes (dltA, dltB, dltC, and dltD) that catalyze the incorporation of D-alanine residues into the lipoteichoic acids (LTAs). In this work, we characterized the dlt operon of Streptococcus agalactiae, which, in addition to the dltA to dltD genes, included two regulatory genes, designated dltR and dltS, located upstream of dltA. The dltR gene encodes a 224-amino-acid putative response regulator belonging to the OmpR family of regulatory proteins. The dltS gene codes for a 395-amino-acid putative histidine kinase thought to be involved in the sensing of environmental signals. The dlt operon of S. agalactiae is mainly transcribed from the P(dltR) promoter, which directs synthesis of a 6.5-kb transcript encompassing dltR, dltS, dltA, dltB, dltC, and dltD, and from a weaker promoter, P(dltA), which is located in the 3' extremity of dltS. We demonstrate that P(dltR), but not P(dlA), is activated by DltR in the presence of DltS in D-Ala-deficient LTA mutants resulting from insertional inactivation of the dltA gene, which encodes the cytoplasmic D-alanine-D-alanyl carrier ligase DltA. Expression of the dlt operon does not require DltR and DltS, since the basal activity of P(dltR) is high, being 20-fold that of the constitutive promoter P(aphA-3) which directs synthesis of the kanamycin resistance gene aphA-3 in various gram-positive bacteria. We hypothesize that the role of DltR and DltS in the control of expression of the dlt operon is to maintain the level of D-Ala esters in LTAs at a constant and appropriate value whatever the environmental conditions. The DltA(-) mutant displayed the ability to form clumps in standing culture and exhibited an increased susceptibility to the cationic antimicrobial polypeptide colistin.
Project description:Immunogenicity assessment of fully human monoclonal antibody-based biotherapeutics requires sensitive and specific ligand binding assays. One of the components of specificity is the depletion of signal by a relevant biotherapeutic that is commonly based on an arbitrary depletion criterion of inhibition of the original response or reduction of the signal below the screening assay cut point (ACP). Hence, there is a need to develop a statistically derived physiologically relevant specificity criterion. We illustrate an optimization approach to determine the concentration of biotherapeutic required for the specificity evaluation. Naïve donor sample sets with and without circulating drug and antitherapeutic/drug antibody (ADA) were prepared. Next, a depletion cut point (DCP) using naïve and ADA-containing donor sets with the optimized biotherapeutic concentration was evaluated. A statistically derived design of experiment was used to establish a validated DCP. A reliable DCP requires naïve (no ADA) donors treated only with an optimized concentration of biotherapeutic. The additional DCPs generated using two distinct concentrations of ADA-spiked sample sets led to a physiologically irrelevant criterion that was not necessarily representative of real-time samples. This increased the risk of false positives or negatives. In this study, well-defined bioanalytical and statistical methods were employed to validate a DCP to confirm the presence of biotherapeutic specific ADA in human serum samples. A physiologically relevant and effective strategy to confirm specificity in immune reactive samples, especially those that are close to the ACP, is proposed through this study.
Project description:Membrane-bound O-acyltransferases (MBOATs) are a superfamily of integral transmembrane enzymes that are found in all kingdoms of life1. In bacteria, MBOATs modify protective cell-surface polymers. In vertebrates, some MBOAT enzymes-such as acyl-coenzyme A:cholesterol acyltransferase and diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1-are responsible for lipid biosynthesis or phospholipid remodelling2,3. Other MBOATs, including porcupine, hedgehog acyltransferase and ghrelin acyltransferase, catalyse essential lipid modifications of secreted proteins such as Wnt, hedgehog and ghrelin, respectively4-10. Although many MBOAT proteins are important drug targets, little is known about their molecular architecture and functional mechanisms. Here we present crystal structures of DltB, an MBOAT responsible for the D-alanylation of cell-wall teichoic acid in Gram-positive bacteria11-16, both alone and in complex with the D-alanyl donor protein DltC. DltB contains a ring of 11 peripheral transmembrane helices, which shield a highly conserved extracellular structural funnel extending into the middle of the lipid bilayer. The conserved catalytic histidine residue is located at the bottom of this funnel and is connected to the intracellular DltC through a narrow tunnel. Mutation of either the catalytic histidine or the DltC-binding site of DltB abolishes the D-alanylation of lipoteichoic acid and sensitizes the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis to cell-wall stress, which suggests cross-membrane catalysis involving the tunnel. Structure-guided sequence comparison among DltB and vertebrate MBOATs reveals a conserved structural core and suggests that MBOATs from different organisms have similar catalytic mechanisms. Our structures provide a template for understanding structure-function relationships in MBOATs and for developing therapeutic MBOAT inhibitors.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>2,4-Dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP), 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP), and their precursors are widely used in industry and in consumer products. Urinary concentrations of these dichlorophenols (DCPs) have been measured as part of four National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) cycles in order to assess the exposure to these compounds or their precursors among the general U.S. population.<h4>Objectives</h4>We identified predictors and evaluated trends in DCP concentrations according to race/ethnicity, age, sex, family income, and housing type.<h4>Methods</h4>We used analysis of covariance to examine associations of various demographic parameters and survey cycle with urinary concentrations of DCPs during NHANES 2003-2010. We also conducted weighted logistic regressions to estimate associations of DCP concentrations above the 95th percentile with housing type, race/ethnicity, and income.<h4>Results</h4>We detected DCPs in at least 81% of participants. Geometric mean (GM) urinary concentrations were higher for 2,5-DCP (6.1-12.9 ?g/L) than 2,4-DCP (0.8-1.0 ?g/L) throughout 2003-2010. Adjusted GM concentrations of the DCPs among children (6-11 years of age) and adults > 60 years of age were higher than among adolescents and other adults. Adjusted GM concentrations among non-Hispanic whites were lower than among non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans, although differences according to race/ethnicity were less pronounced among participants in high-income households. Among non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican Americans, adjusted GM concentrations were lowest among high-income participants relative to other income groups, with a monotonic decrease with increasing income among Mexican Americans. Type of housing and race/ethnicity were significant predictors of DCP urinary concentrations above the 95th percentile. Furthermore, urinary DCP concentrations have showed a downward trend since 2003.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Exposure to DCPs and their precursors was prevalent in the general U.S. population in 2003-2010. We identified age and race/ethnicity, family income, and housing type as predictors of exposure to these compounds.
Project description:The aim of the present study was to investigate the biomechanical effects of varying the length of a limited contact-dynamic compression plate (LC-DCP) and the number and position of screws on middle tibial fractures, and to provide biomechanical evidence regarding minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO). For biomechanical testing, 60 tibias from cadavers (age at mortality, 20-40 years) were used to create middle and diagonal fracture models without defects. Tibias were randomly grouped and analyzed by biomechanic and three-dimensional (3D) finite element analysis. The differences among LC-DCPs of different lengths (6-, 10- and 14-hole) with 6 screws, 14-hole LC-DCPs with different numbers of screws (6, 10 and 14), and 14-hole LC-DCPs with 6 screws at different positions with regard to mechanical characteristics, including compressing, torsion and bending, were examined. The 6-hole LC-DCP had greater vertical compression strain compared with the 10- and 14-hole LC-DCPs (P<0.01), and the 14-hole LC-DCP had greater lateral strain than the 6- and 10-hole LC-DCPs (P<0.01). Furthermore, significant differences in torque were observed among the LC-DPs of different lengths (P<0.01). For 14-hole LC-DCPs with different numbers of screws, no significant differences in vertical strain, lateral strain or torque were detected (P>0.05). However, plates with 14 screws had greater vertical strain compared with those fixed with 6 or 10 screws (P<0.01). For 4-hole LC-DCPs with screws at different positions, vertical compression strain values were lowest for plates with screws at positions 1, 4, 7, 8, 11 and 14 (P<0.01). The lateral strain values and vertical strain values for plates with screws at positions 1, 3, 6, 9, 12 and 14 were significantly lower compared with those at the other positions (P<0.01), and torque values were also low. Thus, the 14-hole LC-DCP was the most stable against vertical compression, torsion and bending, and the 6-hole LC-DCP was the least stable. However, the use of 14 screws with a 14-hole LC-DCP provided less stability against bending than did 6 or 10 screws. Furthermore, fixation with distributed screws, in which some screws were close to the fracture line, provided good stability against compression and torsion, while fixation with screws at the ends of the LC-DCP provided poor stability against bending, compressing and torsion.