A novel interaction linking the FAS-II and phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM) biosynthetic pathways.
ABSTRACT: The fatty acid biosynthesis (FAS-II) pathway in Mycobacterium tuberculosis generates long chain fatty acids that serve as the precursors to mycolic acids, essential components of the mycobacterial cell wall. Enzymes in the FAS-II pathway are thought to form one or more noncovalent multi-enzyme complexes within the cell, and a bacterial two-hybrid screen was used to search for missing components of the pathway and to furnish additional data on interactions involving these enzymes in vivo. Using the FAS-II beta-ketoacyl synthase, KasA, as bait, an extensive bacterial two-hybrid screen of a M. tuberculosis genome fragment library unexpectedly revealed a novel interaction between KasA and PpsB as well as PpsD, two polyketide modules involved in the biosynthesis of the virulence lipid phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM). Sequence analysis revealed that KasA interacts with PpsB and PpsD in the region of the acyl carrier domain of each protein, raising the possibility that lipids could be transferred between the FAS-II and PDIM biosynthetic pathways. Subsequent studies utilizing purified proteins and radiolabeled lipids revealed that fatty acids loaded onto PpsB were transferred to KasA and also incorporated into long chain fatty acids synthesized using a Mycobacterium smegmatis lysate. These data suggest that in addition to producing PDIMs, the growing phthiocerol product can also be shuttled into the FAS-II pathway via KasA as an entry point for further elongation. Interactions between these biosynthetic pathways may exist as a simple means to increase mycobacterial lipid diversity, enhancing functionality and the overall complexity of the cell wall.
Project description:Mycolic acids consist of long-chain alpha-alkyl-beta-hydroxy fatty acids that are produced by successive rounds of elongation catalysed by a type II fatty acid synthase (FAS-II). A key feature in the elongation process is the condensation of a two-carbon unit from malonyl-acyl-carrier protein (ACP) to a growing acyl-ACP chain catalysed by a beta-ketoacyl-ACP synthase (Kas). In the present study, we provide evidence that kasA from Mycobacterium tuberculosis encodes an enzyme that elongates in vivo the meromycolate chain, in both Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium chelonae. We demonstrate that KasA belongs to the FAS-II system, which utilizes primarily palmitoyl-ACP rather than short-chain acyl-ACP primers. Furthermore, in an in vitro condensing assay using purified recombinant KasA, palmitoyl-AcpM and malonyl-AcpM, KasA was found to express Kas activity. Also, mutated KasA proteins, with mutation of Cys(171), His(311), Lys(340) and His(345) to Ala abrogated the condensation activity of KasA in vitro completely. Finally, purified KasA was highly sensitive to cerulenin, a well-known inhibitor of Kas, which may lead to the development of novel anti-mycobacterial drugs targeting KasA.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A previous laboratory study involving wild type, mutant and devR/dosR complemented strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis reported the attenuation phenotype of complemented strain, Comp1. This phenotype was intriguing since the parental strain H37Rv, devR mutant (Mut1) and additional complemented strains, Comp9 and Comp11, were virulent in the guinea pig model. RESULTS:Towards deciphering the mechanism underlying the attenuation of Comp1, a whole genome sequencing approach was undertaken. Eight Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) unique to the Comp1 strain were identified. Of these, 5 SNPs were non-synonymous and included a G?A mutation resulting in a W1591Stop mutation in ppsD gene of the phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM) biosynthetic cluster. Targeted sequence analysis confirmed this mutation in only Comp1 strain and not in wild type (H37Rv), devR knockout (Mut1) or other complemented (Comp9 and Comp11) bacteria. Differential expression of the PDIM locus in Comp1 bacteria was observed which was associated with a partial deficiency of PDIM, an increased sensitivity to detergent and a compromised ability to infect human THP-1 cells. CONCLUSIONS:It is proposed that a spontaneous mutation in the ppsD gene of Comp1 underlies down-modulation of the PDIM locus which is associated with defects in permeability and infectivity as well as virulence attenuation in guinea pigs. Our study demonstrates the value of whole genome sequencing for resolving unexplainable bacterial phenotypes and recommends the assessment of PDIM status while assessing virulence properties of laboratory-manipulated strains of M. tuberculosis.
Project description:Phenolic glycolipids (PGLs) are polyketide synthase-derived glycolipids unique to pathogenic mycobacteria. PGLs are found in several clinically relevant species, including various Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, Mycobacterium leprae, and several nontuberculous mycobacterial pathogens, such as M. marinum. Multiple lines of investigation implicate PGLs in virulence, thus underscoring the relevance of a deep understanding of PGL biosynthesis. We report mutational and biochemical studies that interrogate the mechanism by which PGL biosynthetic intermediates (p-hydroxyphenylalkanoates) synthesized by the iterative polyketide synthase Pks15/1 are transferred to the noniterative polyketide synthase PpsA for acyl chain extension in M. marinum. Our findings support a model in which the transfer of the intermediates is dependent on a p-hydroxyphenylalkanoyl-AMP ligase (FadD29) acting as an intermediary between the iterative and the noniterative synthase systems. Our results also establish the p-hydroxyphenylalkanoate extension ability of PpsA, the first-acting enzyme of a multisubunit noniterative polyketide synthase system. Notably, this noniterative system is also loaded with fatty acids by a specific fatty acyl-AMP ligase (FadD26) for biosynthesis of phthiocerol dimycocerosates (PDIMs), which are nonglycosylated lipids structurally related to PGLs. To our knowledge, the partially overlapping PGL and PDIM biosynthetic pathways provide the first example of two distinct, pathway-dedicated acyl-AMP ligases loading the same type I polyketide synthase system with two alternate starter units to produce two structurally different families of metabolites. The studies reported here advance our understanding of the biosynthesis of an important group of mycobacterial glycolipids.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis synthesizes specific polyketide lipids that interact with the host and are required for virulence. Using a mass spectrometric approach to simultaneously monitor hundreds of lipids, we discovered that the size and abundance of two lipid virulence factors, phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM) and sulfolipid-1 (SL-1), are controlled by the availability of a common precursor, methyl malonyl CoA (MMCoA). Consistent with this view, increased levels of MMCoA led to increased abundance and mass of both PDIM and SL-1. Furthermore, perturbation of MMCoA metabolism attenuated pathogen replication in mice. Importantly, we detected increased PDIM synthesis in bacteria growing within host tissues and in bacteria grown in culture on odd-chain fatty acids. Because M. tuberculosis catabolizes host lipids to grow during infection, we propose that growth of M. tuberculosis on fatty acids in vivo leads to increased flux of MMCoA through lipid biosynthetic pathways, resulting in increased virulence lipid synthesis. Our results suggest that the shift to host lipid catabolism during infection allows for increased virulence lipid anabolism by the bacterium.
Project description:Mycobacteria have a unique cell wall consisting of mycolic acids, very-long-chain lipids that provide protection and allow the bacteria to persist within human macrophages. Inhibition of cell wall biosynthesis is fatal for the organism and a starting point for the discovery and development of novel antibiotics. We determined the crystal structures of KasA, a key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of long-chain fatty acids, in its apo-form and bound to the natural product inhibitor thiolactomycin. Detailed insights into the interaction of the inhibitor with KasA and the identification of a polyethylene glycol molecule that mimics a fatty acid substrate of approximately 40 carbon atoms length, represent the first atomic view of a mycobacterial enzyme involved in the synthesis of long-chain fatty acids and provide a robust platform for the development of novel thiolactomycin analogs with high affinity for KasA.
Project description:Phthiocerol dimycocerosates (PDIMs) and phenolic glycolipids (PGLs) are structurally related lipids noncovalently bound to the outer cell wall layer of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium leprae, and several opportunistic mycobacterial human pathogens. PDIMs and PGLs are important effectors of virulence. Elucidation of the biosynthesis of these complex lipids will not only expand our understanding of mycobacterial cell wall biosynthesis, but it may also illuminate potential routes to novel therapeutics against mycobacterial infections. We report the construction of an in-frame deletion mutant of tesA (encoding a type II thioesterase) in the opportunistic human pathogen Mycobacterium marinum and the characterization of this mutant and its corresponding complemented strain control in terms of PDIM and PGL production. The growth and antibiotic susceptibility of these strains were also probed and compared with the parental wild-type strain. We show that deletion of tesA leads to a mutant that produces only traces of PDIMs and PGLs, has a slight growth yield increase and displays a substantial hypersusceptibility to several antibiotics. We also provide a robust model for the three-dimensional structure of M. marinum TesA (TesAmm) and demonstrate that a Ser-to-Ala substitution in the predicted catalytic Ser of TesAmm renders a mutant that recapitulates the phenotype of the tesA deletion mutant. Overall, our studies demonstrate a critical role for tesA in mycobacterial biology, advance our understanding of the biosynthesis of an important group of polyketide synthase-derived mycobacterial lipids, and suggest that drugs aimed at blocking PDIM and/or PGL production might synergize with antibiotic therapy in the control of mycobacterial infections.
Project description:The survival of Mycobacterium tuberculosis depends on mycolic acids, very long α-alkyl-β-hydroxy fatty acids comprising 60-90 carbon atoms. However, despite considerable efforts, little is known about how enzymes involved in mycolic acid biosynthesis recognize and bind their hydrophobic fatty acyl substrates. The condensing enzyme KasA is pivotal for the synthesis of very long (C38-42) fatty acids, the precursors of mycolic acids. To probe the mechanism of substrate and inhibitor recognition by KasA, we determined the structure of this protein in complex with a mycobacterial phospholipid and with several thiolactomycin derivatives that were designed as substrate analogs. Our structures provide consecutive snapshots along the reaction coordinate for the enzyme-catalyzed reaction and support an induced fit mechanism in which a wide cavity is established through the concerted opening of three gatekeeping residues and several α-helices. The stepwise characterization of the binding process provides mechanistic insights into the induced fit recognition in this system and serves as an excellent foundation for the development of high affinity KasA inhibitors.
Project description:Phthiocerol dimycocerosates (PDIMs) are a class of mycobacterial lipids that promote virulence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium marinum. It has recently been shown that PDIMs work in concert with the M. tuberculosis Type VII secretion system ESX-1 to permeabilize the phagosomal membranes of infected macrophages. As the zebrafish-M. marinum model of infection has revealed the critical role of PDIM at the host-pathogen interface, we set to determine if PDIMs contributed to phagosomal permeabilization in M. marinum. Using an ?mmpL7 mutant defective in PDIM transport, we find the PDIM-ESX-1 interaction to be conserved in an M. marinum macrophage infection model. However, we find PDIM and ESX-1 mutants differ in their degree of defect, with the PDIM mutant retaining more membrane damaging activity. Using an in vitro hemolysis assay-a common surrogate for cytolytic activity, we find that PDIM and ESX-1 differ in their contributions: the ESX-1 mutant loses hemolytic activity while PDIM retains it. Our observations confirm the involvement of PDIMs in phagosomal permeabilization in M. marinum infection and suggest that PDIM enhances the membrane disrupting activity of pathogenic mycobacteria and indicates that the role they play in damaging phagosomal and red blood cell membranes may differ.
Project description:Both phthiocerol/phthiodiolone dimycocerosate (PDIM) and phenolic glycolipids are abundant virulent lipids in the cell wall of various pathogenic mycobacteria, which can synthesize a wide range of complex high-molecular-mass lipids. In this article, we describe linear ion-trap MS(n) mass spectrometric approach for structural study of PDIMs, which were desorbed as the [M + Li](+) and [M + NH(4)](+) ions by ESI. We also applied charge-switch strategy to convert the mycocerosic acid substituents to their N-(4-aminomethylphenyl) pyridinium (AMPP) derivatives and analyzed them as M (+) ions, following alkaline hydrolysis of the PDIM to release mycocerosic acids. The structural information from MS(n) on the [M + Li](+) and [M + NH(4)](+) molecular species and on the M (+) ions of the mycocerosic acid-AMPP derivative affords realization of the complex structures of PDIMs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis biofilm, differentiation of phthiocerol and phthiodiolone lipid families and complete structure identification, including the phthiocerol and phthiodiolone backbones, and the mycocerosic acid substituents, including the locations of their multiple methyl side chains, can be achieved.
Project description:Mycolic acids are long chain alpha-alkyl branched, beta-hydroxy fatty acids that represent a characteristic component of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis cell wall. Through their covalent attachment to peptidoglycan via an arabinogalactan polysaccharide, they provide the basis for an essential outer envelope membrane. Mycobacteria possess two fatty acid synthases (FAS); FAS-I carries out de novo synthesis of fatty acids while FAS-II is considered to elongate medium chain length fatty acyl primers to provide long chain (C(56)) precursors of mycolic acids. Here we report the crystal structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis beta-ketoacyl acyl carrier protein synthase (ACP) II mtKasB, a mycobacterial elongation condensing enzyme involved in FAS-II. This enzyme, along with the M. tuberculosis beta-ketoacyl ACP synthase I mtKasA, catalyzes the Claisen-type condensation reaction responsible for fatty acyl elongation in FAS-II and are potential targets for development of novel anti-tubercular drugs. The crystal structure refined to 2.4 A resolution revealed that, like other KAS-II enzymes, mtKasB adopts a thiolase fold but contains unique structural features in the capping region that may be crucial to its preference for longer fatty acyl chains than its counterparts from other bacteria. Modeling of mtKasA using the mtKasB structure as a template predicts the overall structures to be almost identical, but a larger entrance to the active site tunnel is envisaged that might contribute to the greater sensitivity of mtKasA to the inhibitor thiolactomycin (TLM). Modeling of TLM binding in mtKasB shows that the drug fits the active site poorly and results of enzyme inhibition assays using TLM analogues are wholly consistent with our structural observations. Consequently, the structure described here further highlights the potential of TLM as an anti-tubercular lead compound and will aid further exploration of the TLM scaffold towards the design of novel compounds, which inhibit mycobacterial KAS enzymes more effectively.