Isolation and characterization of metalloproteases with a novel domain structure by construction and screening of metagenomic libraries.
ABSTRACT: Small-insert metagenomic libraries from four samples were constructed by a topoisomerase-based and a T4 DNA ligase-based approach. Direct comparison of both approaches revealed that application of the topoisomerase-based method resulted in a higher number of insert-containing clones per microg of environmental DNA used for cloning and a larger average insert size. Subsequently, the constructed libraries were partially screened for the presence of genes conferring proteolytic activity. The function-driven screen was based on the ability of the library-containing Escherichia coli clones to form halos on skim milk-containing agar plates. The screening of 80,000 E. coli clones yielded four positive clones. Two of the plasmids (pTW2 and pTW3) recovered from positive clones conferred strong proteolytic activity and were studied further. Analysis of the entire insert sequences of pTW2 (28,113 bp) and pTW3 (19,956 bp) suggested that the DNA fragments were derived from members of the genus Xanthomonas. Each of the plasmids harbored one gene (2,589 bp) encoding a metalloprotease (mprA, pTW2; mprB, pTW3). Sequence and biochemical analyses revealed that MprA and MprB are similar extracellular proteases belonging to the M4 family of metallopeptidases (thermolysin-like family). Both enzymes possessed a unique modular structure and consisted of four regions: the signal sequence, the N-terminal proregion, the protease region, and the C-terminal extension. The architecture of the latter region, which was characterized by the presence of two prepeptidase C-terminal domains and one proprotein convertase P domain, is novel for bacterial metalloproteases. Studies with derivatives of MprA and MprB revealed that the C-terminal extension is not essential for protease activity. The optimum pH and temperature of both proteases were 8.0 and 65 degrees C, respectively, when casein was used as substrate.
Project description:The mechanisms utilized by Mycobacterium tuberculosis to establish, maintain, or reactivate from latent infection in the host are largely unknown but likely include genes that mediate adaptation to conditions encountered during persistence. Previously, a two-component signal transduction system, mprAB, was found to be required in M. tuberculosis for establishment and maintenance of persistent infection in a tissue- and stage-specific fashion. To begin to characterize the role of this system in M. tuberculosis physiology and virulence, a functional analysis of the mprA and mprB gene products was initiated. Here, evidence is presented demonstrating that sensor kinase MprB and response regulator MprA function as an intact signal-transducing pair in vitro and in vivo. Sensor kinase MprB can be autophosphorylated, can donate phosphate to MprA, and can act as a phospho-MprA phosphatase in vitro. Correspondingly, response regulator MprA can accept phosphate from MprB or from small phosphodonors including acetyl phosphate. Mutagenesis of residues His249 in MprB and Asp48 in MprA abolished the ability of these proteins to be phosphorylated in vitro. Introduction of these alleles into Mycobacterium bovis BCG attenuated virulence in macrophages in vivo. Together, these results support a role for the mprAB two-component system in M. tuberculosis physiology and pathogenesis. Characterization of two-component signal transduction systems will enhance our understanding of processes regulated by M. tuberculosis during acute and/or persistent infection in the host.
Project description:Bacterial persistence is the phenomenon in which a genetically identical fraction of a bacterial population can survive exposure to stress by reduction or cessation of growth. Persistence in mycobacteria has been recently linked to a stress-response network, consisting of the MprA/MprB two-component system and alternative sigma factor sigma(E). This network contains multiple positive transcriptional feedback loops which may give rise to bistability, making it a good candidate for controlling the mycobacterial persistence switch. To analyze the possibility of bistability, we develop a method that involves decoupling of the network into transcriptional and post-translational interaction modules. As a result we reduce the dimensionality of the dynamical system and independently analyze input-output relations in the two modules to formulate a necessary condition for bistability in terms of their logarithmic gains. We show that neither the positive autoregulation in the MprA/MprB network nor the sigma(E)-mediated transcriptional feedback is sufficient to induce bistability in a biochemically realistic parameter range. Nonetheless, inclusion of the post-translational regulation of sigma(E) by RseA increases the effective cooperativity of the system, resulting in bistability that is robust to parameter variation. We predict that overexpression or deletion of RseA, the key element controlling the ultrasensitive response, can eliminate bistability.
Project description:The genetic mechanisms mediating the adaptation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis within the host are poorly understood. The best-characterized regulatory systems in this organism include sigma factors and two-component signal transduction systems. mprAB is a two-component system required by M. tuberculosis for growth in vivo during the persistent stage of infection. In this report, we demonstrate that MprAB is stress responsive and regulates the expression of numerous stress-responsive genes in M. tuberculosis. With DNA microarrays and quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR, genes regulated by MprA in M. tuberculosis that included two stress-responsive sigma factors were identified. Response regulator MprA bound to conserved motifs in the upstream regions of both sigB and sigE in vitro and regulated the in vivo expression of sigB and sigE in M. tuberculosis. In addition, mprA itself was induced following exposure to stress, establishing a direct role for this regulatory system in stress response pathways of M. tuberculosis. Induction of mprA and sigE by MprA in response to stress was mediated through the cognate sensor kinase MprB and required expression of the extracytoplasmic loop domain. These results provide the first evidence that recognition of and adaptation to specific stress in M. tuberculosis are mediated through activation of a two-component signal transduction system that directly regulates the expression of stress-responsive determinants.
Project description:Binding of AP180 to clathrin triskelia induces their assembly into 60-70 nm coats. The largest rat brain cDNA clone isolated predicts a molecular weight of 91,430 for AP180. Two cDNA clones have an additional small 57 bp insert. The deduced molecular weight agrees with gel filtration results provided the more chaotropic denaturant 6 M guanidinium thiocyanate is substituted for the weaker guanidinium chloride. The sequence and the proteolytic cleavage pattern suggest a three domain structure. The N-terminal 300 residues (pI 8.7) harbour a clathrin binding site. An acidic middle domain (pI 3.6, 450 residues), interrupted by an uncharged alanine rich segment of 59 residues, appears to be responsible for the anomalous physical properties of AP180. The C-terminal domain (166 residues) has a pI of 10.4. AP180 mRNA is restricted to neuronal sources. AP180 shows no significant homology to known clathrin binding proteins, but is nearly identical to a mouse phosphoprotein (F1-20). This protein, localized to synaptic termini, has so far been of unknown function.
Project description:One of the most basic techniques in biomedical research is cDNA cloning for expression studies in mammalian cells. Vaccinia topoisomerase I-mediated cloning (TOPO cloning by Invitrogen) allows fast and efficient recombination of PCR-amplified DNAs. Among TOPO vectors, a pcDNA3.1 directional cloning vector is particularly convenient, since it can be used for expression analysis immediately after cloning. However, I found that the cloning efficiency was reduced when RT-PCR products were used as inserts (about one-quarter). Since TOPO vectors accept any PCR products, contaminating fragments in the insert DNA create negative clones. Therefore, I designed a new mammalian expression vector enabling positive blue white selection in Vaccinia topoisomerase I-mediated cloning. The method utilized a short nontoxic LacZ? peptide as a linker for GFP fusion. When cDNAs were properly inserted into the vector, minimal expression of the fusion proteins in E. coli (harboring lacZ?M15) resulted in formation of blue colonies on X-gal plates. This method improved both cloning efficiency (75%) and directional cloning (99%) by distinguishing some of the negative clones having non-cording sequences, since these inserts often disturbed translation of lacZ?. Recombinant plasmids were directly applied to expression studies using GFP as a reporter. Utilization of the P2A peptide allowed for separate expression of GFP. In addition, the preparation of Vaccinia topoisomerase I-linked vectors was streamlined, which consisted of successive enzymatic reactions with a single precipitation step, completing in 3 hr. The arrangement of unique restriction sites enabled further modification of vector components for specific applications. This system provides an alternative method for cDNA cloning and expression in mammalian cells.
Project description:A highly efficient DNA sequencing strategy was developed on the basis of the bacteriophage Mu in vitro DNA transposition reaction. In the reaction, an artificial transposon with a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (cat) gene as a selectable marker integrated into the target plasmid DNA containing a 10.3-kb mouse genomic insert to be sequenced. Bacterial clones carrying plasmids with the transposon insertions in different positions were produced by transforming transposition reaction products into Escherichia coli cells that were then selected on appropriate selection plates. Plasmids from individual clones were isolated and used as templates for DNA sequencing, each with two primers specific for the transposon sequence but reading the sequence into opposite directions, thus creating a minicontig. By combining the information from overlapping minicontigs, the sequence of the entire 10,288-bp region of mouse genome including six exons of mouse Kcc2 gene was obtained. The results indicated that the described methodology is extremely well suited for DNA sequencing projects in which considerable sequence information is on demand. In addition, massive DNA sequencing projects, including those of full genomes, are expected to benefit substantially from the Mu strategy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Error-prone PCR (epPCR) libraries are one of the tools used in directed evolution. The Gateway® technology allows constructing epPCR libraries virtually devoid of any background (i.e., of insert-free plasmid), but requires two steps: the BP and the LR reactions and the associated E. coli cell transformations and plasmid purifications. RESULTS: We describe a method for making epPCR libraries in Gateway® plasmids using an LR reaction without intermediate BP reaction. We also describe a BP-free and LR-free sub-cloning method for in-frame transferring the coding sequence of selected clones from the plasmid used to screen the library to another one devoid of tag used for screening (such as the green fluorescent protein). We report preliminary results of a directed evolution program using this method. CONCLUSIONS: The one-step method enables producing epPCR libraries of as high complexity and quality as does the regular, two-step, protocol for half the amount of work. In addition, it contributes to preserve the original complexity of the epPCR product.
Project description:Calotropis procera R. Br., a traditional medicinal plant in India, is a promising source of commercial proteases, because the cysteine proteases from the plant exhibit high thermo-stability, broad pH optima, and plasma-clotting activity. Though several proteases such as Procerain, Procerain B, CpCp-1, CpCp-2, and CpCp-3 have been isolated and characterized, the information of their transcripts is limited to cDNAs encoding their mature peptides. Due to this limitation, in this study, to determine the cDNA sequences encoding full open reading frame of these cysteine proteases, transcripts were sequenced with an Illumina Hiseq2000 sequencer. A total of 171,253,393 clean reads were assembled into 106,093 contigs with an average length of 1,614 bp and an N50 of 2,703 bp, and 70,797 contigs with an average length of 1,565 bp and N50 of 2,082 bp using Trinity and Velvet-Oases software, respectively. Among these contigs, we found 20 unigenes related to papain-like cysteine proteases by BLASTX analysis against a non-redundant NCBI protein database. Our expression analysis revealed that the cysteine protease contains an N-terminal pro-peptide domain (inhibitor region), which is necessary for correct folding and proteolytic activity. It was evident that expression yields using an inducible T7 expression system in Escherichia coli were considerably higher with the pro-peptide domain than without the domain, which could contribute to molecular cloning of the Calotropis procera protease as an active form with correct folding.
Project description:Using PCR-coupled subtractive screening-representational difference analysis, we have cloned a novel gene from AML1-ETO knockin mice. This gene is highly expressed in the yolk sac and fetal liver of the knockin mice. Nucleotide sequence analysis indicates that its cDNA contains an 1,107-bp open reading frame encoding a 368-amino-acid polypeptide. Further protein sequence and protein translation analysis shows that it belongs to a family of ubiquitin-specific proteases (UBP), and its molecular mass is 43 kDa. Therefore, we have named this gene UBP43. Like other ubiquitin proteases, the UBP43 protein has deubiquitinating enzyme activity. Protein ubiquitination has been implicated in many important cellular events. In wild-type adult mice, UBP43 is highly expressed in the thymus and in peritoneal macrophages. Among nine different murine hematopoietic cell lines analyzed, UBP43 expression is detectable only in cell lines related to the monocytic lineage. Furthermore, its expression is regulated during cytokine-induced monocytic cell differentiation. We have investigated its function in the hematopoietic myeloid cell line M1. UBP43 was introduced into M1 cells by retroviral gene transfer, and several high-expressing UBP43 clones were obtained for further study. Morphologic and cell surface marker examination of UBP43/M1 cells reveals that overexpression of UBP43 blocks cytokine-induced terminal differentiation of monocytic cells. These data suggest that UBP43 plays an important role in hematopoiesis by modulating either the ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic pathway or the ubiquitination state of another regulatory factor(s) during myeloid cell differentiation.
Project description:Reverse gyrase is an ATP-dependent topoisomerase that is unique to hyperthermophilic archaea and eubacteria. The only reverse gyrase structure determined to date has revealed the arrangement of the N-terminal helicase domain and the C-terminal topoisomerase domain that intimately cooperate to generate the unique function of positive DNA supercoiling. Although the structure has elicited hypotheses as to how supercoiling may be achieved, it lacks structural elements important for supercoiling and the molecular mechanism of positive supercoiling is still not clear. We present five structures of authentic Thermotoga maritima reverse gyrase that reveal a first view of two interacting zinc fingers that are crucial for positive DNA supercoiling. The so-called latch domain, which connects the helicase and the topoisomerase domains is required for their functional cooperation and presents a novel fold. Structural comparison defines mobile regions in parts of the helicase domain, including a helical insert and the latch that are likely important for DNA binding during catalysis. We show that the latch, the helical insert and the zinc fingers contribute to the binding of DNA to reverse gyrase and are uniquely placed within the reverse gyrase structure to bind and guide DNA during strand passage. A possible mechanism for positive supercoiling by reverse gyrases is presented.