Crystal structure of the membrane fusion protein CusB from Escherichia coli.
ABSTRACT: Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, frequently utilize tripartite efflux complexes belonging to the resistance-nodulation-division family to expel diverse toxic compounds from the cell. These systems contain a periplasmic membrane fusion protein (MFP) that is critical for substrate transport. We here present the x-ray structures of the CusB MFP from the copper/silver efflux system of E. coli. This is the first structure of any MFPs associated with heavy-metal efflux transporters. CusB bridges the inner-membrane efflux pump CusA and outer-membrane channel CusC to mediate resistance to Cu(+) and Ag(+) ions. Two distinct structures of the elongated molecules of CusB were found in the asymmetric unit of a single crystal, which suggests the flexible nature of this protein. Each protomer of CusB can be divided into four different domains, whereby the first three domains are mostly beta-strands and the last domain adopts an entirely helical architecture. Unlike other known structures of MFPs, the alpha-helical domain of CusB is folded into a three-helix bundle. This three-helix bundle presumably interacts with the periplasmic domain of CusC. The N- and C-termini of CusB form the first beta-strand domain, which is found to interact with the periplasmic domain of the CusA efflux pump. Atomic details of how this efflux protein binds Cu(+) and Ag(+) were revealed by the crystals of the CusB-Cu(I) and CusB-Ag(I) complexes. The structures indicate that CusB consists of multiple binding sites for these metal ions. These findings reveal novel structural features of an MFP in the resistance-nodulation-division efflux system and provide direct evidence that this protein specifically interacts with transported substrates.
Project description:Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, expel toxic chemicals through tripartite efflux pumps that span both the inner and outer membrane. The three parts are an inner membrane, substrate-binding transporter; a membrane fusion protein; and an outer-membrane-anchored channel. The fusion protein connects the transporter to the channel within the periplasmic space. A crystallographic model of this tripartite efflux complex has been unavailable because co-crystallization of the various components of the system has proven to be extremely difficult. We previously described the crystal structures of both the inner membrane transporter CusA and the membrane fusion protein CusB of the CusCBA efflux system of E. coli. Here we report the co-crystal structure of the CusBA efflux complex, showing that the transporter (or pump) CusA, which is present as a trimer, interacts with six CusB protomers and that the periplasmic domain of CusA is involved in these interactions. The six CusB molecules seem to form a continuous channel. The affinity of the CusA and CusB interaction was found to be in the micromolar range. Finally, we have predicted a three-dimensional structure for the trimeric CusC outer membrane channel and developed a model of the tripartite efflux assemblage. This CusC(3)-CusB(6)-CusA(3) model shows a 750-kilodalton efflux complex that spans the entire bacterial cell envelope and exports Cu I and Ag I ions.
Project description:Gram-negative bacteria frequently expel toxic chemicals through tripartite efflux pumps that span both the inner and outer membranes. The three parts are the inner membrane, substrate-binding transporter (or pump); a periplasmic membrane fusion protein (MFP, or adaptor); and an outer membrane-anchored channel. The fusion protein connects the transporter to the channel within the periplasmic space. One such efflux system CusCBA is responsible for extruding biocidal Cu(I) and Ag(I) ions. We previously described the crystal structures of both the inner membrane transporter CusA and the MFP CusB of Escherichia coli. We also determined the co-crystal structure of the CusBA adaptor-transporter efflux complex, showing that the transporter CusA, which is present as a trimer, interacts with six CusB protomers and that the periplasmic domain of CusA is involved in these interactions. Here, we summarize the structural information of these efflux proteins, and present the accumulated evidence that this efflux system uses methionine residues to bind and export Cu(I) and Ag(I). Genetic and structural analyses suggest that the CusA pump is capable of picking up the metal ions from both the periplasm and the cytoplasm. We propose a stepwise shuttle mechanism for this pump to export metal ions from the cell.
Project description:Bacterial cells have developed sophisticated systems to deal with the toxicity of metal ions. Escherichia coli CusCFBA is a complex efflux system, responsible for transferring Cu(I) and Ag(I) ions; this system, located in the periplasm, involves four proteins, CusA, CusB, CusC, and CusF. CusA, CusB, and CusC are connected to one another in an oligomerization ratio of 3:6:3 CusA/CusB/CusC to form the CusCBA periplasm membrane transporter. CusB is an adaptor protein that connects the two membrane proteins CusA (inner membrane) and CusC (outer membrane). CusF is a metallochaperone that transfers Cu(I) and Ag(I) to the CusCBA transporter from the periplasm. The crystal structures of CusB, CusC, CusF, and the CusBA complex have been resolved, shedding some light on the efflux mechanism underlying this intriguing system. However, since CusB is an adaptor protein, its role in operating this system is significant, and should be understood in detail. Here, we utilize EPR spectroscopy to target the conformational changes that take place in the full CusB protein upon binding Cu(I). We reveal that CusB is a dimer in solution, and that the orientation of one molecule with respect to the other molecule changes upon Cu(I) coordination, resulting in a more compact CusB structure. These structural and topological changes upon Cu(I) binding probably play the role of a switch for opening the channel and transferring metal ions from CusB to CusC and out of the cell.
Project description:Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, frequently utilize tripartite efflux complexes in the resistance-nodulation-cell division (RND) family to expel diverse toxic compounds from the cell. These efflux systems span the entire cell envelope to mediate the phenomenon of bacterial multidrug resistance. The three parts of the efflux complexes are: (1) a membrane fusion protein (MFP) connecting (2) a substrate-binding inner membrane transporter to (3) an outer membrane-anchored channel in the periplasmic space. One such efflux system CusCBA is responsible for extruding biocidal Cu(I) and Ag(I) ions. We recently determined the crystal structures of both the inner membrane transporter CusA and MFP CusB of the CusCBA tripartite efflux system from E. coli. These are the first structures of the heavy-metal efflux (HME) subfamily of the RND efflux pumps. Here, we summarize the structural information of these two efflux proteins and present the accumulated evidence that this efflux system utilizes methionine residues to bind and export Cu(I)/Ag(I). Genetic and structural analyses suggest that the CusA pump is capable of picking up the metal ions from both the periplasm and cytoplasm. We propose a stepwise shuttle mechanism for this pump to extrude metal ions from the cell.
Project description:Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, utilize efflux resistance systems in order to expel toxins from their cells. Heavy-metal resistance is mediated by resistance nodulation cell division (RND)-based efflux pumps composed of a tripartite complex that includes an RND-transporter, an outer-membrane factor (OMF), and a membrane fusion protein (MFP) that spans the periplasmic space. MFPs are necessary for complex assembly and have been hypothesized to play an active role in substrate efflux. Crystal structures of MFPs are available, however incomplete, as large portions of the apparently disordered N- and C-termini are unresolved. Such is the case for CusB, the MFP of the E. coli Cu(I)/Ag(I) efflux pump CusCFBA. In this work, we have investigated the structure and function of the N-terminal region of CusB, which includes the metal-binding site and is missing from previously determined crystal structures. Results from mass spectrometry and X-ray absorption spectroscopy show that the isolated N-terminal 61 residues (CusB-NT) bind metal in a 1:1 stoichiometry with a coordination site composed of M21, M36, and M38, consistent with full-length CusB. NMR spectra show that CusB-NT is mostly disordered in the apo state; however, some slight structure is adopted upon metal binding. Much of the intact protein's function is maintained in this fragment as CusB-NT binds metal in vivo and in vitro, and metal is transferred between the metallochaperone CusF and CusB-NT in vitro. Functional analysis in vivo shows that full-length CusB is necessary in an intact polypeptide for full metal resistance, though CusB-NT alone can contribute partial metal resistance. These findings reinforce the theory that the role of CusB is not only to bind metal but also to play an active role in efflux.
Project description:The cus determinant of Escherichia coli encodes the CusCFBA proteins that mediate resistance to copper and silver by cation efflux. CusA and CusB were essential for copper resistance, and CusC and CusF were required for full resistance. Replacements of methionine residues 573, 623, and 672 with isoleucine in CusA resulted in loss of copper resistance, demonstrating their functional importance. Substitutions for several other methionine residues of this protein did not have any effect. The small 10-kDa protein CusF (previously YlcC) was shown to be a periplasmic protein. CusF bound one copper per polypeptide. The pink CusF copper protein complex exhibited an absorption maximum at around 510 nm. Methionine residues of CusF were involved in copper binding as shown by site-directed mutagenesis. CusF interacted with CusB and CusC polypeptides in a yeast two-hybrid assay. In contrast to other well-studied CBA-type heavy metal efflux systems, Cus was shown to be a tetrapartite resistance system that involves the novel periplasmic copper-binding protein CusF. These data provide additional evidence for the hypothesis that Cu(I) is directly transported from the periplasm across the outer membrane by the Cus complex.
Project description:Resistance-nodulation-cell division (RND) superfamily efflux systems are responsible for the active transport of toxic compounds from the Gram-negative bacterial cell. These pumps typically assemble as tripartite complexes, spanning the inner and outer membranes of the cell envelope. In Escherichia coli, the CusC(F)BA complex, which exports copper(I) and silver(I) and mediates resistance to these two metal ions, is the only known RND transporter with a specificity for heavy metals. We have determined the crystal structures of both the inner membrane pump CusA and membrane fusion protein CusB, as well as the adaptor-transporter CusBA complex formed by these two efflux proteins. In addition, the crystal structures of the outer membrane channel CusC and the periplasmic metallochaperone CusF have been resolved. Based on these structures, the entire assembled model of the tripartite efflux system has been developed, and this efflux complex should be in the form of CusC3-CusB6-CusA3. It has been shown that CusA utilizes methionine clusters to bind and export Cu(I) and Ag(I). This pump is likely to undergo a conformational change, and utilize a relay network of methionine clusters as well as conserved charged residues to extrude the metal ions from the bacterial cell.
Project description:Escherichia coli CusCBAF represents an important class of bacterial efflux pump exhibiting selectivity towards Cu(I) and Ag(I). The complex is comprised of three proteins: the CusA transmembrane pump, the CusB soluble adaptor protein, and the CusC outer-membrane pore, and additionally requires the periplasmic metallochaperone CusF. Here we used spectroscopic and kinetic tools to probe the mechanism of copper transfer between CusF and CusB using selenomethionine labeling of the metal-binding Met residues coupled to RFQ-XAS at the Se and Cu edges. The results indicate fast formation of a protein-protein complex followed by slower intra-complex metal transfer. An intermediate coordinated by ligands from each protein forms in 100?ms. Stopped-flow fluorescence of the capping CusF-W44 tryptophan that is quenched by metal transfer also supports this mechanism. The rate constants validate a process in which shared-ligand complex formation assists protein association, providing a driving force that raises the rate into the diffusion-limited regime.
Project description:Gram-negative bacteria expel various toxic chemicals via tripartite efflux pumps belonging to the resistance-nodulation-cell division superfamily. These pumps span both the inner and outer membranes of the cell. The three components of these tripartite systems are an inner-membrane, substrate-binding transporter (or pump); a periplasmic membrane fusion protein (or adaptor); and an outer-membrane-anchored channel. These three efflux proteins interact in the periplasmic space to form the three-part complexes. We previously presented the crystal structures of both the inner-membrane transporter CusA and membrane fusion protein CusB of the CusCBA tripartite efflux system from Escherichia coli. We also described the co-crystal structure of the CusBA adaptor-transporter, revealing that the trimeric CusA efflux pump assembles with six CusB protein molecules to form the complex CusB(6)-CusA(3). We here report three different conformers of the crystal structures of CusBA-Cu(I), suggesting a mechanism on how Cu(I) binding initiates a sequence of conformational transitions in the transport cycle. Genetic analysis and transport assays indicate that charged residues, in addition to the methionine pairs and clusters, are essential for extruding metal ions out of the cell.
Project description:Gram-negative bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, frequently use tripartite efflux complexes in the resistance-nodulation-cell division (RND) family to expel various toxic compounds from the cell. The efflux system CusCBA is responsible for extruding biocidal Cu(I) and Ag(I) ions. No previous structural information was available for the heavy-metal efflux (HME) subfamily of the RND efflux pumps. Here we describe the crystal structures of the inner-membrane transporter CusA in the absence and presence of bound Cu(I) or Ag(I). These CusA structures provide new structural information about the HME subfamily of RND efflux pumps. The structures suggest that the metal-binding sites, formed by a three-methionine cluster, are located within the cleft region of the periplasmic domain. This cleft is closed in the apo-CusA form but open in the CusA-Cu(I) and CusA-Ag(I) structures, which directly suggests a plausible pathway for ion export. Binding of Cu(I) and Ag(I) triggers significant conformational changes in both the periplasmic and transmembrane domains. The crystal structure indicates that CusA has, in addition to the three-methionine metal-binding site, four methionine pairs-three located in the transmembrane region and one in the periplasmic domain. Genetic analysis and transport assays suggest that CusA is capable of actively picking up metal ions from the cytosol, using these methionine pairs or clusters to bind and export metal ions. These structures suggest a stepwise shuttle mechanism for transport between these sites.