The structure of the hypothetical protein smu.1377c from Streptococcus mutans suggests a role in tRNA modification.
ABSTRACT: Members of the Sua5_YciO_YrdC protein family are found in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes and possess a conserved alpha/beta twisted open-sheet fold. The Escherichia coli protein YrdC has been shown to be involved in modification of tRNA. The crystal structure of smu.1377c, a hypothetical protein from Streptococcus mutans, has been determined to 2.25 A resolution. From structure analysis and comparison, it is shown that smu.1377c is a member of the Sua5_YciO_YrdC family and that it may play the same role as E. coli YrdC.
Project description:The TetR family of transcriptional regulators is ubiquitous in bacteria, where it plays an important role in bacterial gene expression. Streptococcus mutans, a gram-positive pathogen considered to be the primary etiological agent in the formation of dental caries, encodes at least 18 TetR regulators. Here we characterized one such TetR regulator, SMU.1349, encoded by the TnSmu2 operon, which appeared to be acquired by the organism via horizontal gene transfer. SMU.1349 is transcribed divergently from the rest of the genes encoded by the operon. By the use of a transcriptional reporter system and semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), we demonstrated that SMU.1349 activates the transcription of several genes that are encoded within the TnSmu2 operon. Gel mobility shift and DNase I footprinting assays with purified SMU.1349 protein demonstrated binding to the intergenic region between SMU.1349 and the TnSmu2 operon; therefore, SMU.1349 is directly involved in gene transcription. Using purified S. mutans RpoD and Escherichia coli RNA polymerase, we also demonstrated in an in vitro transcription assay that SMU.1349 could activate transcription from the TnSmu2 operon promoter. Furthermore, we showed that SMU.1349 could also repress transcription from its own promoter by binding to the intergenic region, suggesting that SMU.1349 acts as both an activator and a repressor. Thus, unlike most of the TetR family proteins, which generally function as transcriptional repressors, SMU.1349 is unique in that it can function as both.
Project description:Dental caries induced by Streptococcus mutans is one of the most prevalent chronic infectious diseases worldwide. The pathogenicity of S. mutans relies on the bacterium's ability to colonize tooth surfaces and survive a strongly acidic environment. We performed an ISS1 transposon mutagenesis to screen for acid-sensitive mutants of S. mutans and identified an SMU.746-SMU.747 gene cluster that is needed for aciduricity. SMU.746 and SMU.747 appear to be organized in an operon and encode a putative membrane-associated permease. SMU.746- and SMU.747-deficient mutants showed a reduced ability to grow in acidified medium. However, the short-term or long-term acid survival capacity and F1F0 ATPase activity remained unaffected in the mutants. Furthermore, deletion of both genes did not change cell membrane permeability and the oxidative and heat stress responses. Growth was severely affected even with slight acidification of the defined medium (pH 6.5). The ability of the mutant strain to acidify the defined medium during growth in the presence of glucose and sucrose was significantly reduced, although the glycolysis rate was only slightly affected. Surprisingly, deletion of the SMU.746-SMU.747 genes triggered increased biofilm formation in low-pH medium. The observed effects were more striking in a chemically defined medium. We speculate that the SMU.746-SMU.747 complex is responsible for amino acid transport, and we discuss its possible role in colonization and survival in the oral environment.
Project description:Streptococcus mutans SMU.1108c (KEGG database) encodes a functionally uncharacterized protein consisting of 270 amino-acid residues. This protein is predicted to have a haloacid dehalogenase hydrolase-like domain and is a homologue of haloacid dehalogenase phosphatases that catalyze phosphoryl-transfer reactions. In this work, SMU.1108c was cloned into the pET28a vector and overexpressed in Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3). The protein was purified to homogeneity and crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method. The best crystal diffracted to 2.0 Å resolution and belonged to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a=77.1, b=80.2, c=47.9 Å, β=99.5°.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To evaluate the effect of SMU.2055 gene on acid resistance of Streptococcus mutans. METHODS:A SMU.2055-dificient mutant strain of S. mutans was constructed using homologous recombination technique. The growth of the wild-type and mutant strains was monitored in both normal and acidic conditions. The lethal pH level, glycolysis, proton permeability, cell permeability and biofilm formation of the two strains were compared. RESULTS:PCR and sequence analyses verified the successful construction of the SMU.2055-dificient mutant strain. The growth and biofilm formation capacity of the mutant strain were obviously lowered in both normal and acidic conditions. The mutant strain also showed increased lethal pH level, proton permeability, and cell permeability with impaired H+-ATPase activity in acidic conditions, but its minimum glycolytic pH remained unaffected. CONCLUSION:The SMU.2055-deficient S. mutans mutant exhibits a lowered acid resistance, which affects the growth, lethal pH, proton permeability, H+-ATPase activity, cell permeability and biofilm formation but not the minimum glycolytic pH of the mutant strain.
Project description:The SMU.2055 gene from the major caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans is annotated as a putative acetyltransferase with 163 amino-acid residues. In order to identify its function via structural studies, the SMU.2055 gene was cloned into the expression vector pET28a. Native and SeMet-labelled SMU.2055 proteins with a His(6) tag at the N-terminus were expressed at a high level in Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3) and purified to homogeneity by Ni(2+)-chelating affinity chromatography. Diffraction-quality crystals of SeMet-labelled SMU.2055 were obtained using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method and diffracted to a resolution of 2.5 A on beamline BL17A at the Photon Factory, Tsukuba, Japan. The crystals belong to the orthorhombic space group C222(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 92.0, b = 95.0, c = 192.2 A. The asymmetric unit contained four molecules, with a solvent content of 57.1%.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study is to analyze the three-dimensional crystal structure of SMU.2055 protein, a putative acetyltransferase from the major caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). The design and selection of the structure-based small molecule inhibitors are also studied. METHODS:The three-dimensional crystal structure of SMU.2055 protein was obtained by structural genomics research methods of gene cloning and expression, protein purification with Ni²?-chelating affinity chromatography, crystal screening, and X-ray diffraction data collection. An inhibitor virtual model matching with its target protein structure was set up using computer-aided drug design methods, virtual screening and fine docking, and Libdock and Autodock procedures. RESULTS:The crystal of SMU.2055 protein was obtained, and its three-dimensional crystal structure was analyzed. This crystal was diffracted to a resolution of 0.23 nm. It belongs to orthorhombic space group C222(1), with unit cell parameters of a = 9.20 nm, b = 9.46 nm, and c = 19.39 nm. The asymmetric unit contained four molecules, with a solvent content of 56.7%. Moreover, five small molecule compounds, whose structure matched with that of the target protein in high degree, were designed and selected. CONCLUSION:Protein crystallography research of S. mutans SMU.2055 helps to understand the structures and functions of proteins from S. mutans at the atomic level. These five compounds may be considered as effective inhibitors to SMU.2055. The virtual model of small molecule inhibitors we built will lay a foundation to the anticaries research based on the crystal structure of proteins.
Project description:SMU.573 from Streptococcus mutans is a structurally and functionally uncharacterized protein that was selected for structural biology studies. Native and SeMet-labelled proteins were expressed with an N-His tag in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) and purified by Ni2+-chelating and size-exclusion chromatography. Crystals of the SeMet-labelled protein were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method and a 2.5 A resolution diffraction data set was collected using an in-house chromium radiation source. The crystals belong to space group I4, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 96.53, c = 56.26 A, alpha = beta = gamma = 90 degrees.
Project description:Aerobic microorganisms have evolved different strategies to withstand environmental oxidative stresses generated by various reactive oxygen species (ROS). For the facultative anaerobic human oral pathogen Streptococcus mutans, the mechanisms used to protect against ROS are not fully understood, since it does not possess catalase, an enzyme that degrades hydrogen peroxide. In order to elucidate the genes that are essential for superoxide stress response, methyl viologen (MV)-sensitive mutants of S. mutans were generated via ISS1 mutagenesis. Screening of approximately 2,500 mutants revealed six MV-sensitive mutants, each containing an insertion in one of five genes, including a highly conserved hypothetical gene, SMU.1297. Sequence analysis suggests that SMU.1297 encodes a hypothetical protein with a high degree of homology to the Bacillus subtilis YtqI protein, which possesses an oligoribonuclease activity that cleaves nano-RNAs and a phosphatase activity that degrades 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate (pAp) and 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (pApS) to produce AMP; the latter activity is similar to the activity of the Escherichia coli CysQ protein, which is required for sulfur assimilation. SMU.1297 was deleted using a markerless Cre-loxP-based strategy; the SMU.1297 deletion mutant was just as sensitive to MV as the ISS1 insertion mutant. Complementation of the deletion mutant with wild-type SMU.1297, in trans, restored the parental phenotype. Biochemical analyses with purified SMU.1297 protein demonstrated that it has pAp phosphatase activity similar to that of YtqI but apparently lacks an oligoribonuclease activity. The ability of SMU.1297 to dephosphorylate pApS in vivo was confirmed by complementation of an E. coli cysQ mutant with SMU.1297 in trans. Thus, our results suggest that SMU.1297 is involved in superoxide stress tolerance in S. mutans. Furthermore, the distribution of homologs of SMU.1297 in streptococci indicates that this protein is essential for superoxide stress tolerance in these organisms.
Project description:As an oral bacterial pathogen, Streptococcus mutans has been known as the aetiologic agent of human dental caries. Among a total of 1960 identified proteins within the genome of this organism, there are about 500 without any known functions. One of these proteins, SMU.440, has very few homologs in the current protein databases and it does not fall into any protein functional families. Phylogenetic studies showed that SMU.440 is related to a particular ecological niche and conserved specifically in some oral pathogens, due to lateral gene transfer. The co-occurrence of a MarR protein within the same operon among these oral pathogens suggests that SMU.440 may be associated with antibiotic resistance. The structure determination of SMU.440 revealed that it shares the same fold and a similar pocket as polyketide cyclases, which indicated that it is very likely to bind some polyketide-like molecules. From the interlinking structural and bioinformatics studies, we have concluded that SMU.440 could be involved in polyketide-like antibiotic resistance, providing a better understanding of this hypothetical protein. Besides, the combination of multiple methods in this study can be used as a general approach for functional studies of a protein with unknown function.
Project description:Recently, high-coverage genome sequence of 57 isolates of Streptococcus mutans, the primary etiological agent of human dental caries, was completed. The SMU.1147 gene, encoding a 61-amino-acid (61-aa) peptide, was present in all sequenced strains of S. mutans but absent in all bacteria in current databases. Reverse transcription-PCR revealed that SMU.1147 is cotranscribed with scnK and scnR, which encode the histidine kinase and response regulator, respectively, of a two-component system (TCS). The C terminus of the SMU.1147 gene product was tagged with a FLAG epitope and shown to be expressed in S. mutans by Western blotting with an anti-FLAG antibody. A nonpolar mutant of SMU.1147 formed less biofilm in glucose-containing medium and grew slower than did the wild-type strain under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, at low pH, or in the presence of H2O2. Mutation of SMU.1147 dramatically reduced genetic competence and expression of comX and comY, compared to S. mutans UA159. The competence defect of the SMU.1147 mutant could not be overcome by addition of sigX-inducing peptide (XIP) in defined medium or by competence-stimulating peptide (CSP) in complex medium. Complementation with SMU.1147 on a plasmid restored all phenotypes. Interestingly, mutants lacking either one of the TCS components and a mutant lacking all three genes behaved like the wild-type strain for all phenotypes mentioned above, but all mutant strains grew slower than UA159 in medium supplemented with 0.3 M NaCl. Thus, the SMU.1147-encoded peptide affects virulence-related traits and dominantly controls quorum-sensing pathways for development of genetic competence in S. mutans.