Evolution of the Kdo2-lipid A biosynthesis in bacteria.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Lipid A is the highly immunoreactive endotoxic center of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). It anchors the LPS into the outer membrane of most Gram-negative bacteria. Lipid A can be recognized by animal cells, triggers defense-related responses, and causes Gram-negative sepsis. The biosynthesis of Kdo2-lipid A, the LPS substructure, involves with nine enzymatic steps. RESULTS: In order to elucidate the evolutionary pathway of Kdo2-lipid A biosynthesis, we examined the distribution of genes encoding the nine enzymes across bacteria. We found that not all Gram-negative bacteria have all nine enzymes. Some Gram-negative bacteria have no genes encoding these enzymes and others have genes only for the first four enzymes (LpxA, LpxC, LpxD, and LpxB). Among the nine enzymes, five appeared to have arisen from three independent gene duplication events. Two of such events happened within the Proteobacteria lineage, followed by functional specialization of the duplicated genes and pathway optimization in these bacteria. CONCLUSIONS: The nine-enzyme pathway, which was established based on the studies mainly in Escherichia coli K12, appears to be the most derived and optimized form. It is found only in E. coli and related Proteobacteria. Simpler and probably less efficient pathways are found in other bacterial groups, with Kdo2-lipid A variants as the likely end products. The Kdo2-lipid A biosynthetic pathway exemplifies extremely plastic evolution of bacterial genomes, especially those of Proteobacteria, and how these mainly pathogenic bacteria have adapted to their environment.
Project description:The ability of AGP to bind circulating lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in plasma is believed to help reduce the proinflammatory effect of bacterial lipid A molecules. Here, for the first time we have characterized human AGP binding characteristics of the LPS from a number of pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria: Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Serratia marcescens. The binding affinity and structure activity relationships (SAR) of the AGP-LPS interactions were characterized by surface plasma resonance (SPR). In order to dissect the contribution of the lipid A, core oligosaccharide and O-antigen polysaccharide components of LPS, the AGP binding affinity of LPS from smooth strains, were compared to lipid A, Kdo2-lipid A, R(a), R(d), and R(e) rough LPS mutants. The SAR analysis enabled by the binding data suggested that, in addition to the important role played by the lipid A and core components of LPS, it is predominately the unique species- and strain-specific carbohydrate structure of the O-antigen polysaccharide that largely determines the binding affinity for AGP. Together, these data are consistent with the role of AGP in the binding and transport of LPS in plasma during acute-phase inflammatory responses to invading Gram-negative bacteria.
Project description:The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) isolated from certain important Gram-negative pathogens including a human pathogen Yersinia pestis and opportunistic pathogens Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei contains d-glycero-d-talo-oct-2-ulosonic acid (Ko), an isosteric analog of 3-deoxy-d-manno-oct-2-ulosonic acid (Kdo). Kdo 3-hydroxylase (KdoO), a Fe(2+)/?-KG/O2 dependent dioxygenase from Burkholderia ambifaria and Yersinia pestis is responsible for Ko formation with Kdo2-lipid A as a substrate, but in which stage KdoO functions during the LPS biosynthesis has not been established. Here we purify KdoO from B. ambifaria (BaKdoO) to homogeneity for the first time and characterize its substrates. BaKdoO utilizes Kdo2-lipid IVA or Kdo2-lipid A as a substrate, but not Kdo-lipid IVAin vivo as well as in vitro and Kdo-(Hep)kdo-lipid A in vitro. These data suggest that KdoO is an inner core assembly enzyme that functions after the Kdo-transferase KdtA but before the heptosyl-transferase WaaC enzyme during the Ko-containing LPS biosynthesis.
Project description:The lipid component of the outer leaflet of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is primarily composed of the glycolipid lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which serves to form a protective barrier against hydrophobic toxins and many antibiotics. LPS is comprised of three regions: the lipid A membrane anchor, the nonrepeating core oligosaccharide, and the repeating O-antigen polysaccharide. The lipid A portion is also referred to as endotoxin as its overstimulation of the toll-like receptor 4 during systemic infection precipitates potentially fatal septic shock. Because of the importance of LPS for the viability and virulence of human pathogens, understanding how LPS is synthesized and transported to the outer leaflet of the outer membrane is important for developing novel antibiotics to combat resistant Gram-negative strains. The following review describes the current state of our understanding of the proteins responsible for the synthesis and transport of LPS with an emphasis on the contribution of protein structures to our understanding of their functions. Because the lipid A portion of LPS is relatively well conserved, a detailed description of the biosynthetic enzymes in the Raetz pathway of lipid A synthesis is provided. Conversely, less well-conserved biosynthetic enzymes later in LPS synthesis are described primarily to demonstrate conserved principles of LPS synthesis. Finally, the conserved LPS transport systems are described in detail.
Project description:The lipid A moiety of lipopolysaccharide forms the outer monolayer of the outer membrane of most gram-negative bacteria. Escherichia coli lipid A is synthesized on the cytoplasmic surface of the inner membrane by a conserved pathway of nine constitutive enzymes. Following attachment of the core oligosaccharide, nascent core-lipid A is flipped to the outer surface of the inner membrane by the ABC transporter MsbA, where the O-antigen polymer is attached. Diverse covalent modifications of the lipid A moiety may occur during its transit from the outer surface of the inner membrane to the outer membrane. Lipid A modification enzymes are reporters for lipopolysaccharide trafficking within the bacterial envelope. Modification systems are variable and often regulated by environmental conditions. Although not required for growth, the modification enzymes modulate virulence of some gram-negative pathogens. Heterologous expression of lipid A modification enzymes may enable the development of new vaccines.
Project description:Gram-negative bacterial viability is greatly reduced by the disruption of heptose sugar addition during the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an important bacterial outer membrane component. Heptosyltransferase I (HepI), a member of the GT-B structural subclass of glycosyltransferases, is therefore an essential enzyme for the biosynthesis of the LPS. The disruption of HepI also increases the susceptibility of bacteria to hydrophobic antibiotics, making HepI a potential target for drug development. In this work, the structural and dynamic properties of the catalytic cycle of HepI are explored. Previously, substrate-induced stabilization of HepI was observed and hypothesized to be assisted by interactions between the substrate and residues located on dynamic loops. Herein, positively charged amino acids were probed to identify binding partners of the negatively charged phosphates and carboxylates of Kdo2-lipid A and its analogues. Mutant enzymes were characterized to explore changes in enzymatic activities and protein stability. Molecular modeling of HepI in the presence and absence of ligands was then performed with the wild type and mutant enzyme to allow determination of the relative change in substrate binding affinity resulting from each mutation. Together, these studies suggest that multiple residues are involved in mediating substrate binding, and a lack of additivity of these effects illustrates the functional redundancy of these binding interactions. The redundancy of residues mediating conformational transitions in HepI illustrates the evolutionary importance of these structural rearrangements for catalysis. This work enhances the understanding of HepI's protein dynamics and mechanism and is a model for improving our understanding of glycosyltransferase enzymes.
Project description:Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs), such as polymyxins, are used as a last-line defense in treatment of many bacterial infections. However, some bacteria have developed resistance mechanisms to survive these compounds. Current pandemic O1 Vibrio cholerae biotype El Tor is resistant to polymyxins, whereas a previous pandemic strain of the biotype Classical is polymyxin-sensitive. The almEFG operon found in El Tor V. cholerae confers >100-fold resistance to antimicrobial peptides through aminoacylation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), expected to decrease the negatively charged surface of the V. cholerae outer membrane. This Gram-negative system bears striking resemblance to a related Gram-positive cell-wall remodeling strategy that also promotes CAMP resistance. Mutants defective in AlmEF-dependent LPS modification exhibit reduced fitness in vivo Here, we present investigation of AlmG, the hitherto uncharacterized member of the AlmEFG pathway. Evidence for AlmG glycyl to lipid substrate transferase activity is demonstrated in vivo by heterologous expression of V. cholerae pathway enzymes in a specially engineered Escherichia coli strain. Development of a minimal keto-deoxyoctulosonate (Kdo)-lipid A domain in E. coli was necessary to facilitate chemical structure analysis and to produce a mimetic Kdo-lipid A domain AlmG substrate to that synthesized by V. cholerae. Our biochemical studies support a uniquely nuanced pathway of Gram-negative CAMPs resistance and provide a more detailed description of an enzyme of the pharmacologically relevant lysophosphospholipid acyltransferase (LPLAT) superfamily.
Project description:Lipid A is a highly conserved component of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), itself a major component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Lipid A is essential to cells and elicits a strong immune response from humans and other animals. We developed a quantitative model of the nine enzyme-catalyzed steps of Escherichia coli lipid A biosynthesis, drawing parameters from the experimental literature. This model accounts for biosynthesis regulation, which occurs through regulated degradation of the LpxC and WaaA (also called KdtA) enzymes. The LpxC degradation signal appears to arise from the lipid A disaccharide concentration, which we deduced from prior results, model results, and new LpxK overexpression results. The model agrees reasonably well with many experimental findings, including the lipid A production rate, the behaviors of mutants with defective LpxA enzymes, correlations between LpxC half-lives and cell generation times, and the effects of LpxK overexpression on LpxC concentrations. Its predictions also differ from some experimental results, which suggest modifications to the current understanding of the lipid A pathway, such as the possibility that LpxD can replace LpxA and that there may be metabolic channeling between LpxH and LpxB. The model shows that WaaA regulation may serve to regulate the lipid A production rate when the 3-deoxy-D-manno-oct-2-ulosonic acid (KDO) concentration is low and/or to control the number of KDO residues that get attached to lipid A. Computation of flux control coefficients showed that LpxC is the rate-limiting enzyme if pathway regulation is ignored, but that LpxK is the rate-limiting enzyme if pathway regulation is present, as it is in real cells. Control also shifts to other enzymes if the pathway substrate concentrations are not in excess. Based on these results, we suggest that LpxK may be a much better drug target than LpxC, which has been pursued most often.
Project description:The Raetz pathway of lipid A biosynthesis plays a vital role in the survival and fitness of Gram-negative bacteria. Research efforts in the past three decades have identified individual enzymes of the pathway and have provided a mechanistic understanding of the action and regulation of these enzymes at the molecular level. This article reviews the discovery, biochemical and structural characterization, and regulation of the essential lipid A enzymes, as well as continued efforts to develop novel antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens by targeting lipid A biosynthesis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Bacterial Lipids edited by Russell E. Bishop.
Project description:The structural basis for the gram selectivity of two disulfide-bonded ?-hairpin antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) is investigated using solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The hexa-arginine PG-1 exhibits potent activities against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, while a mutant of PG-1 with only three cationic residues maintains gram-positive activity but is 30-fold less active against gram-negative bacteria. We determined the topological structure and lipid interactions of these two peptides in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-rich membrane that mimics the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria and in the POPE/POPG membrane, which mimics the membrane of gram-positive bacteria. (31)P NMR line shapes indicate that both peptides cause less orientational disorder in the LPS-rich membrane than in the POPE/POPG membrane. (13)C chemical shifts and (13)C-(1)H dipolar couplings show that both peptides maintain their ?-hairpin conformation in these membranes and are largely immobilized, but the mutant exhibits noticeable intermediate-time scale motion in the LPS membrane at physiological temperature, suggesting shallow insertion. Indeed, (1)H spin diffusion from lipid chains to the peptides shows that PG-1 fully inserts into the LPS-rich membrane whereas the mutant does not. The (13)C-(31)P distances between the most hydrophobically embedded Arg of PG-1 and the lipid (31)P are significantly longer in the LPS membrane than in the POPE/POPG membrane, indicating that PG-1 does not cause toroidal pore defects in the LPS membrane, in contrast to its behavior in the POPE/POPG membrane. Taken together, these data indicate that PG-1 causes transmembrane pores of the barrel-stave type in the LPS membrane, thus allowing further translocation of the peptide into the inner membrane of gram-negative bacteria to kill the cells. In comparison, the less cationic mutant cannot fully cross the LPS membrane because of weaker electrostatic attractions, thus causing weaker antimicrobial activities. Therefore, strong electrostatic attraction between the peptide and the membrane surface, ensured by having a sufficient number of Arg residues, is essential for potent antimicrobial activities against gram-negative bacteria. The data provide a rational basis for controlling gram selectivity of AMPs by adjusting the charge densities.
Project description:Lipid A is the innermost component of the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) molecules that occupy the outer leaflet of the outer membrane in Gram-negative bacteria. Lipid A is recognized by the host immune system and targeted by cationic antimicrobial compounds. In Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, the phosphates of lipid A are chemically modified by enzymes encoded by targets of the transcriptional regulator PmrA. These modifications increase resistance to the cationic peptide antibiotic polymyxin B by reducing the negative charge of the LPS. We report the mechanism by which Salmonella produces different lipid A profiles when PmrA is activated by low Mg2+ versus a mildly acidic pH. Low Mg2+ favored modification of the lipid A phosphates with 4-amino-4-deoxy-l-aminoarabinose (l-Ara4N) by activating the regulatory protein PhoP, which initially increased the LPS negative charge by promoting transcription of lpxT, encoding an enzyme that adds an additional phosphate group to lipid A. Later, PhoP activated PmrA posttranslationally, resulting in expression of PmrA-activated genes, including those encoding the LpxT inhibitor PmrR and enzymes responsible for the incorporation of l-Ara4N. By contrast, a mildly acidic pH favored modification of the lipid A phosphates with a mixture of l-Ara4N and phosphoethanolamine (pEtN) by simultaneously inducing the PhoP-activated lpxT and PmrA-activated pmrR genes. Although l-Ara4N reduces the LPS negative charge more than does pEtN, modification of lipid A phosphates solely with l-Ara4N required a prior transient increase in lipid A negative charge. Our findings demonstrate how bacteria tailor their cell surface to different stresses, such as those faced inside phagocytes.