Analysis of the unique structural and physicochemical properties of the DraD/AfaD invasin in the context of its belonging to the family of chaperone/usher type fimbrial subunits.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: DraD invasin encoded by the dra operon possesses a classical structure characteristic to fimbrial subunits of the chaperone/usher type. The Ig-fold of the DraD possesses two major characteristics distinguishing it from the family of fimbrial subunits: 1) a distortion of the β-barrel structure in the region of the acceptor cleft, demonstrated by a disturbance of the main-chain hydrogen bonds network, and 2) an unusually located disulfide bond connecting B and F strands - the localization exclusively observed in the subfamily of DraD/AfaD-type subunits. RESULTS: To evaluate the influence of the DraD-sc specific structural features on its stability and mechanism of thermal denaturation, a series of DSC and FT-IR denaturation experiments were performed giving following conclusions. 1) The DraD-sc is characterized by a low stability (standard Gibbs free energy and enthalpy of unfolding of 18.4 ±1.4 kJ mol(-1) and 131 ±25 kJ mol(-1), respectively) that contrasts strongly with almost infinite stability of the described previously DraE-sc fimbrial protein. 2) The DraD-sc unfolds thermally according to the two state equilibrium model, in contrast to the irreversible kinetically controlled transition of the DraE-sc. 3) The DraD specific disulfide bond is crucial at the folding stage and has little stability effect in the mature protein. CONCLUSIONS: Data published so far emphasize unique biological properties of the DraD invasin as fimbrial subunit: a chaperone independent folding, an usher independent surface localization and the possibility to exist in two forms: as unbound subunits and as loosely bound at fimbrial tip.Presented calorimetric and FT-IR stability data combined with structural correlations has underlined that the DraD invasin is also characterized by unique physicochemical and structural attributes in the context of its belonging to the family of fimbrial subunits.
Project description:Dr fimbriae are homopolymeric adhesive organelles of uropathogenic Escherichia coli composed of DraE subunits, responsible for the attachment to host cells. These structures are characterized by enormously high stability resulting from the structural properties of an Ig-like fold of DraE. One feature of DraE and other fimbrial subunits that makes them peculiar among Ig-like domain-containing proteins is a conserved disulfide bond that joins their A and B strands. Here, we investigated how this disulfide bond affects the stability and folding/unfolding pathway of DraE. We found that the disulfide bond stabilizes self-complemented DraE (DraE-sc) by ?50 kJ mol-1 in an exclusively thermodynamic manner, i.e. by lowering the free energy of the native state and with almost no effect on the free energy of the transition state. This finding was confirmed by experimentally determined folding and unfolding rate constants of DraE-sc and a disulfide bond-lacking DraE-sc variant. Although the folding of both proteins exhibited similar kinetics, the unfolding rate constant changed upon deletion of the disulfide bond by 10 orders of magnitude, from ?10-17 s-1 to 10-7 s-1 Molecular simulations revealed that unfolding of the disulfide bond-lacking variant is initiated by strands A or G and that disulfide bond-mediated joining of strand A to the core strand B cooperatively stabilizes the whole protein. We also show that the disulfide bond in DraE is recognized by the DraB chaperone, indicating a mechanism that precludes the incorporation of less stable, non-oxidized DraE forms into the fimbriae.
Project description:The Dr hemagglutinin of uropathogenic Escherichia coli is a fimbrial homopolymer of DraE subunits encoded by the dra operon. The dra operon includes the draB and draC genes, whose products exhibit homology to chaperone-usher proteins involved in the biogenesis of surface-located polymeric structures. DraB is one of the periplasmic proteins belonging to the superfamily of PapD-like chaperones. It possesses two conserved cysteine residues characteristic of the FGL subfamily of Caf1M-like chaperones. In this study we obtained evidence that DraB cysteines form a disulfide bond in a mature chaperone and have the crucial function of forming the DraB-DraE binary complex. Expression experiments showed that the DraB protein is indispensable in the folding of the DraE subunit to a form capable of polymerization. Accumulation of DraB-DraE(n) oligomers, composed of head-to-tail subunits and the chaperone DraB, was observed in the periplasm of a recombinant E. coli strain which expressed DraB and DraE (but not DraC). To investigate the donor strand exchange mechanism during the formation of DraE oligomers, we constructed a series of DraE N-terminal deletion mutants. Deletion of the first three N-terminal residues of a potential donor strand resulted in a DraE protein lacking an oligomerization function. In vitro data showed that the DraE disulfide bond was not needed to form a binary complex with the DraB chaperone but was essential in the polymerization process. Our data suggest that assembly of Dr fimbriae requires a chaperone-usher pathway and the donor strand exchange mechanism.
Project description:Several virulence-related genes have been described for prototype enteroaggregative Escherichia coli (EAEC) strain 042, which has been shown to cause diarrhea in human volunteers. Among these factors are the enterotoxins Pet and EAST and the fimbrial antigen aggregative adherence fimbria II (AAF/II), all of which are encoded on the 65-MDa virulence plasmid pAA2. Using nucleotide sequence analysis and insertional mutagenesis, we have found that the genes required for the expression of each of these factors, as well as the transcriptional activator of fimbrial expression AggR, map to a distinct cluster on the pAA2 plasmid map. The cluster is 23 kb in length and includes two regions required for expression of the AAF/II fimbria. These fimbrial biogenesis genes feature a unique organization in which the chaperone, subunit, and transcriptional activator lie in one cluster, whereas the second, unlinked cluster comprises a silent chaperone gene, usher, and invasin reminiscent of Dr family fimbrial clusters. This plasmid-borne virulence locus may represent an important set of virulence determinants in EAEC strains.
Project description:Denaturation of Bordetella pertussis fimbrial preparations by guanidinium hydrochloride (GdnHCl) has been characterized using static light scattering, c.d., fluorescence and antibody recognition. The susceptibility of Fim2 + 3 (a mixed preparation of two fimbrial types) to GdnHCl was found to be highly dependent on pH; as the pH was increased from pH 7.2 to 10.5, the concentration of GdnHCl required to induce 50% denaturation was decreased. At pH 10.5, Fim2 + 3 was denatured by GdnHCl in a three-step pathway comprising: (1) formation of a pre-denaturational intermediate at less than 1.0 M-GdnHCl; (2) dissociation of the fimbrial polymer into subunits between 2 M- and 3.2 M-GdnHCl; and (3) subunit unfolding between 2.8 M- and 3.6 M-GdnHCl. A similar pathway was also found for the denaturation of the individual fimbrial types, Fim2 and Fim3, except that unfolding of either subunit commenced at a lower GdnHCl concentration (2.2 M) than that found for the mixture of fimbriae, Fim2 + 3. The second step in the denaturation pathway, dissociation into subunits, was partially reversible, but the renaturation and reassociation of fully unfolded subunits to form fimbriae-like structures was not achieved. These findings demonstrate that the GdnHCl denaturation of complex polymeric proteins is unlikely to follow a reversible two-state denaturation pathway, and support the involvement of a chaperone-like protein in the folding and assembly of the fimbriae in vivo. Measurement of the ability of anti-fimbrial monoclonal antibodies to recognize intermediates in the denaturation pathway enabled the identification of two types of epitope which were dependent on different aspects of fimbrial tertiary/quaternary structure.
Project description:The virulence of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli Dr(+) IH11128 strain is associated with the presence of Dr fimbrial structures and a DraD invasin which can act as a fimbrial capping domain at the bacterial cell surface. However, a recent study suggests that the DraD protein is surface exposed in two forms: fimbria associated and fimbria nonassociated (prone to interaction with the N-terminal extension of the DraE protein located on the fimbrial tip). The actual mechanism of DraD surface secretion is presently unknown. We identified a previously unrecognized type II secretory pathway (secreton) in the uropathogenic E. coli Dr(+) strain which is well conserved among gram-negative bacteria and used mainly for secretion of virulence determinants. An active secreton is composed of 12 to 15 different proteins, among which GspD functions as an outer-membrane channel to permit extrusion of proteins in a folded state. Therefore, we inactivated the pathway by inserting the group II intron into a gspD gene of the type II secretion machinery by site-specific recombination. DraD secretion by the E. coli Dr(+) and gspD mutant strains was determined by immunofluorescence microscopy (with antibodies raised against DraD) and an assay of cell binding between bacteria and HeLa cells. The specificity of DraD-mediated bacterial binding for the integrin receptor was confirmed by examination of the adhesion of DraD-coated beads to HeLa cells in the presence and absence of alpha(5)beta(1) monoclonal antibodies. The investigations that we performed showed that type II secretion in E. coli Dr(+) strains leads to DraD translocation at the bacterial cell surfaces.
Project description:The 987P fimbriae of Escherichia coli consist mainly of the major subunit, FasA, and two minor subunits, FasF and FasG. In addition to the previously characterized outer membrane or usher protein FasD, the FasB, FasC, and FasE proteins are required for fimbriation. To better understand the roles of these minor proteins, their genes were sequenced and the predicted polypeptides were shown to be most similar to periplasmic chaperone proteins of fimbrial systems. Western blot (immunoblot) analysis and immunoprecipitation of various fas mutants with specific antibody probes identified both the subcellular localizations and associations of these minor components. FasB was shown to be a periplasmic chaperone for the major fimbrial subunit, FasA. A novel periplasmic chaperone, FasC, which stabilizes and specifically interacts with the adhesin, FasG, was identified. FasE, a chaperone-like protein, is also located in the periplasm and is required for optimal export of FasG and possibly other subunits. The use of different chaperone proteins for various 987P subunits is a novel observation for fimbrial biogenesis in bacteria. Whether other fimbrial systems use a similar tactic remains to be discovered.
Project description:Fimbriae and pili are macromolecular structures on the surface of Gram negative bacteria that are important for cellular adhesion. A 2.7Å resolution crystal structure of a complex of Escherichia coli fimbrial proteins containing FimH, FimG, FimF, and FimC provides the most complete model to date for the arrangement of subunits assembled in the native structure. The first three proteins form the tip of the fimbriae while FimC is the chaperone protein involved in the usher/chaperone assembly process. The subunits interact through donor strand complementation where a ?-strand from a subunit completes the ?-sandwich structure of the neighboring subunit or domain closer to the tip of the fimbria. The function of FimC is to provide a surrogate donor strand before delivery of each subunit to the FimD usher and the growing fimbria. Comparison of the subunits in this structure and their chaperone-bound complexes show that the two FimH domains change their relative orientation and position in forming the tip structure. Also, the non-chaperone subunits undergo a conformational change in their first ?-strand when the chaperone is replaced by the native donor strand. Some residues move as much as 14Å in the process. This structural shift has not been noted in structural studies of other bacterial adhesion sub-structures assembled via donor strand complementation. The domains undergo a significant structural change in the donor strand binding groove during fimbrial assembly, and this likely plays a role in determining the specificity of subunit-subunit interactions among the fimbrial proteins.
Project description:We identified a new bacterial transporter, the Pseudomonas aeruginosa CupB3 protein, which is an outer membrane usher involved in pili assembly. In CupB3, the usher domain has fused during evolution with a POTRA (polypeptide-transport-associated)-like domain found in TpsB transporters of two-partner secretion systems. In TpsBs, the POTRA captures the TpsA passenger, which is then transported across the outer membrane through the TpsB beta-barrel. We named CupB3 a 'P-usher' for POTRA-like domain-containing usher. We showed that CupB3 assembles CupB1 fimbrial subunits into pili and secretes CupB5, a TpsA-like protein. The CupB3 usher domain has the function of a TpsB beta-barrel in CupB5 translocation. We revealed that the POTRA-like domain is neither essential for CupB1 fimbriae assembly nor for cell surface exposition of CupB5, but is crucial to coordinate bona fide transport of CupB1 and CupB5 through the usher domain. The P-usher defines a novel transport pathway involving a molecular machine made with old spare parts.
Project description:The human-specific pathogen <i>Salmonella enterica</i> serovar Typhi causes typhoid, a major public health issue in developing countries. Several aspects of its pathogenesis are still poorly understood. <i>S</i>. Typhi possesses 14 fimbrial gene clusters including 12 chaperone-usher fimbriae (<i>stg, sth, bcf</i>, <i>fim, saf</i>, <i>sef</i>, <i>sta, stb, stc, std, ste</i>, and <i>tcf</i>). These fimbriae are weakly expressed in laboratory conditions and only a few are actually characterized. In this study, expression of all <i>S</i>. Typhi chaperone-usher fimbriae and their potential roles in pathogenesis such as interaction with host cells, motility, or biofilm formation were assessed. All <i>S</i>. Typhi fimbriae were better expressed in minimal broth. Each system was overexpressed and only the fimbrial gene clusters without pseudogenes demonstrated a putative major subunits of about 17 kDa on SDS-PAGE. Six of these (Fim, Saf, Sta, Stb, Std, and Tcf) also show extracellular structure by electron microscopy. The impact of fimbrial deletion in a wild-type strain or addition of each individual fimbrial system to an <i>S</i>. Typhi afimbrial strain were tested for interactions with host cells, biofilm formation and motility. Several fimbriae modified bacterial interactions with human cells (THP-1 and INT-407) and biofilm formation. However, only Fim fimbriae had a deleterious effect on motility when overexpressed. Overall, chaperone-usher fimbriae seem to be an important part of the balance between the different steps (motility, adhesion, host invasion and persistence) of <i>S</i>. Typhi pathogenesis.
Project description:Chaperone-usher (CU) fimbriae are adhesive surface organelles common to many Gram-negative bacteria. Escherichia coli genomes contain a large variety of characterised and putative CU fimbrial operons, however, the classification and annotation of individual loci remains problematic. Here we describe a classification model based on usher phylogeny and genomic locus position to categorise the CU fimbrial types of E. coli. Using the BLASTp algorithm, an iterative usher protein search was performed to identify CU fimbrial operons from 35 E. coli (and one Escherichia fergusonnii) genomes representing different pathogenic and phylogenic lineages, as well as 132 Escherichia spp. plasmids. A total of 458 CU fimbrial operons were identified, which represent 38 distinct fimbrial types based on genomic locus position and usher phylogeny. The majority of fimbrial operon types occupied a specific locus position on the E. coli chromosome; exceptions were associated with mobile genetic elements. A group of core-associated E. coli CU fimbriae were defined and include the Type 1, Yad, Yeh, Yfc, Mat, F9 and Ybg fimbriae. These genes were present as intact or disrupted operons at the same genetic locus in almost all genomes examined. Evaluation of the distribution and prevalence of CU fimbrial types among different pathogenic and phylogenic groups provides an overview of group specific fimbrial profiles and insight into the ancestry and evolution of CU fimbriae in E. coli.