Eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) of the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni.
ABSTRACT: Schistosomiasis remains an important parasitic disease and a major economic problem in many countries. The Schistosoma mansoni genome and predicted proteome sequences were recently published providing the opportunity to identify new drug candidates. Eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) play a central role in mediating signal transduction through complex networks and are considered druggable targets from the medical and chemical viewpoints. Our work aimed at analyzing the S. mansoni predicted proteome in order to identify and classify all ePKs of this parasite through combined computational approaches. Functional annotation was performed mainly to yield insights into the parasite signaling processes relevant to its complex lifestyle and to select some ePKs as potential drug targets.We have identified 252 ePKs, which corresponds to 1.9% of the S. mansoni predicted proteome, through sequence similarity searches using HMMs (Hidden Markov Models). Amino acid sequences corresponding to the conserved catalytic domain of ePKs were aligned by MAFFT and further used in distance-based phylogenetic analysis as implemented in PHYLIP. Our analysis also included the ePK homologs from six other eukaryotes. The results show that S. mansoni has proteins in all ePK groups. Most of them are clearly clustered with known ePKs in other eukaryotes according to the phylogenetic analysis. None of the ePKs are exclusively found in S. mansoni or belong to an expanded family in this parasite. Only 16 S. mansoni ePKs were experimentally studied, 12 proteins are predicted to be catalytically inactive and approximately 2% of the parasite ePKs remain unclassified. Some proteins were mentioned as good target for drug development since they have a predicted essential function for the parasite.Our approach has improved the functional annotation of 40% of S. mansoni ePKs through combined similarity and phylogenetic-based approaches. As we continue this work, we will highlight the biochemical and physiological adaptations of S. mansoni in response to diverse environments during the parasite development, vector interaction, and host infection.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Malaria, caused by the parasitic protist Plasmodium falciparum, represents a major public health problem in the developing world. The P. falciparum genome has been sequenced, which provides new opportunities for the identification of novel drug targets. Eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) form a large family of enzymes with crucial roles in most cellular processes; hence malarial ePKS represent potential drug targets. We report an exhaustive analysis of the P. falciparum genomic database (PlasmoDB) aimed at identifying and classifying all ePKs in this organism. RESULTS: Using a variety of bioinformatics tools, we identified 65 malarial ePK sequences and constructed a phylogenetic tree to position these sequences relative to the seven established ePK groups. Predominant features of the tree were: (i) that several malarial sequences did not cluster within any of the known ePK groups; (ii) that the CMGC group, whose members are usually involved in the control of cell proliferation, had the highest number of malarial ePKs; and (iii) that no malarial ePK clustered with the tyrosine kinase (TyrK) or STE groups, pointing to the absence of three-component MAPK modules in the parasite. A novel family of 20 ePK-related sequences was identified and called FIKK, on the basis of a conserved amino acid motif. The FIKK family seems restricted to Apicomplexa, with 20 members in P. falciparum and just one member in some other Apicomplexan species. CONCLUSION: The considerable phylogenetic distance between Apicomplexa and other Eukaryotes is reflected by profound divergences between the kinome of malaria parasites and that of yeast or mammalian cells.
Project description:The reversible phosphorylation of proteins catalyzed by protein kinases in eukaryotes supports an important role for eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) in the emergence of nucleated cells in the third superkingdom of life. Choline kinases (ChKs) could also be critical in the early evolution of eukaryotes, because of their function in the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine, which is unique to eukaryotic membranes. However, the genomic origins of ePKs and ChKs are unclear. The high degeneracy of protein sequences and broad expansion of ePK families have made this fundamental question difficult to answer. In this study, we identified two class-I aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases with high similarities to consensus amino acid sequences of human protein-serine/threonine kinases. Comparisons of primary and tertiary structures supported that ePKs and ChKs evolved from a common ancestor related to glutaminyl aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, which may have been one of the key factors in the successful of emergence of ancient eukaryotic cells from bacterial colonies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Eukaryotic protein kinases (EPKs) constitute one of the largest recognized protein families represented in the human genome. EPKs, which are similar to each other in sequence, structure and biochemical properties, are important players in virtually every signaling pathway involved in normal development and disease. Near completion of projects to sequence the human genome and transcriptome provide an opportunity to identify and perform sequence analysis on a nearly complete set of human EPKs. RESULTS:Publicly available genetic sequence data were searched for human sequences that potentially represent EPK family members. After removal of duplicates, splice variants and pseudogenes, this search yielded 510 sequences with recognizable similarity to the EPK family. Protein sequences of putative EPK catalytic domains identified in the search were aligned, and a phonogram was constructed based on the alignment. Representative sequence records in GenBank were identified, and derived information about gene mapping and nomenclature was summarized. CONCLUSIONS:This work represents a nearly comprehensive census and early bioinformatics overview of the EPKs encoded in the human genome. Evaluation of the sequence relationships between these proteins contributes contextual information that enhances understanding of individual family members. This curation of human EPK sequences provides tools and a framework for the further characterization of this important class of enzymes.
Project description:Schistosoma mansoni is one of the causative agents of schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects about 237 million people worldwide. Despite recent efforts, we still lack a general understanding of the relevant host-parasite interactions, and the possible treatments are limited by the emergence of resistant strains and the absence of a vaccine. The S. mansoni genome was completely sequenced and still under continuous annotation. Nevertheless, more than 45% of the encoded proteins remain without experimental characterization or even functional prediction. To improve our knowledge regarding the biology of this parasite, we conducted a proteome-wide evolutionary analysis to provide a broad view of the S. mansoni's proteome evolution and to improve its functional annotation.Using a phylogenomic approach, we reconstructed the S. mansoni phylome, which comprises the evolutionary histories of all parasite proteins and their homologs across 12 other organisms. The analysis of a total of 7,964 phylogenies allowed a deeper understanding of genomic complexity and evolutionary adaptations to a parasitic lifestyle. In particular, the identification of lineage-specific gene duplications pointed to the diversification of several protein families that are relevant for host-parasite interaction, including proteases, tetraspanins, fucosyltransferases, venom allergen-like proteins, and tegumental-allergen-like proteins. In addition to the evolutionary knowledge, the phylome data enabled us to automatically re-annotate 3,451 proteins through a phylogenetic-based approach rather than solely sequence similarity searches. To allow further exploitation of this valuable data, all information has been made available at PhylomeDB (http://www.phylomedb.org).In this study, we used an evolutionary approach to assess S. mansoni parasite biology, improve genome/proteome functional annotation, and provide insights into host-parasite interactions. Taking advantage of a proteome-wide perspective rather than focusing on individual proteins, we identified that this parasite has experienced specific gene duplication events, particularly affecting genes that are potentially related to the parasitic lifestyle. These innovations may be related to the mechanisms that protect S. mansoni against host immune responses being important adaptations for the parasite survival in a potentially hostile environment. Continuing this work, a comparative analysis involving genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data from other helminth parasites, other parasites, and vectors will supply more information regarding parasite's biology as well as host-parasite interactions.
Project description:Protein kinases have been implicated in the regulation of many processes that guide pathogen development throughout the course of infection. A survey of the Sclerotinia sclerotiorum genome for genes encoding proteins containing the highly conserved eukaryotic protein kinase (ePK) domain, the largest protein kinase superfamily, revealed 92 S.?sclerotiorum ePKs. This review examines the composition of the S.?sclerotiorum ePKs based on conserved motifs within the ePK domain family, and relates this to orthologues found in other filamentous fungi and yeasts. The ePKs are also discussed in terms of their proposed role(s) in aspects of host pathogenesis, including the coordination of mycelial growth/development and deployment of pathogenicity determinants in response to environmental stimuli, nutrients and stress.
Project description:Eukaryotic protein kinases (EPKs) regulate numerous signaling processes by phosphorylating targeted substrates through the highly conserved catalytic domain. Our previous computational studies proposed a model stating that a properly assembled nonlinear motif termed the Regulatory (R) spine is essential for catalytic activity of EPKs. Here we define the required intramolecular interactions and biochemical properties of the R-spine and the newly identified "Shell" that surrounds the R-spine using site-directed mutagenesis and various in vitro phosphoryl transfer assays using cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase as a representative of the entire kinome. Analysis of the 172 available Apo EPK structures in the protein data bank (PDB) revealed four unique structural conformations of the R-spine that correspond with catalytic inactivation of various EPKs. Elucidating the molecular entities required for the catalytic activation of EPKs and the identification of these inactive conformations opens new avenues for the design of efficient therapeutic EPK inhibitors.
Project description:The eukaryotic protein kinase (ePK) domain mediates the majority of signaling and coordination of complex events in eukaryotes. By contrast, most bacterial signaling is thought to occur through structurally unrelated histidine kinases, though some ePK-like kinases (ELKs) and small molecule kinases are known in bacteria. Our analysis of the Global Ocean Sampling (GOS) dataset reveals that ELKs are as prevalent as histidine kinases and may play an equally important role in prokaryotic behavior. By combining GOS and public databases, we show that the ePK is just one subset of a diverse superfamily of enzymes built on a common protein kinase-like (PKL) fold. We explored this huge phylogenetic and functional space to cast light on the ancient evolution of this superfamily, its mechanistic core, and the structural basis for its observed diversity. We cataloged 27,677 ePKs and 18,699 ELKs, and classified them into 20 highly distinct families whose known members suggest regulatory functions. GOS data more than tripled the count of ELK sequences and enabled the discovery of novel families and classification and analysis of all ELKs. Comparison between and within families revealed ten key residues that are highly conserved across families. However, all but one of the ten residues has been eliminated in one family or another, indicating great functional plasticity. We show that loss of a catalytic lysine in two families is compensated by distinct mechanisms both involving other key motifs. This diverse superfamily serves as a model for further structural and functional analysis of enzyme evolution.
Project description:Serpins are a structurally conserved family of macromolecular inhibitors found in numerous biological systems. The completion and annotation of the genomes of Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum has enabled the identification by phylogenetic analysis of two major serpin clades. S. mansoni shows a greater multiplicity of serpin genes, perhaps reflecting adaptation to infection of a human host. Putative targets of schistosome serpins can be predicted from the sequence of the reactive center loop (RCL). Schistosome serpins may play important roles in both post-translational regulation of schistosome-derived proteases, as well as parasite defense mechanisms against the action of host proteases.
Project description:Unique characteristics distinguish extracellular signal-regulated kinases (Erks) from other eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs). Unlike most ePKs, Erks do not autoactivate and they manifest no basal activity; they become catalysts only when dually phosphorylated on neighboring Thr and Tyr residues and they possess unique structural motifs. Erks function as the sole targets of the receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs)-Ras-Raf-MEK signaling cascade, which controls numerous physiological processes and is mutated in most cancers. Erks are therefore the executers of the pathway's biology and pathology. As oncogenic mutations have not been identified in Erks themselves, combined with the tight regulation of their activity, Erks have been considered immune against mutations that would render them intrinsically active. Nevertheless, several such mutations have been generated on the basis of structure-function analysis, understanding of ePK evolution and, mostly, via genetic screens in lower eukaryotes. One of the mutations conferred oncogenic properties on Erk1. The number of interesting mutations in Erks has dramatically increased following the development of Erk-specific pharmacological inhibitors and identification of mutations that cause resistance to these compounds. Several mutations have been recently identified in cancer patients. Here we summarize the mutations identified in Erks so far, describe their properties and discuss their possible mechanism of action.
Project description:Eukaryotic protein kinases (EPKs) constitute a class of allosteric switches that mediate a myriad of signaling events. It has been postulated that EPKs' active and inactive states depend on the structural architecture of their hydrophobic cores, organized around two highly conserved spines: C-spine and R-spine. How the spines orchestrate the transition of the enzyme between catalytically uncommitted and committed states remains elusive. Using relaxation dispersion nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we found that the hydrophobic core of the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A, a prototypical and ubiquitous EPK, moves synchronously to poise the C subunit for catalysis in response to binding adenosine 5'-triphosphate. In addition to completing the C-spine, the adenine ring fuses the ? structures of the N-lobe and the C-lobe. Additional residues that bridge the two spines (I150 and V104) are revealed as part of the correlated hydrophobic network; their importance was validated by mutagenesis, which led to inactivation. Because the hydrophobic architecture of the catalytic core is conserved throughout the EPK superfamily, the present study suggests a universal mechanism for dynamically driven allosteric activation of kinases mediated by coordinated signal transmission through ordered motifs in their hydrophobic cores.