Identification of in vivo disulfide conformation of TRPA1 ion channel.
ABSTRACT: TRPA1 (transient receptor potential ankyrin 1) is an ion channel expressed in the termini of sensory neurons and is activated in response to a broad array of noxious exogenous and endogenous thiol-reactive compounds, making it a crucial player in chemical nociception. A number of conserved cysteine residues on the N-terminal domain of the channel have been identified as critical for sensing these electrophilic pungent chemicals, and our recent EM structure with modeled domains predicts that these cysteines form a ligand-binding pocket, allowing for the possibility of disulfide bonding between the cysteine residues. Here, we present a comprehensive mass spectrometry investigation of the in vivo disulfide bonding conformation and in vitro reactivity of 30 of the 31 cysteine residues in the TRPA1 ion channel. Four disulfide bonds were detected in the in vivo TRPA1 structure: Cys-666-Cys-622, Cys-666-Cys-463, Cys-622-Cys-609, and Cys-666-Cys-193. All of the cysteines detected were reactive to N-methylmaleimide (NMM) in vitro, with varying degrees of labeling efficiency. Comparison of the ratio of the labeling efficiency at 300 ?M versus 2 mM NMM identified a number of cysteine residues that were outliers from the mean labeling ratio, suggesting that protein conformation changes rendered these cysteines either more or less protected from labeling at the higher NMM concentrations. These results indicate that the activation mechanism of TRPA1 may involve N-terminal conformation changes and disulfide bonding between critical cysteine residues.
Project description:The human Transient Receptor Potential A1 (hTRPA1) ion channel, also known as the wasabi receptor, acts as a biosensor of various potentially harmful stimuli. It is activated by a wide range of chemicals, including the electrophilic compound N-methylmaleimide (NMM), but the mechanism of activation is not fully understood. Here, we used mass spectrometry to map and quantify the covalent labeling in hTRPA1 at three different concentrations of NMM. A functional truncated version of hTRPA1 (?1-688 hTRPA1), lacking the large N-terminal ankyrin repeat domain (ARD), was also assessed in the same way. In the full length hTRPA1, the labeling of different cysteines ranged from nil up to 95% already at the lowest concentration of NMM, suggesting large differences in reactivity of the thiols. Most important, the labeling of some cysteine residues increased while others decreased with the concentration of NMM, both in the full length and the truncated protein. These findings indicate a conformational switch of the proteins, possibly associated with activation or desensitization of the ion channel. In addition, several lysines in the transmembrane domain and the proximal N-terminal region were labeled by NMM, raising the possibility that lysines are also key targets for electrophilic activation of hTRPA1.
Project description:We recently showed that inter-keratin disulfide bonding plays an important role in the assembly, organization, and dynamics of keratin intermediate filaments in skin keratinocytes. In particular, cysteine 367 located in the central α-helical rod domain of keratin 14 is necessary for the formation of a stable perinuclear network of keratin filaments (with type II partner keratin 5) in skin keratinocytes analyzed by static and live cell imaging. Here, we show that two additional cysteine residues located in the non-helical head domain of K14, Cys-4 and Cys-40, also participate in inter-keratin disulfide bonding and tandemly play a key role complementary to that of Cys-367 in the assembly, organization, and dynamics of keratin filaments in skin keratinocytes in primary culture. Analysis of K14 variants with single or multiple substitutions of cysteine residues points to a spatial and temporal hierarchy in how Cys-4/Cys-40 and Cys-367 regulate keratin assembly in vitro and filament dynamics in live keratinocytes in culture. Our findings substantiate the importance and complexity of a novel determinant, namely inter-keratin disulfide bonding, for the regulation of several aspects of keratin filaments in surface epithelia.
Project description:ABCA1 plays a major role in cholesterol homeostasis and high density lipoprotein (HDL) metabolism. ABCA1 contains disulfide bond(s) between its N- and C-terminal halves, but it remains unclear whether disulfide bond formation is important for the functions of ABCA1 and which cysteines are involved in disulfide bond formation. To answer these questions, we constructed >30 ABCA1 mutants in which 16 extracellular domain (ECD) cysteines were replaced with serines and examined disulfide bond formation, apoA-I binding, and HDL formation in these mutants. From the single cysteine replacements, two cysteines (Cys(75) and Cys(309)) in ECD1 were found to be essential for apoA-I binding. In contrast, in ECD2, only Cys(1477) was found to be essential for HDL formation, and no single cysteine replacement impaired apoA-I binding. The concurrent replacement of two cysteines, Cys(1463) and Cys(1465), impaired apoA-I binding and HDL formation, suggesting that four of five extracellular cysteines (Cys(75), Cys(309), Cys(1463), Cys(1465), and Cys(1477)) are involved in these functions of ABCA1. Trypsin digestion experiments suggested that one disulfide bond is not sufficient and that two intramolecular disulfide bonds (between Cys(75) and Cys(309) in ECD1 and either Cys(1463) or Cys(1465) and Cys(1477) in ECD2) are required for ABCA1 to be fully functional.
Project description:Transcription factor p53 plays a critical role in the cellular response to stress stimuli. We have seen that p53 dissociates selectively from various promoter sites as a result of oxidation at long-range through DNA-mediated charge transport (CT). Here, we examine this chemical oxidation and determine the residues in p53 that are essential for oxidative dissociation, focusing on the network of cysteine residues adjacent to the DNA-binding site. Of the eight mutants studied, only the C275S mutation shows decreased affinity for the Gadd45 promoter site. However, both mutations C275S and C277S result in substantial attenuation of oxidative dissociation, with C275S causing the most severe attenuation. Differential thiol labeling was used to determine the oxidation states of cysteine residues within p53 after DNA-mediated oxidation. Reduced cysteines were iodoacetamide-labeled, whereas oxidized cysteines participating in disulfide bonds were (13)C2D2-iodoacetamide-labeled. Intensities of respective iodoacetamide-modified peptide fragments were analyzed by mass spectrometry. A distinct shift in peptide labeling toward (13)C2D2-iodoacetamide-labeled cysteines is observed in oxidized samples, confirming that chemical oxidation of p53 occurs at long range. All observable cysteine residues trend toward the heavy label under conditions of DNA CT, indicating the formation of multiple disulfide bonds among the cysteine network. On the basis of these data, it is proposed that disulfide formation involving C275 is critical for inducing oxidative dissociation of p53 from DNA.
Project description:Human carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (hCPS) has evolved critical features that allow it to remove excess and potentially neurotoxic ammonia via the urea cycle, including use of only free ammonia as a nitrogen donor, a K(m) for ammonia 100-fold lower than for CPSs that also use glutamine as a nitrogen donor, and required allosteric activation by N-acetylglutamate (AGA), a sensor of excess amino acids. The recent availability of a Schizosaccharomyces pombe expression system for hCPS allowed us to utilize protein engineering approaches to elucidate the distinctive hCPS properties. Although the site of AGA interaction is not defined, it is known that the binding of AGA to CPS leads to a conformational change in which a pair of cysteine side chains become proximate and can then be selectively induced to undergo disulfide bonding. We analyzed the response of hCPS cysteine mutants to thiol-specific reagents and identified Cys-1327 and Cys-1337 as the AGA-responsive proximate cysteines. Possibly two of the features unique to urea-specific CPSs, relative to other CPSs (the conserved Cys-1327/Cys-1337 pair and the occurrence at very high concentrations in the liver mitochondrial matrix) co-evolved to provide buffering against reactive oxygen species. Reciprocal mutation analysis of Escherichia coli CPS (eCPS), creating P909C and G919C and establishing the ability of these engineered cysteine residues to share a disulfide bond, indicated an eCPS conformational change at least partly similar to the hCPS conformational change induced by AGA. These findings strongly suggested an alternative eCPS conformation relative to the single crystal conformation thus far identified.
Project description:Cysteine residues ubiquitously stabilize tertiary and quaternary protein structure by formation of disulfide bridges. Here we investigate another linking interaction that involves sulfhydryl groups of cysteines, namely intra- and intermolecular methylene-bridges between cysteine and lysine residues. A number of crystal structures possessing such a linkage were identified in the Protein Data Bank. Inspection of the electron density maps and re-refinement of the nominated structures unequivocally confirmed the presence of Lys-CH2 -Cys bonds in several cases.
Project description:Cysteine sulfenic acid (Cys-SOH), a reversible modification, is a catalytic intermediate at enzyme active sites, a sensor for oxidative stress, a regulator of some transcription factors, and a redox-signaling intermediate. This post-translational modification is not random: specific features near the cysteine control its reactivity. To identify features responsible for the propensity of cysteines to be modified to sulfenic acid, a list of 47 proteins (containing 49 known Cys-SOH sites) was compiled. Modifiable cysteines are found in proteins from most structural classes and many functional classes, but have no propensity for any one type of protein secondary structure. To identify features affecting cysteine reactivity, these sites were analyzed using both functional site profiling and electrostatic analysis. Overall, the solvent exposure of modifiable cysteines is not different from the average cysteine. The combined sequence, structure, and electrostatic approaches reveal mechanistic determinants not obvious from overall sequence comparison, including: (1) pKaS of some modifiable cysteines are affected by backbone features only; (2) charged residues are underrepresented in the structure near modifiable sites; (3) threonine and other polar residues can exert a large influence on the cysteine pKa; and (4) hydrogen bonding patterns are suggested to be important. This compilation of Cys-SOH modification sites and their features provides a quantitative assessment of previous observations and a basis for further analysis and prediction of these sites. Agreement with known experimental data indicates the utility of this combined approach for identifying mechanistic determinants at protein functional sites.
Project description:The transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) nonselective cation channel has a conserved function as a noxious chemical sensor throughout much of Metazoa. Electrophilic chemicals activate both insect and vertebrate TRPA1 via covalent modification of cysteine residues in the amino-terminal region. Although naturally occurring electrophilic plant compounds, such as mustard oil and cinnamaldehyde, are TRPA1 agonists, it is unknown whether arthropod-produced electrophiles activate mammalian TRPA1. We characterized the effects of the electrophilic arthropod defensive compound para-benzoquinone (pBQN) on the human TRPA1 channel. We used whole-cell recordings of human embryonic kidney cells heterologously expressing either wild-type TRPA1 or TRPA1 with three serine-substituted cysteines crucial for electrophile activation (C621S, C641S, C665S). We found that pBQN activates TRPA1 starting at 10 nM and peaking at 300 nM; higher concentrations caused rapid activation followed by a fast decline. Activation by pBQN required reactivity with cysteine residues, but ones that are distinct from those previously reported to be the key targets of electrophiles. The current reduction we found at higher pBQN concentrations was a cysteine-dependent desensitization of TRPA1, and did not require prior activation. The cysteines required for desensitization are not accessible to all electrophiles as iodoacetamide and internally applied 2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl methanesulfonate failed to cause desensitization (despite large activation). Interestingly, following pBQN desensitization, wild-type TRPA1 had dramatically reduced response to the nonelectrophile agonist carvacrol, whereas the triple cysteine mutant TRPA1 retained its full response. Our results suggest that modification of multiple cysteine residues by electrophilic compounds can generate both activation and desensitization of the TRPA1 channel.
Project description:Recent advances in the application of electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy have demonstrated that it is possible to obtain structural information on bacterial outer membrane (OM) proteins in intact cells from extracellularly labeled cysteines. However, in the Escherichia coli OM B12 transport protein, BtuB, the double labeling of many cysteine pairs is not possible in a wild-type K12-derived E. coli strain. It has also not yet been possible to selectively label single or paired cysteines that face the periplasmic space. Here, we demonstrate that the inability to produce reactive cysteine residues in pairs is a result of the disulfide bond formation system, which functions to oxidize pairs of free-cysteine residues. Mutant strains that are dsbA or dsbB null facilitate labeling pairs of cysteines. Moreover, we demonstrate that the double labeling of sites on the periplasmic-facing surface of BtuB is possible using a dsbA null strain. BtuB is found to exhibit different structures and structural changes in the cell than it does in isolated OMs or reconstituted systems, and the ability to label and perform electron paramagnetic resonance in cells is expected to be applicable to a range of other bacterial OM proteins.
Project description:Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) proteins are a family of ancient and conserved chaperones. Cysteine modifications have been widely detected among different Hsp70 family members in vivo, but their effects on Hsp70 structure and function are unclear. Here, we treated HeLa cells with diamide, which typically induces disulfide bond formation except in the presence of excess GSH, when glutathionylated cysteines predominate. We show that in these cells, HspA1A (hHsp70) undergoes reversible cysteine modifications, including glutathionylation, potentially at all five cysteine residues. In vitro experiments revealed that modification of cysteines in the nucleotide-binding domain of hHsp70 is prevented by nucleotide binding but that Cys-574 and Cys-603, located in the C-terminal ?-helical lid of the substrate-binding domain, can undergo glutathionylation in both the presence and absence of nucleotide. We found that glutathionylation of these cysteine residues results in unfolding of the ?-helical lid structure. The unfolded region mimics substrate by binding to and blocking the substrate-binding site, thereby promoting intrinsic ATPase activity and competing with binding of external substrates, including heat shock transcription factor 1 (Hsf1). Thus, post-translational modification can alter the structure and regulate the function of hHsp70.