LPS remodeling is an evolved survival strategy for bacteria.
ABSTRACT: Maintenance of membrane function is essential and regulated at the genomic, transcriptional, and translational levels. Bacterial pathogens have a variety of mechanisms to adapt their membrane in response to transmission between environment, vector, and human host. Using a well-characterized model of lipid A diversification (Francisella), we demonstrate temperature-regulated membrane remodeling directed by multiple alleles of the lipid A-modifying N-acyltransferase enzyme, LpxD. Structural analysis of the lipid A at environmental and host temperatures revealed that the LpxD1 enzyme added a 3-OH C18 acyl group at 37 °C (host), whereas the LpxD2 enzyme added a 3-OH C16 acyl group at 18 °C (environment). Mutational analysis of either of the individual Francisella lpxD genes altered outer membrane (OM) permeability, antimicrobial peptide, and antibiotic susceptibility, whereas only the lpxD1-null mutant was attenuated in mice and subsequently exhibited protection against a lethal WT challenge. Additionally, growth-temperature analysis revealed transcriptional control of the lpxD genes and posttranslational control of the LpxD1 and LpxD2 enzymatic activities. These results suggest a direct mechanism for LPS/lipid A-level modifications resulting in alterations of membrane fluidity, as well as integrity and may represent a general paradigm for bacterial membrane adaptation and virulence-state adaptation.
Project description:The lipid A moiety of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is the main constituent of the outer leaflet of the Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane (OM) and is essential in many Gram-negative pathogens. An exception is Acinetobacter baumannii ATCC 19606, where mutants lacking enzymes occurring early in lipid A biosynthesis (LpxA, LpxC or LpxD), and correspondingly lacking LPS, can grow. In contrast, we show here that LpxH, an enzyme that occurs downstream of LpxD in the lipid A biosynthetic pathway, is essential for growth in this strain. Multiple attempts to disrupt lpxH on the genome were unsuccessful, and when LpxH expression was controlled by an isopropyl ?-d-1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) inducible promoter, cell growth under typical laboratory conditions required IPTG induction. Mass spectrometry analysis of cells shifted from LpxH-induced to uninduced (and whose growth was correspondingly slowing as LpxH was depleted) showed a large cellular accumulation of UDP-2,3-diacyl-GlcN (substrate of LpxH), a C14:0(3-OH) acyl variant of the LpxD substrate (UDP-3-O-[(R)-3-OH-C14]-GlcN), and disaccharide 1-monophosphate (DSMP). Furthermore, the viable cell counts of the LpxH depleted cultures dropped modestly, and electron microscopy revealed clear defects at the cell (inner) membrane, suggesting lipid A intermediate accumulation was toxic. Consistent with this, blocking the synthesis of these intermediates by inhibition of the upstream LpxC enzyme using CHIR-090 abrogated the requirement for IPTG induction of LpxH. Taken together, these data indicate that LpxH is essential for growth in A. baumannii ATCC19606, because, unlike earlier pathway steps like LpxA or LpxC, blockage of LpxH causes accumulation of detergent-like pathway intermediates that prevents cell growth.
Project description:LpxD is a bacterial protein that is part of the biosynthesis pathway of lipid A and is responsible for transferring 3-hydroxymyristic acid from the R-3-hydroxymyristoyl-acyl carrier protein to the 2-OH group of UDP-3-O-(3-hydroxymyristoyl) glucosamine. The crystal structure of LpxD from Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been determined at high resolution (1.3?Å). The crystal belonged to space group H3, with unit-cell parameters a=b=106.19, c=93.38?Å, and contained one molecule in the asymmetric unit. The structure was solved by molecular replacement using the known structure of LpxD from Escherichia coli (PDB entry 3eh0) as a search model and was refined to Rwork=16.4% (Rfree=18.5%) using 91,655 reflections. The final protein model includes 355 amino-acid residues (including 16 amino acids from a 20 amino-acid N-terminal His tag), one chloride ion and two ethylene glycol molecules.
Project description:UDP-N-acetylglucosamine acyltransferase (LpxA) and UDP-3-O-(acyl)-glucosamine acyltransferase (LpxD) constitute the essential, early acyltransferases of lipid A biosynthesis. Recently, an antimicrobial peptide inhibitor, RJPXD33, was identified with dual affinity for LpxA and LpxD. To gain a fundamental understanding of the molecular basis of inhibitor binding, we determined the crystal structure of LpxA from Escherichia coli in complex with RJPXD33 at 1.9 Å resolutions. Our results suggest that the peptide binds in a unique modality that mimics (R)-?-hydroxyacyl pantetheine binding to LpxA and displays how the peptide binds exclusive of the native substrate, acyl-acyl carrier protein. Acyltransferase binding studies with photo-labile RJPXD33 probes and truncations of RJPXD33 validated the structure and provided fundamental insights for future design of small molecule inhibitors. Overlay of the LpxA-RJPXD33 structure with E. coli LpxD identified a complementary peptide binding pocket within LpxD and serves as a model for further biochemical characterization of RJPXD33 binding to LpxD.
Project description:The external layer of the Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane is primarily composed of a protective, selectively permeable LPS. The biosynthesis of LPS relies on UDP-3-O-acyl-glucosamine N-acyltransferase (LpxD), which transfers 3-hydroxy-arachidic acid from acyl carrier protein to the 2' amine of UDP-3-O-myristoyl glucosamine in Chlamydia trachomatis. Our crystallographic study reveals that LpxD is a homotrimer, each subunit of which is constructed from a novel combination of an N-terminal uridine-binding domain, a core lipid-binding domain, and a C-terminal helical extension. Highly conserved residues dominate nucleotide binding. Phe-43 and Tyr-49 form pi-stacking interactions with uracil, and Asn-46 and His-284 form hydrogen bonds with the phosphate groups. These interactions place the glucosamine moiety at the catalytic center formed by two adjacent subunits. Here His-247 and His-284 contribute to a mechanism involving nucleophilic attack by the amine of one substrate on the carbonyl carbon of an acyl carrier protein thioester conjugate. Serendipitously, our study reveals a fatty acid (FA) binding groove near the catalytic center. MS elucidated the presence of a FA mixture binding to LpxD, with palmitic acid the most prevalent. The placement of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine and the FA provides details of N-acyltransferase ligand interactions and allows for a description of structure and reactivity at an early stage of LPS assembly.
Project description:The first step of lipid A biosynthesis in Escherichia coli (E. coli) is catalyzed by LpxA (EcLpxA), an acyltransferase selective for UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) and R-3-hydroxymyristoyl-acyl carrier protein (3-OH-C14-ACP), and is an essential step in majority of Gram-negative bacteria. Since the majority of lipid A species isolated from F. novicida contains 3-OH-C16 or 3-OH-C18 at its C3 and C3' positions, FnLpxA was thought to be selective for longer acyl chain (3-OH-C16 and 3-OH-C18) over short acyl chain (3-OH-C14, 3-OH-C12, and 3-OH-C10). Here we demonstrate that Francisella novicida (F. novicida) lpxA functionally complements an E. coli lpxA knockout mutant and efficiently transfers 3-OH-C14 as well as 3-OH-C16 in E. coli. Our results implicate that the acyl chain length of lipid A is determined by several factors including acyl chain selectivity of LpxA and downstream enzymes, as well as the composition of the acyl-ACP pool in vivo. We also report the crystal structure of F. novicida LpxA (FnLpxA) at 2.06 Å. The N-terminal parallel beta-helix (L?H) and C-terminal alpha-helical domain are similar to other reported structures of LpxAs. However, our structure indicates that the supposed ruler residues for hydrocarbon length, 171L in one monomer and 168H in the adjacent monomer in a functional trimer of FnLpxA, are located just 3.8 Å apart that renders not enough space for binding of 3-OH-C12 or longer acyl chains. This implicates that FnLpxA may have an alternative hydrophobic pocket, or the acyl chain may bend while binding to FnLpxA. In addition, the FnLpxA structure suggests a potential inhibitor binding site for development of antibiotics.
Project description:Acyl carrier protein represents one of the most highly conserved proteins across all domains of life and is nature's way of transporting hydrocarbon chains in vivo. Notably, type II acyl carrier proteins serve as a crucial interaction hub in primary cellular metabolism by communicating transiently between partner enzymes of the numerous biosynthetic pathways. However, the highly transient nature of such interactions and the inherent conformational mobility of acyl carrier protein have stymied previous attempts to visualize structurally acyl carrier protein tied to an overall catalytic cycle. This is essential to understanding a fundamental aspect of cellular metabolism leading to compounds that are not only useful to the cell, but also of therapeutic value. For example, acyl carrier protein is central to the biosynthesis of the lipid A (endotoxin) component of lipopolysaccharides in Gram-negative microorganisms, which is required for their growth and survival, and is an activator of the mammalian host's immune system, thus emerging as an important therapeutic target. During lipid A synthesis (Raetz pathway), acyl carrier protein shuttles acyl intermediates linked to its prosthetic 4'-phosphopantetheine group among four acyltransferases, including LpxD. Here we report the crystal structures of three forms of Escherichia coli acyl carrier protein engaging LpxD, which represent stalled substrate and liberated products along the reaction coordinate. The structures show the intricate interactions at the interface that optimally position acyl carrier protein for acyl delivery and that directly involve the pantetheinyl group. Conformational differences among the stalled acyl carrier proteins provide the molecular basis for the association-dissociation process. An unanticipated conformational shift of 4'-phosphopantetheine groups within the LpxD catalytic chamber shows an unprecedented role of acyl carrier protein in product release.
Project description:The lipid A biosynthesis pathway is essential in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. LpxA and LpxD are the first and third enzymes in this pathway respectively, and are regarded as promising antibiotic targets. The unique structural similarities between these two enzymes make them suitable targets for dual-binding inhibitors, a characteristic that would decrease the likelihood of mutational resistance and increase cell-based activity. We report the discovery of multiple small molecule ligands that bind to P. aeruginosa LpxA and LpxD, including dual-binding ligands. Binding poses were determined for select compounds by X-ray crystallography. The new structures reveal a previously uncharacterized magnesium ion residing at the core of the LpxD trimer. In addition, ligand binding in the LpxD active site resulted in conformational changes in the distal C-terminal helix-bundle, which forms extensive contacts with acyl carrier protein (ACP) during catalysis. These ligand-dependent conformational changes suggest a potential allosteric influence of reaction intermediates on ACP binding, and vice versa. Taken together, the novel small molecule ligands and their crystal structures provide new chemical scaffolds for ligand discovery targeting lipid A biosynthesis, while revealing structural features of interest for future investigation of LpxD function.
Project description:LpxD catalyzes the third step of lipid A biosynthesis, the R-3-hydroxyacyl-ACP-dependent N-acylation of UDP-3-O-(acyl)-alpha-D-glucosamine, and is a target for new antibiotic development. Here we report the 2.6 A crystal structure of the Escherichia coli LpxD homotrimer (EcLpxD). As is the case in Chlamydia trachomatis LpxD (CtLxpD), each EcLpxD chain consists of an N-terminal uridine-binding region, a left-handed parallel beta-helix (LbetaH), and a C-terminal alpha-helical domain. The backbones of the LbetaH domains of the two enzymes are similar, as are the positions of key active site residues. The N-terminal nucleotide binding domains are oriented differently relative to the LbetaH regions, but are similar when overlaid on each other. The orientation of the EcLpxD tripeptide (residues 303-305), connecting the distal end of the LbetaH and the proximal end of the C-terminal helical domains, differs from its counterpart in CtLpxD (residues 311-312); this results in a 120 degrees rotation of the C-terminal domain relative to the LbetaH region in EcLpxD versus CtLpxD. M290 of EcLpxD appears to cap the distal end of a hydrophobic cleft that binds the acyl chain of the R-3-hydroxyacyl-ACP donor substrate. Under standard assay conditions, wild-type EcLpxD prefers R,S-3-hydroxymyristoyl-ACP over R,S-3-hydroxypalmitoyl-ACP by a factor of 3, whereas the M290A mutant has the opposite selectivity. Both wild-type and M290A EcLpxD rescue the conditional lethality of E. coli RL25, a temperature-sensitive strain harboring point mutations in lpxD. Complementation with wild-type EcLpxD restores normal lipid A containing only N-linked hydroxymyristate to RL25 at 42 degrees C, as judged by mass spectrometry, whereas the M290A mutant generates multiple lipid A species containing one or two longer hydroxy fatty acids in place of the usual R-3-hydroxymyristate at positions 2 and 2'.
Project description:De novo lipid synthesis and scavenging of fatty acids (FA) are processes essential for the formation of the membrane of the human pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis (C.t.). Host FA are assimilated via esterification by the bacterial acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) synthase AasC but inhibitors of the host acyl-CoA synthetase enymes ACSL also impaired growth of C.t. in human cells. In E. coli, activity of AasC was sensitive to triacsin C and rosiglitazone G. The absence of a triacsin C-insensitive pathway and the increased inhibition by rosiglitazone G confirmed the sensitivity of the bacterial acyl-ACP synthase to these drugs in infected human cells. We found no evidence that the human ACSL enzymes are required for lipid formation by C.t. The broad substrate specificity of acyltransferase CT775 provides C.t. with the capacity to incorporate straight-chain and bacterial specific branched-chain fatty acids. CT775 accepts both acyl-ACP and acyl-CoA as acyl donors and, 1- or 2-acyl isomers of lysophosphoplipids as acyl acceptors. The enzyme responsible for remodeling of human phosphatidylserine to bacterial phosphatidylethanolamine was identified as CT699. These findings provide evidence that the pathogen has the ability to extend the lipid diversity of its membrane.
Project description:Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a major component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. The lipid A region of LPS stimulates the immune system in a structure-dependent manner. We have previously identified the two major lipid A species from Francisella tularensis as asymmetric tetraacylated structures containing four long acyl chains (16 and 18 carbons) and a single phosphate group that is partially modified by galactosamine (Phillips, N. J.; Schilling B.; McLendon, M. K.; Apicella, M. A.; Gibson, B. W. Infect. Immun. 2004, 72, 5340-5348). In the current study, we used matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization on an intermediate vacuum source (vMALDI) coupled to a linear ion trap (LIT) mass spectrometer in multiple-stage mass fragmentation mode (MSn) to determine the structures of several minor and low abundant lipid A species present in F. tularensis, Francisella novicida, and Francisella philomiragia LPS that have not been previously characterized. Comprehensive vMALDI-MSn fragmentation studies allowed us to deduce the composition and the position of the fatty acid substituents within the lipid A moieties. Unexpectedly, most of these minor lipid A species consisted of multiple isobaric species with acyl chains of various lengths. Moreover, we found that a small portion of these lipid A species may be modified by the addition of a hexose or hexosamine sugar, in addition to the galactosamine that was previously identified. Overall, we found that MSn analysis on the vMALDI-LIT-MS platform was highly efficient and sensitive, allowing for thorough analysis of very minor lipid A species.