An automated flow for directed evolution based on detection of promiscuous scaffolds using spatial and electrostatic properties of catalytic residues.
ABSTRACT: The aspiration to mimic and accelerate natural evolution has fueled interest in directed evolution experiments, which endow or enhance functionality in enzymes. Barring a few de novo approaches, most methods take a template protein having the desired activity, known active site residues and structure, and proceed to select a target protein which has a pre-existing scaffold congruent to the template motif. Previously, we have established a computational method (CLASP) based on spatial and electrostatic properties to detect active sites, and a method to quantify promiscuity in proteins. We exploit the prospect of promiscuous active sites to serve as the starting point for directed evolution and present a method to select a target protein which possesses a significant partial match with the template scaffold (DECAAF). A library of partial motifs, constructed from the active site residues of the template protein, is used to rank a set of target proteins based on maximal significant matches with the partial motifs, and cull out the best candidate from the reduced set as the target protein. Considering the scenario where this 'incubator' protein lacks activity, we identify mutations in the target protein that will mirror the template motif by superimposing the target and template protein based on the partial match. Using this superimposition technique, we analyzed the less than expected gain of activity achieved by an attempt to induce ?-lactamase activity in a penicillin binding protein (PBP) (PBP-A from T. elongatus), and attributed this to steric hindrance from neighboring residues. We also propose mutations in PBP-5 from E. coli, which does not have similar steric constraints. The flow details have been worked out in an example which aims to select a substitute protein for human neutrophil elastase, preferably related to grapevines, in a chimeric anti-microbial enzyme which bolsters the innate immune defense system of grapevines.
Project description:Penicillin binding protein (PBP) 5, a DD-carboxypeptidase that removes the terminal D-alanine from peptide side chains of peptidoglycan, plays an important role in creating and maintaining the uniform cell shape of Escherichia coli. PBP 6, a highly similar homologue, cannot substitute for PBP 5 in this respect. Previously, we localized the shape-maintaining characteristics of PBP 5 to the globular domain that contains the active site (domain I), where PBPs 5 and 6 share substantial identity. To identify the specific segment of domain I responsible for shape control, we created a set of hybrids and determined which ones complemented the aberrant morphology of a misshapen PBP mutant, E. coli CS703-1. Fusion proteins were constructed in which 47, 199 and 228 amino-terminal amino acids of one PBP were fused to the corresponding carboxy-terminal amino acids of the other. The morphological phenotype was reversed only by hybrid proteins containing PBP 5 residues 200 to 228, which are located next to the KTG motif of the active site. Because residues 220 to 228 were identical in these proteins, the morphological effect was determined by alterations in amino acids 200 to 219. To confirm the importance of this segment, we constructed mosaic proteins in which these 20 amino acids were grafted from PBP 5 into PBP 6 and vice versa. The PBP 6/5/6 mosaic complemented the aberrant morphology of CS703-1, whereas PBP 5/6/5 did not. Site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that the Asp(218) and Lys(219) residues were important for shape maintenance by these mosaic PBPs, but the same mutations in wild-type PBP 5 did not eliminate its shape-promoting activity. Homologous enzymes from five other bacteria also complemented the phenotype of CS703-1. The overall conclusion is that creation of a bacterial cell of regular diameter and uniform contour apparently depends primarily on a slight alteration of the enzymatic activity or substrate accessibility at the active site of E. coli PBP 5.
Project description:Telomerase extends telomere sequences at chromosomal ends to protect genomic DNA. During this process it must select the correct nucleotide from a pool of nucleotides with various sugars and base pairing properties, which is critically important for the proper capping of telomeric sequences by shelterin. Unfortunately, how telomerase selects correct nucleotides is unknown. Here, we determined structures of Tribolium castaneum telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) throughout its catalytic cycle and mapped the active site residues responsible for nucleoside selection, metal coordination, triphosphate binding, and RNA template stabilization. We found that TERT inserts a mismatch or ribonucleotide ~1 in 10,000 and ~1 in 14,000 insertion events, respectively. At biological ribonucleotide concentrations, these rates translate to ~40 ribonucleotides inserted per 10 kilobases. Human telomerase assays determined a conserved tyrosine steric gate regulates ribonucleotide insertion into telomeres. Cumulatively, our work provides insight into how telomerase selects the proper nucleotide to maintain telomere integrity.
Project description:Biapenem is a parenteral carbapenem antibiotic that exhibits wide-ranging antibacterial activity, remarkable chemical stability, and extensive stability against human renal dehydropeptidase-I. Tebipenem is the active form of tebipenem pivoxil, a novel oral carbapenem antibiotic that has a high level of bioavailability in humans, in addition to the above-mentioned features. beta-lactam antibiotics, including carbapenems, target penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), which are membrane-associated enzymes that play essential roles in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. To envisage the binding of carbapenems to PBPs, we determined the crystal structures of the trypsin-digested forms of both PBP 2X and PBP 1A from Streptococcus pneumoniae strain R6, each complexed with biapenem or tebipenem. The structures of the complexes revealed that the carbapenem C-2 side chains form hydrophobic interactions with Trp374 and Thr526 of PBP 2X and with Trp411 and Thr543 of PBP 1A. The Trp and Thr residues are conserved in PBP 2B. These results suggest that interactions between the C-2 side chains of carbapenems and the conserved Trp and Thr residues in PBPs play important roles in the binding of carbapenems to PBPs.
Project description:Two lineages of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRPs) differing in the organization (canonical vs. noncanonical) of the palm subdomain have been identified. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that both lineages diverged at a very early stage of the evolution of the enzyme [Gorbalenya AE, Pringle FM, Zeddam JL, Luke BT, Cameron CE, Kalmakoff J, Hanzlik TN, Gordon KH, Ward VK (2002) J Mol Biol 324:47-62]. Here, we report the x-ray structure of a noncanonical birnaviral RDRP, named VP1, in its free form, bound to Mg(2+) ions, and bound to a peptide representing the polymerase-binding motif of the regulatory viral protein VP3. The structure of VP1 reveals that the noncanonical connectivity of the palm subdomain maintains the geometry of the catalytic residues found in canonical polymerases but results in a partial blocking of the active site cavity. The VP1-VP3 peptide complex shows a mode of polymerase activation in which VP3 binding promotes a conformational change that removes the steric blockade of the VP1 active site, facilitating the accommodation of the template and incoming nucleotides for catalysis. The striking structural similarities between birnavirus (dsRNA) and the positive-stranded RNA picornavirus and calicivirus RDRPs provide evidence supporting the existence of functional and evolutionary relationships between these two virus groups.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bacterial penicillin-binding proteins and beta-lactamases (PBP-betaLs) constitute a large family of serine proteases that perform essential functions in the synthesis and maintenance of peptidoglycan. Intriguingly, genes encoding PBP-betaL homologs occur in many metazoan genomes including humans. The emerging role of LACTB, a mammalian mitochondrial PBP-betaL homolog, in metabolic signaling prompted us to investigate the evolutionary history of metazoan PBP-betaL proteins. RESULTS: Metazoan PBP-betaL homologs including LACTB share unique structural features with bacterial class B low molecular weight penicillin-binding proteins. The amino acid residues necessary for enzymatic activity in bacterial PBP-betaL proteins, including the catalytic serine residue, are conserved in all metazoan homologs. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that metazoan PBP-betaL homologs comprise four alloparalogus protein lineages that derive from alpha-proteobacteria. CONCLUSION: While most components of the peptidoglycan synthesis machinery were dumped by early eukaryotes, a few PBP-betaL proteins were conserved and are found in metazoans including humans. Metazoan PBP-betaL homologs are active-site-serine enzymes that probably have distinct functions in the metabolic circuitry. We hypothesize that PBP-betaL proteins in the early eukaryotic cell enabled the degradation of peptidoglycan from ingested bacteria, thereby maximizing the yield of nutrients and streamlining the cell for effective phagocytotic feeding.
Project description:A recent clinical report has linked Streptococcus pyogenes ?-lactam antibiotic resistance to mutation in the penicillin binding protein (PBP) PBP2x. To determine whether this is an isolated case or reflects a broader prevalence of mutations that might confer reduced ?-lactam susceptibility, we investigated the relative frequency of PBP sequence variation within a global database of 9,667 S. pyogenes isolates. We found that mutations in S. pyogenes PBPs (PBP2x, PBP1a, PBP1b, and PBP2a) occur infrequently across this global database, with fewer than 3 amino acid changes differing between >99% of the global population. Only 4 of the 9,667 strains contained mutations near transpeptidase active sites of PBP2x or PBP1a. The reported PBP2x T553K substitution was not identified. These findings are in contrast to those of 2,520 S. pneumococcus sequences where PBP mutations are relatively frequent and are often located in key ?-lactam binding pockets. These data, combined with the general lack of penicillin resistance reported in S. pyogenes worldwide, suggests that extensive, unknown constraints restrict S. pyogenes PBP sequence plasticity. Our findings imply that while heavy antibiotic pressure may select for mutations in the PBPs, there is currently no evidence of such mutations becoming fixed in the S. pyogenes population or that mutations are being sequentially acquired in the PBPs.IMPORTANCE ?-Lactam antibiotics are the first-line therapeutic option for Streptococcus pyogenes infections. Despite the global high prevalence of S. pyogenes infections and widespread use of ?-lactams worldwide, reports of resistance to ?-lactam antibiotics, such as penicillin, have been incredibly rare. Recently, ?-lactam resistance, as defined by clinical breakpoints, was detected in two clinical S. pyogenes isolates with accompanying mutations in the active site of the penicillin binding protein PBP2x, raising concerns that ?-lactam resistance will become more widespread. We screened a global database of S. pyogenes genome sequences to investigate the frequency of PBP mutations, identifying that PBP mutations are uncommon relative to those of Streptococcus pneumoniae These findings support clinical observations that ?-lactam resistance is rare in S. pyogenes and suggest that there are considerable constraints on S. pyogenes PBP sequence variation.
Project description:Ceftobiprole is an advanced-generation broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic with potent and rapid bactericidal activity against Gram-positive pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, as well as susceptible Gram-negative pathogens, including Pseudomonas sp. pathogens. In the case of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, ceftobiprole acts by inhibiting P. aeruginosa penicillin-binding protein 3 (PBP3). Structural studies were pursued to elucidate the molecular details of this PBP inhibition. The crystal structure of the His-tagged PBP3-ceftobiprole complex revealed a covalent bond between the ligand and the catalytic residue S294. Ceftobiprole binding leads to large active site changes near binding sites for the pyrrolidinone and pyrrolidine rings. The S528 to L536 region adopts a conformation previously not observed in PBP3, including partial unwinding of the ?11 helix. These molecular insights can lead to a deeper understanding of ?-lactam-PBP interactions that result in major changes in protein structure, as well as suggesting how to fine-tune current inhibitors and to develop novel inhibitors of this PBP.
Project description:Many receptors undergo ligand-induced conformational changes to initiate signal transduction. Periplasmic binding proteins (PBPs) are bacterial receptors that exhibit dramatic conformational changes upon ligand binding. These proteins mediate a wide variety of fundamental processes including transport, chemotaxis, and quorum sensing. Despite the importance of these receptors, no PBP antagonists have been identified and characterized. In this study, we identify 3-O-methyl-d-glucose as an antagonist of glucose/galactose-binding protein and demonstrate that it inhibits glucose chemotaxis in E. coli. Using small-angle X-ray scattering and X-ray crystallography, we show that this antagonist acts as a wedge. It prevents the large-scale domain closure that gives rise to the active signaling state. Guided by these results and the structures of open and closed glucose/galactose-binding protein, we designed and synthesized an antagonist composed of two linked glucose residues. These findings provide a blueprint for the design of new bacterial PBP inhibitors. Given the key role of PBPs in microbial physiology, we anticipate that PBP antagonists will have widespread uses as probes and antimicrobial agents.
Project description:G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of membrane proteins with more than 800 members. GPCRs are involved in numerous physiological functions within the human body and are the target of more than 30% of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs. At present, over 400 experimental GPCR structures are available in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) representing 76 unique receptors. The absence of an experimental structure for the majority of GPCRs demand homology models for structure-based drug discovery workflows. The generation of good homology models requires appropriate templates. The commonly used methods for template selection are based on sequence identity. However, there exists low sequence identity among the GPCRs. Sequences with similar patterns of hydrophobic residues are often structural homologs, even with low sequence identity. Extending this, we propose a biophysical approach for template selection based principally on hydrophobicity correspondence between the target and the template. Our approach takes into consideration other relevant parameters, including resolution, similarity within the orthosteric binding pocket of GPCRs, and structure completeness, for template selection. The proposed method was implemented in the form of a free tool called Bio-GATS, to provide the user with easy selection of the appropriate template for a query GPCR sequence. Bio-GATS was successfully validated with recent published benchmarking datasets. An application to an olfactory receptor to select an appropriate template has also been provided as a case study.
Project description:Accurate DNA synthesis in vivo depends on the ability of DNA polymerases to select dNTPs from a nucleotide pool dominated by NTPs. High fidelity replicative polymerases have evolved to efficiently exclude NTPs while copying long stretches of undamaged DNA. However, to bypass DNA damage, cells utilize specialized low fidelity polymerases to perform translesion DNA synthesis (TLS). Of interest is human DNA polymerase ? (pol ?), which has been implicated in TLS of oxidative and UV-induced lesions. Here, we evaluate the ability of pol ? to incorporate NTPs during DNA synthesis. pol ? incorporates and extends NTPs opposite damaged and undamaged template bases in a template-specific manner. The Y39A "steric gate" pol ? mutant is considerably more active in the presence of Mn(2+) compared with Mg(2+) and exhibits a marked increase in NTP incorporation and extension, and surprisingly, it also exhibits increased dNTP base selectivity. Our results indicate that a single residue in pol ? is able to discriminate between NTPs and dNTPs during DNA synthesis. Because wild-type pol ? incorporates NTPs in a template-specific manner, certain DNA sequences may be "at risk" for elevated mutagenesis during pol ?-dependent TLS. Molecular modeling indicates that the constricted active site of wild-type pol ? becomes more spacious in the Y39A variant. Therefore, the Y39A substitution not only permits incorporation of ribonucleotides but also causes the enzyme to favor faithful Watson-Crick base pairing over mutagenic configurations.