Structural basis for morpheein-type allosteric regulation of Escherichia coli glucosamine-6-phosphate synthase: equilibrium between inactive hexamer and active dimer.
ABSTRACT: The amino-terminal cysteine of glucosamine-6-phosphate synthase (GlmS) acts as a nucleophile to release and transfer ammonia from glutamine to fructose 6-phosphate through a channel. The crystal structure of the C1A mutant of Escherichia coli GlmS, solved at 2.5 ? resolution, is organized as a hexamer, where the glutaminase domains adopt an inactive conformation. Although the wild-type enzyme is active as a dimer, size exclusion chromatography, dynamic and quasi-elastic light scattering, native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and ultracentrifugation data show that the dimer is in equilibrium with a hexameric state, in vitro and in cellulo. The previously determined structures of the wild-type enzyme, alone or in complex with glucosamine 6-phosphate, are also consistent with a hexameric assembly that is catalytically inactive because the ammonia channel is not formed. The shift of the equilibrium toward the hexameric form in the presence of cyclic glucosamine 6-phosphate, together with the decrease of the specific activity with increasing enzyme concentration, strongly supports product inhibition through hexamer stabilization. Altogether, our data allow us to propose a morpheein model, in which the active dimer can rearrange into a transiently stable form, which has the propensity to form an inactive hexamer. This would account for a physiologically relevant allosteric regulation of E. coli GlmS. Finally, in addition to cyclic glucose 6-phosphate bound at the active site, the hexameric organization of E. coli GlmS enables the binding of another linear sugar molecule. Targeting this sugar-binding site to stabilize the inactive hexameric state is therefore suggested for the development of specific antibacterial inhibitors.
Project description:ALAD porphyria is a rare porphyric disorder, with five documented compound heterozygous patients, and it is caused by a profound lack of porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS) activity. PBGS, also called "delta-aminolevulinate dehydratase," is encoded by the ALAD gene and catalyzes the second step in the biosynthesis of heme. ALAD porphyria is a recessive disorder; there are two common variant ALAD alleles, which encode K59 and N59, and eight known porphyria-associated ALAD mutations, which encode F12L, E89K, C132R, G133R, V153M, R240W, A274T, and V275M. Human PBGS exists as an equilibrium of functionally distinct quaternary structure assemblies, known as "morpheeins," in which one functional homo-oligomer can dissociate, change conformation, and reassociate into a different oligomer. In the case of human PBGS, the two assemblies are a high-activity octamer and a low-activity hexamer. The current study quantifies the morpheein forms of human PBGS for the common and porphyria-associated variants. Heterologous expression in Escherichia coli, followed by separation of the octameric and hexameric assemblies on an ion-exchange column, showed that the percentage of hexamer for F12L (100%), R240W (80%), G133R (48%), C132R (36%), E89K (31%), and A274T (14%) was appreciably larger than for the wild-type proteins K59 and N59 (0% and 3%, respectively). All eight porphyria-associated variants, including V153M and V275M, showed an increased propensity to form the hexamer, according to a kinetic analysis. Thus, all porphyria-associated human PBGS variants are found to shift the morpheein equilibrium for PBGS toward the less active hexamer. We propose that the disequilibrium of morpheein assemblies broadens the definition of conformational diseases beyond the prion disorders and that ALAD porphyria is the first example of a morpheein-based conformational disease.
Project description:The enzyme glutamine: fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase (GFAT), also known as glucosamine synthase (GlmS), catalyzes the formation of glucosamine-6-phosphate from fructose-6-phosphate and is the first and rate-limiting enzyme of the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway. For the first time, the GFAT gene was proven to possess a function as an effective selection marker for genetically modified (GM) microorganisms. This was shown by construction and analysis of two GFAT deficient strains, E. coli ?glmS and S. pombe ?gfa1, and the ability of the GFAT encoding gene to mediate plasmid selection. The gfa1 gene of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe was deleted by KanMX6-mediated gene disruption and the Cre-loxP marker removal system, and the glmS gene of Escherichia coli was deleted by using ?-Red mediated recombinase system. Both E. coli ?glmS and S. pombe ?gfa1 could not grow normally in the media without addition of glucosamine. However, the deficiency was complemented by transforming the plasmids that expressed GFAT genes. The xylanase encoding gene, xynA2 from Thermomyces lanuginosus was successfully expressed and secreted by using GFAT as selection marker in S. pombe. Optimal glucosamine concentration for E. coli ?glmS and S. pombe ?gfa1 growth was determined respectively. These findings provide an effective technique for the construction of GM bacteria without an antibiotic resistant marker, and the construction of GM yeasts to be applied to complex media.
Project description:Porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS), also known as 5-aminolevulinate dehydratase, is an essential enzyme in the biosynthesis of all tetrapyrroles, which function in respiration, photosynthesis, and methanogenesis. Throughout evolution, PBGS adapted to a diversity of cellular niches and evolved to use an unusual variety of metal ions both for catalytic function and to control protein multimerization. With regard to the active site, some PBGSs require Zn2+; a subset of those, including human PBGS, contain a constellation of cysteine residues that acts as a sink for the environmental toxin Pb2+. PBGSs that do not require the soft metal ion Zn2+ at the active site instead are suspected of using the hard metal Mg2+. The most unexpected property of the PBGS family of enzymes is a dissociative allosteric mechanism that utilizes an equilibrium of architecturally and functionally distinct protein assemblies. The high-activity assembly is an octamer in which intersubunit interactions modulate active-site lid motion. This octamer can dissociate to dimer, the dimer can undergo a hinge twist, and the twisted dimer can assemble to a low-activity hexamer. The hexamer does not have the intersubunit interactions required to stabilize a closed conformation of the active site lid. PBGS active site chemistry benefits from a closed lid because porphobilinogen biosynthesis includes Schiff base formation, which requires deprotonated lysine amino groups. N-terminal and C-terminal sequence extensions dictate whether a specific species of PBGS can sample the hexameric assembly. The bulk of species (nearly all except animals and yeasts) use Mg2+ as an allosteric activator. Mg2+ functions allosterically by binding to an intersubunit interface that is present in the octamer but absent in the hexamer. This conformational selection allosteric mechanism is purported to be essential to avoid the untimely accumulation of phototoxic chlorophyll precursors in plants. For those PBGSs that do not use the allosteric Mg2+, there is a spatially equivalent arginine-derived guanidium group. Deprotonation of this residue promotes formation of the hexamer and accounts for the basic arm of the bell-shaped pH vs activity profile of human PBGS. A human inborn error of metabolism known as ALAD porphyria is attributed to PBGS variants that favor the hexameric assembly. The existence of one such variant, F12L, which dramatically stabilizes the human PBGS hexamer, allowed crystal structure determination for the hexamer. Without this crystal structure and octameric PBGS structures containing the allosteric Mg2+, it would have been difficult to decipher the structural basis for PBGS allostery. The requirement for multimer dissociation as an intermediate step in PBGS allostery was established by monitoring subunit disproportionation during the turnover-dependent transition of heteromeric PBGS (comprised of human wild type and F12L) from hexamer to octamer. One outcome of these studies was the definition of the dissociative morpheein model of protein allostery. The phylogenetically variable time scales for PBGS multimer interconversion result in atypical kinetic and biophysical behaviors. These behaviors can serve to identify other proteins that use the morpheein model of protein allostery.
Project description:Glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine are among the most abundant sugars on the planet, and their introduction into the oral cavity via the diet and host secretions, and through bacterial biosynthesis, provides oral biofilm bacteria with a source of carbon, nitrogen, and energy. In this study, we demonstrated that the dental caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans possesses an inducible system for the metabolism of N-acetylglucosamine and glucosamine. These amino sugars are transported by the phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS), with the glucose/mannose enzyme II permease encoded by manLMN playing a dominant role. Additionally, a previously uncharacterized gene product encoded downstream of the manLMN operon, ManO, was shown to influence the efficiency of uptake and growth on N-acetylglucosamine and, to a lesser extent, glucosamine. A transcriptional regulator, designated NagR, was able to bind the promoter regions in vitro, and repress the expression in vivo, of the nagA and nagB genes, encoding N-acetylglucosamine-6-phosphate deacetylase and glucosamine-6-phosphate deaminase, respectively. The binding activity of NagR could be inhibited by glucosamine-6-phosphate in vitro. Importantly, in contrast to the case with certain other Firmicutes, the gene for de novo synthesis of glucosamine-6-phosphate in S. mutans, glmS, was also shown to be regulated by NagR, and NagR could bind the glmS promoter region in vitro. Finally, metabolism of these amino sugars by S. mutans resulted in the production of significant quantities of ammonia, which can neutralize cytoplasmic pH and increase acid tolerance, thus contributing to enhanced persistence and pathogenic potential.
Project description:The glmS ribozyme is the first naturally occurring catalytic RNA that relies on an exogenous, nonnucleotide cofactor for reactivity. From a biochemical perspective, the glmS ribozyme derived from Bacillus anthracis is the best characterized. However, much of the structural work to date has been done on a variant glmS ribozyme, derived from Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis. Here we present structures of the B. anthracis glmS ribozyme in states before the activating sugar, glucosamine 6-phosphate (GlcN6P), has bound and after the reaction has occurred. These structures show an active site preorganized to bind GlcN6P that retains some affinity for the sugar even after cleavage of the RNA backbone. A structure of an inactive glmS ribozyme with a mutation distal from the ligand-binding pocket highlights a nucleotide critical to the reaction that does not affect GlcN6P binding. Structures of the glmS ribozyme bound to a naturally occurring inhibitor, glucose 6-phosphate (Glc6P), and a nonnatural activating sugar, mannosamine 6-phosphate (MaN6P), reveal a binding mode similar to that of GlcN6P. Kinetic analyses show a pH dependence of ligand binding that is consistent with titration of the cofactor's phosphate group and support a model in which the major determinant of activity is the sugar amine independent of its stereochemical presentation.
Project description:Formation of glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) by enzyme GlcN6P synthase (GlmS) represents the first step in bacterial cell envelope synthesis. In Escherichia coli, expression of glmS is controlled by small RNAs (sRNAs) GlmY and GlmZ. GlmZ activates the glmS mRNA by base-pairing. When not required, GlmZ is bound by adapter protein RapZ and recruited to cleavage by RNase E inactivating the sRNA. The homologous sRNA GlmY activates glmS indirectly. When present at high levels, GlmY sequesters RapZ by an RNA mimicry mechanism suppressing cleavage of GlmZ. The interplay of both sRNAs is believed to adjust GlmS synthesis to the needs of the cell, i.e., to achieve GlcN6P homeostasis. Bacilysin (tetaine) and Nva-FMDP are dipeptide antibiotics that impair cell envelope synthesis by inhibition of enzyme GlmS through covalent modification. However, although taken up efficiently, these antibiotics are less active against E. coli for reasons unknown so far. Here we show that the GlmY/GlmZ circuit provides resistance. Inhibition of GlmS causes GlcN6P deprivation leading to activation of GlmY and GlmZ, which in turn trigger glmS overexpression in a dosage-dependent manner. Mutation of glmY or glmZ disables this response and renders the bacteria highly susceptible to GlmS inhibitors. Thus, E. coli compensates inhibition of GlmS by increasing its synthesis through the GlmY/GlmZ pathway. This mechanism is also operative in Salmonella indicating that it is conserved in Enterobacteriaceae possessing these sRNAs. As GlmY apparently responds to GlcN6P, co-application of a non-metabolizable GlcN6P analog may prevent activation of the sRNAs and thereby increase the bactericidal activity of GlmS inhibitors against wild-type bacteria. Initial experiments using glucosamine-6-sulfate support this possibility. Thus, GlcN6P analogs might be considered for co-application with GlmS inhibitors in combined therapy to treat infections caused by pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae.
Project description:Few genetic tools were available to work with Trypanosoma cruzi until the recent introduction of the CRISPR/Cas9 technique for gene knockout, gene knock-in, gene complementation, and endogenous gene tagging. Riboswitches are naturally occurring self-cleaving RNAs (ribozymes) that can be ligand-activated. Results from our laboratory recently demonstrated the usefulness of the glmS ribozyme from Bacillus subtilis, which has been shown to control reporter gene expression in response to exogenous glucosamine, for gene silencing in Trypanosoma brucei. In this work we used the CRISPR/Cas9 system for endogenously tagging T. cruzi glycoprotein 72 (TcGP72) and vacuolar proton pyrophosphatase (TcVP1) with the active (glmS) or inactive (M9) ribozyme. Gene tagging was confirmed by PCR and protein downregulation was verified by western blot analyses. Further phenotypic characterization was performed by immunofluorescence analysis and quantification of growth in vitro. Our results indicate that the method was successful in silencing the expression of both genes without the need of glucosamine in the medium, suggesting that T. cruzi produces enough levels of endogenous glucosamine 6-phosphate to stimulate the glmS ribozyme activity under normal growth conditions. This method could be useful to obtain knockdowns of essential genes in T. cruzi and to validate potential drug targets in this parasite.
Project description:The GlmS ribozyme is believed to exploit a general acid-base catalytic mechanism in the presence of glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) to accelerate self-cleavage by approximately six orders of magnitude. The general acid and general base are not known, and the role of the GlcN6P cofactor is even less well understood. The amine group of GlcN6P has the ability to either accept or donate a proton and could therefore potentially act as an acid or a base. In order to decipher the role of GlcN6P in the self-cleavage of glmS, we have determined the preferred protonation state of the amine group in the wild-type and an inactive G40A mutant using molecular dynamics simulations and free energy calculations. Here we show that, upon binding of GlcN6P to wild-type glmS, the pK(a) of the amine moiety is altered by the active site environment, decreasing by about 2.2 from a solution pK(a) of about 8.2. On the other hand, we show that the pK(a) of the amine group slightly increases to about 8.4 upon binding to the G40A inactive mutant of glmS. These results suggest that GlcN6P acts as a general acid in the self-cleavage of glmS. Upon binding to glmS, GlcN6P can easily release a proton to the 5'-oxygen of G1 during self-cleavage of the backbone phosphodiester bond. However, in the G40A inactive mutant of glmS, the results suggest that the ability of GlcN6P to easily release its proton is diminished, in addition to the possible lack of G40 as an effective base.
Project description:Biological motors are ubiquitous in living systems. Currently, how the motor components coordinate the unidirectional motion is elusive in most cases. Here, we report that the sequential action of the ATPase ring in the DNA packaging motor of bacteriophage ?29 is regulated by an arginine finger that extends from one ATPase subunit to the adjacent unit to promote noncovalent dimer formation. Mutation of the arginine finger resulted in the interruption of ATPase oligomerization, ATP binding/hydrolysis, and DNA translocation. Dimer formation reappeared when arginine mutants were mixed with other ATPase subunits that can offer the arginine to promote their interaction. Ultracentrifugation and virion assembly assays indicated that the ATPase was presenting as monomers and dimer mixtures. The isolated dimer alone was inactive in DNA translocation, but the addition of monomer could restore the activity, suggesting that the hexameric ATPase ring contained both dimer and monomers. Moreover, ATP binding or hydrolysis resulted in conformation and entropy changes of the ATPase with high or low DNA affinity. Taking these observations together, we concluded that the arginine finger regulates sequential action of the motor ATPase subunit by promoting the formation of the dimer inside the hexamer. The finding of asymmetrical hexameric organization is supported by structural evidence of many other ATPase systems showing the presence of one noncovalent dimer and four monomer subunits. All of these provide clues for why the asymmetrical hexameric ATPase gp16 of ?29 was previously reported as a pentameric configuration by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) since the contact by the arginine finger renders two adjacent ATPase subunits closer than other subunits. Thus, the asymmetrical hexamer would appear as a pentamer by cryo-EM, a technology that acquires the average of many images.
Project description:The glmS ribozyme riboswitch is the first known natural catalytic RNA that employs a small-molecule cofactor. Binding of glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P) uncovers the latent self-cleavage activity of the RNA, which adopts a catalytically competent conformation that is nonetheless inactive in the absence of GlcN6P. Structural and analogue studies suggest that the amine of GlcN6P functions as a general acid-base catalyst, while its phosphate is important for binding affinity. However, the solution pK(a) of the amine is 8.06 ± 0.05, which is not optimal for proton transfer. Here we used Raman crystallography directly to determine the pK(a)'s of GlcN6P bound to the glmS ribozyme. Binding to the RNA lowers the pK(a) of the amine of GlcN6P to 7.26 ± 0.09 and raises the pK(a) of its phosphate to 6.35 ± 0.09. Remarkably, the pK(a)'s of these two functional groups are unchanged from their values for free GlcN6P (8.06 ± 0.05 and 5.98 ± 0.05, respectively) when GlcN6P binds to the catalytically inactive but structurally unperturbed G40A mutant of the ribozyme, thus implicating the ribozyme active site guanine in pK(a) tuning. This is the first demonstration that a ribozyme can tune the pK(a) of a small-molecule ligand. Moreover, the anionic glmS ribozyme in effect stabilizes the neutral amine of GlcN6P by lowering its pK(a). This is unprecedented and illustrates the chemical sophistication of ribozyme active sites.