Importance of bacillithiol in the oxidative stress response of Staphylococcus aureus.
ABSTRACT: In Staphylococcus aureus, the low-molecular-weight thiol called bacillithiol (BSH), together with cognate S-transferases, is believed to be the counterpart to the glutathione system of other organisms. To explore the physiological role of BSH in S. aureus, we constructed mutants with the deletion of bshA (sa1291), which encodes the glycosyltransferase that catalyzes the first step of BSH biosynthesis, and fosB (sa2124), which encodes a BSH-S-transferase that confers fosfomycin resistance, in several S. aureus strains, including clinical isolates. Mutation of fosB or bshA caused a 16- to 60-fold reduction in fosfomycin resistance in these S. aureus strains. High-pressure liquid chromatography analysis, which quantified thiol extracts, revealed some variability in the amounts of BSH present across S. aureus strains. Deletion of fosB led to a decrease in BSH levels. The fosB and bshA mutants of strain COL and a USA300 isolate, upon further characterization, were found to be sensitive to H2O2 and exhibited decreased NADPH levels compared with those in the isogenic parents. Microarray analyses of COL and the isogenic bshA mutant revealed increased expression of genes involved in staphyloxanthin synthesis in the bshA mutant relative to that in COL under thiol stress conditions. However, the bshA mutant of COL demonstrated decreased survival compared to that of the parent in human whole-blood survival assays; likewise, the naturally BSH-deficient strain SH1000 survived less well than its BSH-producing isogenic counterpart. Thus, the survival of S. aureus under oxidative stress is facilitated by BSH, possibly via a FosB-mediated mechanism, independently of its capability to produce staphyloxanthin.
Project description:Bacillithiol (BSH), the alpha-anomeric glycoside of L-cysteinyl-D-glucosamine with L-malic acid, is a major low-molecular-weight thiol in Bacillus subtilis and related bacteria. Here, we identify genes required for BSH biosynthesis and provide evidence that the synthetic pathway has similarities to that established for the related thiol (mycothiol) in the Actinobacteria. Consistent with a key role for BSH in detoxification of electrophiles, the BshA glycosyltransferase and BshB1 deacetylase are encoded in an operon with methylglyoxal synthase. BshB1 is partially redundant in function with BshB2, a deacetylase of the LmbE family. Phylogenomic profiling identified a conserved unknown function protein (COG4365) as a candidate cysteine-adding enzyme (BshC) that co-occurs in genomes also encoding BshA, BshB1, and BshB2. Additional evolutionarily linked proteins include a thioredoxin reductase homolog and two thiol:disulfide oxidoreductases of the DUF1094 (CxC motif) family. Mutants lacking BshA, BshC, or both BshB1 and BshB2 are devoid of BSH. BSH is at least partially redundant in function with other low-molecular-weight thiols: redox proteomics indicates that protein thiols are largely reduced even in the absence of BSH. At the transcriptional level, the induction of genes controlled by two thiol-based regulators (OhrR, Spx) occurs normally. However, BSH null cells are significantly altered in acid and salt resistance, sporulation, and resistance to electrophiles and thiol reactive compounds. Moreover, cells lacking BSH are highly sensitive to fosfomycin, an epoxide-containing antibiotic detoxified by FosB, a prototype for bacillithiol-S-transferase enzymes.
Project description:FosB is a divalent-metal-dependent thiol-S-transferase implicated in fosfomycin resistance among many pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria. In the present paper, we describe detailed kinetic studies of FosB from Staphylococcus aureus (SaFosB) that confirm that bacillithiol (BSH) is its preferred physiological thiol substrate. SaFosB is the first to be characterized among a new class of enzyme (bacillithiol-S-transferases), which, unlike glutathione transferases, are distributed among many low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria that use BSH instead of glutathione as their major low-molecular-mass thiol. The K(m) values for BSH and fosfomycin are 4.2 and 17.8 mM respectively. Substrate specificity assays revealed that the thiol and amino groups of BSH are essential for activity, whereas malate is important for SaFosB recognition and catalytic efficiency. Metal activity assays indicated that Mn(2+) and Mg(2+) are likely to be the relevant cofactors under physiological conditions. The serine analogue of BSH (BOH) is an effective competitive inhibitor of SaFosB with respect to BSH, but uncompetitive with respect to fosfomycin. Coupled with NMR characterization of the reaction product (BS-fosfomycin), this demonstrates that the SaFosB-catalysed reaction pathway involves a compulsory ordered binding mechanism with fosfomycin binding first followed by BSH which then attacks the more sterically hindered C-1 carbon of the fosfomycin epoxide. Disruption of BSH biosynthesis in S. aureus increases sensitivity to fosfomycin. Together, these results indicate that SaFosB is a divalent-metal-dependent bacillithiol-S-transferase that confers fosfomycin resistance on S. aureus.
Project description:The Gram-positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of global morbidity and mortality. Like many multi-drug-resistant organisms, S. aureus contains antibiotic-modifying enzymes that facilitate resistance to a multitude of antimicrobial compounds. FosB is a Mn(2+)-dependent fosfomycin-inactivating enzyme found in S. aureus that catalyzes nucleophilic addition of either l-cysteine (l-Cys) or bacillithiol (BSH) to the antibiotic, resulting in a modified compound with no bactericidal properties. The three-dimensional X-ray crystal structure of FosB from S. aureus (FosB(Sa)) has been determined to a resolution of 1.15 Å. Cocrystallization of FosB(Sa) with either l-Cys or BSH results in a disulfide bond between the exogenous thiol and the active site Cys9 of the enzyme. An analysis of the structures suggests that a highly conserved loop region of the FosB enzymes must change conformation to bind fosfomycin. While two crystals of FosB(Sa) contain Zn(2+) in the active site, kinetic analyses of FosB(Sa) indicated that the enzyme is inhibited by Zn(2+) for l-Cys transferase activity and only marginally active for BSH transferase activity. Fosfomycin-treated disk diffusion assays involving S. aureus Newman and the USA300 JE2 methicillin-resistant S. aureus demonstrate a marked increase in the sensitivity of the organism to the antibiotic in either the BSH or FosB null strains, indicating that both are required for survival of the organism in the presence of the antibiotic. This work identifies FosB as a primary fosfomycin-modifying pathway of S. aureus and establishes the enzyme as a potential therapeutic target for increased efficacy of fosfomycin against the pathogen.
Project description:Bacillithiol (BSH) has been prepared on the gram scale from the inexpensive starting material, D-glucosamine hydrochloride, in 11 steps and 8-9% overall yield. The BSH was used to survey the substrate and metal-ion selectivity of FosB enzymes from four Gram-positive microorganisms associated with the deactivation of the antibiotic fosfomycin. The in vitro results indicate that the preferred thiol substrate and metal ion for the FosB from Staphylococcus aureus are BSH and Ni(II), respectively. However, the metal-ion selectivity is less distinct with FosB from Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus anthracis, or Bacillus cereus.
Project description:The fosfomycin resistance enzymes, FosB, from Gram-positive organisms, are M(2+)-dependent thiol tranferases that catalyze nucleophilic addition of either L-cysteine (L-Cys) or bacillithiol (BSH) to the antibiotic, resulting in a modified compound with no bacteriacidal properties. Here we report the structural and functional characterization of FosB from Bacillus cereus (FosB(Bc)). The overall structure of FosB(Bc), at 1.27 Å resolution, reveals that the enzyme belongs to the vicinal oxygen chelate (VOC) superfamily. Crystal structures of FosB(Bc) cocrystallized with fosfomycin and a variety of divalent metals, including Ni(2+), Mn(2+), Co(2+), and Zn(2+), indicate that the antibiotic coordinates to the active site metal center in an orientation similar to that found in the structurally homologous manganese-dependent fosfomycin resistance enzyme, FosA. Surface analysis of the FosB(Bc) structures show a well-defined binding pocket and an access channel to C1 of fosfomycin, the carbon to which nucleophilic addition of the thiol occurs. The pocket and access channel are appropriate in size and shape to accommodate L-Cys or BSH. Further investigation of the structures revealed that the fosfomycin molecule, anchored by the metal, is surrounded by a cage of amino acids that hold the antibiotic in an orientation such that C1 is centered at the end of the solvent channel, positioning the compound for direct nucleophilic attack by the thiol substrate. In addition, the structures of FosB(Bc) in complex with the L-Cys-fosfomycin product (1.55 Å resolution) and in complex with the bacillithiol-fosfomycin product (1.77 Å resolution) coordinated to a Mn(2+) metal in the active site have been determined. The L-Cys moiety of either product is located in the solvent channel, where the thiol has added to the backside of fosfomycin C1 located at the end of the channel. Concomitant kinetic analyses of FosB(Bc) indicated that the enzyme has a preference for BSH over L-Cys when activated by Mn(2+) and is inhibited by Zn(2+). The fact that Zn(2+) is an inhibitor of FosB(Bc) was used to obtain a ternary complex structure of the enzyme with both fosfomycin and L-Cys bound.
Project description:The first step during bacillithiol (BSH) biosynthesis involves the formation of N-acetylglucosaminylmalate from UDP-N-acetylglucosamine and l-malate and is catalyzed by a GT4 class glycosyltransferase enzyme (BshA). Recombinant Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis BshA were highly specific and active with l-malate but the former showed low activity with d-glyceric acid and the latter with d-malate. We show that BshA is inhibited by BSH and similarly that MshA (first enzyme of mycothiol biosynthesis) is inhibited by the final product MSH.
Project description:Bacillithiol (Cys-GlcN-malate, BSH) has recently been identified as a novel low-molecular weight thiol in Bacillus anthracis, Staphylococcus aureus, and several other Gram-positive bacteria lacking glutathione and mycothiol. We have now characterized the first two enzymes for the BSH biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis, which combine to produce ?-d-glucosaminyl l-malate (GlcN-malate) from UDP-GlcNAc and l-malate. The structure of the GlcNAc-malate intermediate has been determined, as have the kinetic parameters for the BaBshA glycosyltransferase (?GlcNAc-malate) and the BaBshB deacetylase (?GlcN-malate). BSH is one of only two natural products reported to contain a malyl glycoside, and the crystal structure of the BaBshA-UDP-malate ternary complex, determined in this work at 3.3 Å resolution, identifies several active-site interactions important for the specific recognition of l-malate, but not other ?-hydroxy acids, as the acceptor substrate. In sharp contrast to the structures reported for the GlcNAc-1-d-myo-inositol-3-phosphate synthase (MshA) apo and ternary complex forms, there is no major conformational change observed in the structures of the corresponding BaBshA forms. A mutant strain of B. anthracis deficient in the BshA glycosyltransferase fails to produce BSH, as predicted. This B. anthracis bshA locus (BA1558) has been identified in a transposon-site hybridization study as required for growth, sporulation, or germination [Day, W. A., Jr., Rasmussen, S. L., Carpenter, B. M., Peterson, S. N., and Friedlander, A. M. (2007) J. Bacteriol. 189, 3296-3301], suggesting that the biosynthesis of BSH could represent a target for the development of novel antimicrobials with broad-spectrum activity against Gram-positive pathogens like B. anthracis. The metabolites that function in thiol redox buffering and homeostasis in Bacillus are not well understood, and we present a composite picture based on this and other recent work.
Project description:Bacillithiol (BSH) is utilized as a major thiol-redox buffer in the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Under oxidative stress, BSH forms mixed disulfides with proteins, termed as S-bacillithiolation, which can be reversed by bacilliredoxins (Brx). In eukaryotes, glutaredoxin-fused roGFP2 biosensors have been applied for dynamic live imaging of the glutathione redox potential. Here, we have constructed a genetically encoded bacilliredoxin-fused redox biosensor (Brx-roGFP2) to monitor dynamic changes in the BSH redox potential in S. aureus.The Brx-roGFP2 biosensor showed a specific and rapid response to low levels of bacillithiol disulfide (BSSB) in vitro that required the active-site Cys of Brx. Dynamic live imaging in two methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) USA300 and COL strains revealed fast and dynamic responses of the Brx-roGFP2 biosensor under hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) stress and constitutive oxidation of the probe in different BSH-deficient mutants. Furthermore, we found that the Brx-roGFP2 expression level and the dynamic range are higher in S. aureus COL compared with the USA300 strain. In phagocytosis assays with THP-1 macrophages, the biosensor was 87% oxidized in S. aureus COL. However, no changes in the BSH redox potential were measured after treatment with different antibiotics classes, indicating that antibiotics do not cause oxidative stress in S. aureus. Conclusion and Innovation: This Brx-roGFP2 biosensor catalyzes specific equilibration between the BSH and roGFP2 redox couples and can be applied for dynamic live imaging of redox changes in S. aureus and other BSH-producing Firmicutes. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 26, 835-848.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen and has to cope with reactive oxygen and chlorine species (ROS, RCS) during infections. The low molecular weight thiol bacillithiol (BSH) is an important defense mechanism of S. aureus for detoxification of ROS and HOCl stress to maintain the reduced state of the cytoplasm. Under HOCl stress, BSH forms mixed disulfides with proteins, termed as S-bacillithiolations, which are reduced by bacilliredoxins (BrxA and BrxB). The NADPH-dependent flavin disulfide reductase YpdA is phylogenetically associated with the BSH synthesis and BrxA/B enzymes and was recently suggested to function as BSSB reductase (Mikheyeva et al., 2019). Here, we investigated the role of the complete bacilliredoxin BrxAB/BSH/YpdA pathway in S. aureus COL under oxidative stress and macrophage infection conditions in vivo and in biochemical assays in vitro. Using HPLC thiol metabolomics, a strongly enhanced BSSB level and a decreased BSH/BSSB ratio were measured in the S. aureus COL ?ypdA deletion mutant under control and NaOCl stress. Monitoring the oxidation degree (OxD) of the Brx-roGFP2 biosensor revealed that YpdA is required for regeneration of the reduced BSH redox potential (E BSH) upon recovery from oxidative stress. In addition, the ?ypdA mutant was impaired in H2O2 detoxification as measured with the novel H2O2-specific Tpx-roGFP2 biosensor. Phenotype analyses further showed that BrxA and YpdA are required for survival under NaOCl and H2O2 stress in vitro and inside murine J-774A.1 macrophages in infection assays in vivo. Finally, NADPH-coupled electron transfer assays provide evidence for the function of YpdA in BSSB reduction, which depends on the conserved Cys14 residue. YpdA acts together with BrxA and BSH in de-bacillithiolation of S-bacillithiolated GapDH. In conclusion, our results point to a major role of the BrxA/BSH/YpdA pathway in BSH redox homeostasis in S. aureus during recovery from oxidative stress and under infections.
Project description:Bacillithiol is a compound produced by several Gram-positive bacterial species, including the human pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis. It is involved in maintaining cellular redox balance as well as the destruction of reactive oxygen species and harmful xenobiotic agents, including the antibiotic fosfomycin. BshA, BshB, and BshC are the enzymes involved in bacillithiol biosynthesis. BshA is a retaining glycosyltransferase responsible for the first committed step in bacillithiol production, namely the addition of N-acetylglucosamine to l-malate. Retaining glycosyltransferases like BshA are proposed to utilize an SNi-like reaction mechanism in which leaving group departure and nucleophilic attack occur on the same face of the hexose. However, significant questions regarding the details of how BshA and similar enzymes accommodate their substrates and facilitate catalysis persist. Here we report X-ray crystallographic structures of BshA from Bacillus subtilis 168 bound with UMP and/or GlcNAc-mal at resolutions of 2.15 and 2.02 Å, respectively. These ligand-bound structures, along with our functional and computational studies, provide clearer insight into how BshA and other retaining GT-B glycosyltransferases operate, corroborating the substrate-assisted, SNi-like reaction mechanism. The analyses presented herein can serve as the basis for the design of inhibitors capable of preventing bacillithiol production and, subsequently, help combat resistance to fosfomycin in various pathogenic Gram-positive microorganisms.