Genetic assessment of the role of AcrB ?-hairpins in the assembly of the TolC-AcrAB multidrug efflux pump of Escherichia coli.
ABSTRACT: The tripartite AcrAB-TolC multidrug efflux pump of Escherichia coli is the central conduit for cell-toxic compounds and contributes to antibiotic resistance. While high-resolution structures of all three proteins have been solved, much remains to be learned as to how the individual components come together to form a functional complex. In this study, we investigated the importance of the AcrB ?-hairpins belonging to the DN and DC subdomains, which are presumed to dock with TolC, in complex stability and activity of the complete pump. Our data show that the DN subdomain ?-hairpin residues play a more critical role in complex stability and activity than the DC subdomain hairpin residues. The failure of the AcrB DN ?-hairpin deletion mutant to engage with TolC leads to the drug hypersensitivity phenotype, which is reversed by compensatory alterations in the lipoyl and ?-barrel domains of AcrA. Moreover, AcrA and TolC mutants that induce TolC opening also reverse the drug hypersensitivity phenotype of the AcrB ?-hairpin mutants, indicating a failure by the AcrB mutant to interact and thus induce TolC opening on its own. Together, these data suggest that both AcrB ?-hairpins and AcrA act to stabilize the tripartite complex and induce TolC opening for drug expulsion.
Project description:In Escherichia coli, the TolC-AcrAB complex forms a major antibiotic efflux system with broad substrate specificity. During the complex assembly, the periplasmic helices and bottom turns of TolC are thought to interact with a hairpin helix of AcrA and hairpin loops of AcrB respectively. In the present study we show that a four-residue substitution in TolC's turn 1, which connects outer helices 3 and 4 proximal to TolC's periplasmic aperture, confers antibiotic hypersensitivity, without affecting TolC-mediated phage or colicin infection. However, despite the null-like drug sensitivity phenotype, chemical cross-linking analysis revealed no apparent defects in the ability of the mutant TolC protein to physically interact with AcrA and AcrB. A role for TolC turn 1 residues in the functional assembly of the tripartite efflux pump complex was uncovered through isolating suppressor mutations of the mutant TolC protein that mapped within acrA and by utilizing a labile AcrA protein. The data showed that AcrA-mediated suppression of antibiotic sensitivity was achieved by dilating the TolC aperture/channel in an AcrB-dependent manner. The results underscore the importance of the periplasmic turn 1 of TolC in the functional assembly of the tripartite efflux complex and AcrA in transitioning TolC from its closed to open state.
Project description:Intrinsic resistance to multiple drugs in many gram-negative bacterial pathogens is conferred by resistance nodulation cell division efflux pumps, which are composed of three essential components as typified by the extensively characterized Escherichia coli AcrA-AcrB-TolC system. The inner membrane drug:proton antiporter AcrB and the outer membrane channel TolC export chemically diverse compounds out of the bacterial cell, and require the activity of the third component, the periplasmic protein AcrA. The crystal structures of AcrB and TolC have previously been determined, and we complete the molecular picture of the efflux system by presenting the structure of a stable fragment of AcrA. The AcrA fragment resembles the elongated sickle shape of its homolog Pseudomonas aeruginosa MexA, being composed of three domains: beta-barrel, lipoyl, and alpha-helical hairpin. Notably, unsuspected conformational flexibility in the alpha-helical hairpin domain of AcrA is observed, which has potential mechanistic significance in coupling between AcrA conformations and TolC channel opening.
Project description:The Hly translocator complex of Escherichia coli catalyzes type I secretion of the toxin hemolysin A (HlyA). In this complex, HlyB is an inner membrane ABC (ATP Binding Cassette)-type transporter, TolC is an outer membrane channel protein, and HlyD is a periplasmic adaptor anchored in the inner membrane that bridges HlyB to TolC. This tripartite organization is reminiscent of that of drug efflux systems such as AcrA-AcrB-TolC and MacA-MacB-TolC of E. coli. We have previously shown the crucial role of conserved residues located at the hairpin tip region of AcrA and MacA adaptors during assembly of their cognate systems. In this study, we investigated the role of the putative tip region of HlyD using HlyD mutants with single amino acid substitutions at the conserved positions. In vivo and in vitro data show that all mutations abolished HlyD binding to TolC and resulted in the absence of HlyA secretion. Together, our results suggest that, similarly to AcrA and MacA, HlyD interacts with TolC in a tip-to-tip manner. A general model in which these conserved interactions induce opening of TolC during drug efflux and type I secretion is discussed.
Project description:The AcrAB-TolC system in Escherichia coli is an intrinsic RND-type multidrug efflux transporter that functions as a tripartite complex of the inner membrane transporter AcrB, the outer membrane channel TolC, and the adaptor protein AcrA. Although the crystal structures of each component of this system have been elucidated, the crystal structure of the whole complex has not been solved. The available crystal structures have shown that AcrB and TolC function as trimers, but the number of AcrA molecules in the complex is now under debate. Disulfide chemical cross-linking experiments have indicated that the stoichiometry of AcrB-AcrA-TolC is 1:1:1; on the other hand, recent cryo-electron microscopy images of AcrAB-TolC suggested a 1:2:1 stoichiometry. In this study, we constructed 1:1-fixed AcrB-AcrA fusion proteins using various linkers. Surprisingly, all the 1:1-fixed linker proteins showed drug export activity under both acrAB-deficient conditions and acrAB acrEF double-pump-knockout conditions regardless of the lengths of the linkers. Finally, we optimized a shorter linker lacking the conformational freedom imparted by the AcrB C terminus. These results suggest that a complex with equal amounts of AcrA and AcrB is sufficient for drug export function.The structure and stoichiometry of the RND-type multidrug exporter AcrB-AcrA-TolC complex are still under debate. Recently, electron microscopic images of the AcrB-AcrA-TolC complex have been reported, suggesting a 1:2:1 stoichiometry. However, we report here that the AcrB-AcrA 1:1 fusion protein is active for drug export under acrAB-deficient conditions and also under acrAB acrEF double-deficient conditions, which eliminate the aid of free AcrA and its close homolog AcrE, indicating that the AcrB-AcrA 1:1 stoichiometry is enough for drug export function. In addition, the AcrB-AcrA fusion protein can function without the aid of free AcrA. We believe that these results are very important for considering the structure and mechanism of AcrAB-TolC-mediated multidrug export.
Project description:AcrB is a multidrug transporter in the inner membrane of Escherichia coli. It is an obligate homotrimer and forms a tripartite efflux complex with AcrA and TolC. AcrB is the engine of the efflux machinery and determines substrate specificity. Active efflux depends on several functional features including proton translocation across the inner membrane through a proton relay pathway in the transmembrane domain of AcrB; substrate binding and migration through the substrate translocation pathway; the interaction of AcrB with AcrA and TolC; and the formation of AcrB homotrimer. Here we investigated two aspects of the inter-correlation between these functional features, the dependence of AcrA-AcrB interaction on AcrB trimerization, and the reliance of substrate binding and penetration on protein-protein interaction. Interaction between AcrA and AcrB was investigated through chemical crosslinking, and a previously established in vivo fluorescent labeling method was used to probe substrate binding. Our data suggested that dissociation of the AcrB trimer drastically decreased its interaction with AcrA. In addition, while substrate binding with AcrB seemed to be irrelevant to the presence or absence of AcrA and TolC, the capability of trimerization and conduction of proton influx did affect substrate binding at selected sites along the substrate translocation pathway in AcrB.
Project description:Bacteria like Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa expel drugs via tripartite multidrug efflux pumps spanning both inner and outer membranes and the intervening periplasm. In these pumps a periplasmic adaptor protein connects a substrate-binding inner membrane transporter to an outer membrane-anchored TolC-type exit duct. High-resolution structures of all 3 components are available, but a pump model has been precluded by the incomplete adaptor structure, because of the apparent disorder of its N and C termini. We reveal that the adaptor termini assemble a beta-roll structure forming the final domain adjacent to the inner membrane. The completed structure enabled in vivo cross-linking to map intermolecular contacts between the adaptor AcrA and the transporter AcrB, defining a periplasmic interface between several transporter subdomains and the contiguous beta-roll, beta-barrel, and lipoyl domains of the adaptor. With short and long cross-links expressed as distance restraints, the flexible linear topology of the adaptor allowed a multidomain docking approach to model the transporter-adaptor complex, revealing that the adaptor docks to a transporter region of comparative stability distinct from those key to the proposed rotatory pump mechanism, putative drug-binding pockets, and the binding site of inhibitory DARPins. Finally, we combined this docking with our previous resolution of the AcrA hairpin-TolC interaction to develop a model of the assembled tripartite complex, satisfying all of the experimentally-derived distance constraints. This AcrA(3)-AcrB(3)-TolC(3) model presents a 610,000-Da, 270-A-long efflux pump crossing the entire bacterial cell envelope.
Project description:Multidrug efflux pumps adversely affect both the clinical effectiveness of existing antibiotics and the discovery process to find new ones. In this study, we reconstituted and characterized by surface plasmon resonance the assembly of AcrAB-TolC, the archetypal multidrug efflux pump from Escherichia coli. We report that the periplasmic AcrA and the outer membrane channel TolC assemble high-affinity complexes with AcrB transporter independently from each other. Antibiotic novobiocin and MC-207,110 inhibitor bind to the immobilized AcrB but do not affect interactions between components of the complex. In contrast, DARPin inhibits interactions between AcrA and AcrB. Mutational opening of TolC channel decreases stability of interactions and promotes disassembly of the complex. The conformation of the membrane proximal domain of AcrA is critical for the formation of AcrAB-TolC and could be targeted for the development of new inhibitors.
Project description:AcrAB-TolC is a constitutively expressed, tripartite efflux transporter complex that functions as the primary resistance mechanism to lipophilic drugs, dyes, detergents, and bile acids in Escherichia coli. TolC is an outer membrane channel, and AcrA is an elongated lipoprotein that is hypothesized to span the periplasm and coordinate efflux of such substrates by AcrB and TolC. AcrD is an efflux transporter of E. coli that provides resistance to aminoglycosides as well as to a limited range of amphiphilic agents, such as bile acids, novobiocin, and fusidic acid. AcrB and AcrD belong to the resistance nodulation division superfamily and share a similar topology, which includes a pair of large periplasmic loops containing more than 300 amino acid residues each. We used this knowledge to test several plasmid-encoded chimeric constructs of acrD and acrB for substrate specificity in a marR1 DeltaacrB DeltaacrD host. AcrD chimeras were constructed in which the large, periplasmic loops between transmembrane domains 1 and 2 and 7 and 8 were replaced with the corresponding loops of AcrB. Such constructs provided resistance to AcrB substrates at levels similar to native AcrB. Conversely, AcrB chimeras containing both loops of AcrD conferred resistance only to the typical substrates of AcrD. These results cannot be explained by simply assuming that AcrD, not hitherto known to interact with AcrA, acquired this ability by the introduction of the loop regions of AcrB, because (i) both AcrD and AcrA were found, in this study, to be required for the efflux of amphiphilic substrates, and (ii) chemical cross-linking in intact cells efficiently produced complexes between AcrD and AcrA. Since AcrD can already interact with AcrA, the alterations in substrate range accompanying the exchange of loop regions can only mean that substrate recognition (and presumably binding) is determined largely by the two periplasmic loops.
Project description:Tripartite efflux pumps found in Gram-negative bacteria are involved in antibiotic resistance and toxic-protein secretion. In this study, we show, using site-directed mutational analyses, that the conserved residues located in the tip region of the alpha-hairpin of the membrane fusion protein (MFP) AcrA play an essential role in the action of the tripartite efflux pump AcrAB-TolC. In addition, we provide in vivo functional data showing that both the length and the amino acid sequence of the alpha-hairpin of AcrA can be flexible for the formation of a functional AcrAB-TolC pump. Genetic-complementation experiments further indicated functional interrelationships between the AcrA hairpin tip region and the TolC aperture tip region. Our findings may offer a molecular basis for understanding the multidrug resistance of pathogenic bacteria.
Project description:In a single quantitative study, we measured acrA, acrB, tolC, mdfA, and norE expression in Escherichia coli clinical isolates by using real-time PCR. acrA and acrB overexpression strongly correlated with fluoroquinolone and multidrug resistance; tolC, mdfA, and norE expression did not. The order of abundance of efflux pump transcripts in all fluoroquinolone-susceptible isolates was tolC (highest), then acrA and acrB, and then mdfA and norE. Our findings suggest acrAB overexpression is an indicator of multidrug resistance.