The RpfC (Rv1884) atomic structure shows high structural conservation within the resuscitation-promoting factor catalytic domain.
ABSTRACT: The first structure of the catalytic domain of RpfC (Rv1884), one of the resuscitation-promoting factors (RPFs) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is reported. The structure was solved using molecular replacement once the space group had been correctly identified as twinned P21 rather than the apparent C2221 by searching for anomalous scattering sites in P1. The structure displays a very high degree of structural conservation with the previously published structures of the catalytic domains of RpfB (Rv1009) and RpfE (Rv2450). This structural conservation highlights the importance of the versatile domain composition of the RPF family.
Project description:Resuscitation promoting factor (Rpf) proteins, which hydrolyze the sugar chains in cell-wall peptidoglycan (PG), play key roles in prokaryotic cell elongation, division, and escape from dormancy to vegetative growth. Like other bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) expresses multiple Rpfs, none of which is individually essential. This redundancy has left unclear the distinct functions of the different Rpfs. To explore the distinguishing characteristics of the five Mtb Rpfs, we determined the crystal structure of the RpfE catalytic domain. The protein adopts the characteristic Rpf fold, but the catalytic cleft is narrower compared to Mtb RpfB. Also in contrast to RpfB, in which the substrate-binding surfaces are negatively charged, the corresponding RpfE catalytic pocket and predicted peptide-binding sites are more positively charged at neutral pH. The complete reversal of the electrostatic potential of the substrate-binding site suggests that the different Rpfs function optimally at different pHs or most efficiently hydrolyze different micro-domains of PG. These studies provide insights into the molecular determinants of the evolution of functional specialization in Rpfs.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis contains five resuscitation-promoting factor (Rpf)-like proteins, RpfA-E, that are implicated in resuscitation of this organism from dormancy via a mechanism involving hydrolysis of the peptidoglycan by Rpfs and partnering proteins. In this study, the rpfA-E genes were shown to be collectively dispensable for growth of M. tuberculosis in broth culture. The defect in resuscitation of multiple mutants from a 'non-culturable' state induced by starvation under anoxia was reversed by genetic complementation or addition of culture filtrate from wild-type organisms confirming that the phenotype was associated with rpf-like gene loss and that the 'non-culturable' cells of the mutant strains were viable. Other phenotypes uncovered by sequential deletion mutagenesis revealed a functional differentiation within this protein family. The quintuple mutant and its parent that retained only rpfD displayed delayed colony formation and hypersensitivity to detergent, effects not observed for mutants retaining only rpfE or rpfB. Furthermore, mutants retaining rpfD or rpfE were highly attenuated for growth in mice with the latter persisting better than the former in late-stage infection. In conjunction, these results are indicative of a hierarchy in terms of function and/or potency with the Rpf family, with RpfB and RpfE ranking above RpfD.
Project description:Resuscitation-promoting factors (Rpfs) have previously been shown to act as growth-stimulatory molecules via their lysozyme-like activity on peptidoglycan in the bacterial cell wall. In this study, we investigated the ability of Mycobacterium smegmatis strains lacking rpf genes to form biofilms and tested their susceptibilities to cell wall-targeting agents. M. smegmatis contains four distinct rpf homologues, namely, MSMEG_5700 (rpfA), MSMEG_5439 (rpfB), MSMEG_4640 (rpfE2), and MSMEG_4643 (rpfE). During axenic growth of the wild-type strain, all four mRNA transcripts were expressed to various degrees, but the expression of MSMEG_4643 was significantly greater during exponential growth. Similarly, all rpf mRNA transcripts could be detected in biofilms grown for 7, 14, and 28 days, with MSMEG_4643 expressed at the highest abundance after 7 days. In-frame unmarked deletion mutants (single and combinatorial) were generated and displayed altered colony morphologies and the inability to form typical biofilms. Moreover, any strain lacking rpfA and rpfB simultaneously exhibited increased susceptibility to rifampin, vancomycin, and SDS. Exogenous Rpf supplementation in the form of culture filtrate failed to restore biofilm formation. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis of peptidoglycan (PG) suggested a reduction in 4-3 cross-linked PG in the ?rpfABEE2 mutant strain. In addition, the level of PG-repeat units terminating in 1,6-anhydroMurNAc appeared to be significantly reduced in the quadruple rpf mutant. Collectively, our data have shown that Rpfs play an important role in biofilm formation, possibly through alterations in PG cross-linking and the production of signaling molecules.IMPORTANCE The cell wall of pathogenic mycobacteria is composed of peptidoglycan, arabinogalactan, mycolic acids, and an outer capsule. This inherent complexity renders it resistant to many antibiotics. Consequently, its biosynthesis and remodeling during growth directly impact viability. Resuscitation-promoting factors (Rpfs), enzymes with lytic transglycosylase activity, have been associated with the revival of dormant cells and subsequent resumption of vegetative growth. Mycobacterium smegmatis, a soil saprophyte and close relative of the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, encodes four distinct Rpfs. Herein, we assessed the relationship between Rpfs and biofilm formation, which is used as a model to study drug tolerance and bacterial signaling in mycobacteria. We demonstrated that progressive deletion of rpf genes hampered the development of biofilms and reduced drug tolerance. These effects were accompanied by a reduction in muropeptide production and altered peptidoglycan cross-linking. Collectively, these observations point to an important role for Rpfs in mycobacterial communication and drug tolerance.
Project description:Functional variation of Rpf, a growth factor found exclusively in Actinobacteria, is differentiated by its source and amino acid sequences. Only purified Rpf proteins from three species have been studied so far. To seek new Rpfs for use in future studies to understand their role in Actinobacteria, the objective of this study was to identify rpf gene homologs in Tomitella biformata AHU 1821(T), a novel Actinobacteria isolated from permafrost ice wedge. Amplification using degenerate primers targeting the essential Rpf domain led to the discovery of a new rpf gene in T. biformata. Gene structure and the deduced Rpf domain amino acid sequence indicated that this rpf gene was not identical to previously studied Rpf. Phylogenetic analysis placed T. biformata Rpf in a monophyletic branch in the RpfB subfamily. The deduced amino acid sequence was 44.9% identical to RpfB in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the closest functionally tested Rpf. The gene was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli; the recombinant Rpf protein (rRpf) promoted the growth of dividing cells and resuscitated non-dividing cells of T. biformata. Compared to other studies, this Rpf was required at higher concentrations to promote its growth and to resuscitate itself from a non-dividing state. The resuscitation function was likely due to the highly conserved Rpf domain. This study provides evidence that a genetically unique but functional Rpf can be found in novel members of Actinobacteria and can lead to a better understanding of bacterial cytokines in this phylum.
Project description:A cell-cell signalling system mediated by the fatty acid signal DSF controls the virulence of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) to plants. The synthesis and recognition of the DSF signal depends upon different Rpf proteins. DSF signal generation requires RpfF whereas signal perception and transduction depends upon the sensor RpfC and regulator RpfG. Detailed analyses of the regulatory roles of different Rpf proteins have suggested the occurrence of further sensors for DSF. Here we have used a mutagenesis approach coupled with high-resolution transcriptional analysis to identify XC_2579 (RpfS) as a second sensor for DSF in Xcc. RpfS is a complex sensor kinase predicted to have multiple Per/Arnt/Sim (PAS) domains, a histidine kinase domain and a C-terminal receiver (REC) domain. Isothermal calorimetry showed that DSF bound to the isolated N-terminal PAS domain with a Kd of 1.4??M. RpfS controlled expression of a sub-set of genes distinct from those controlled by RpfC to include genes involved in type IV secretion and chemotaxis. Mutation of XC_2579 was associated with a reduction in virulence of Xcc to Chinese Radish when assayed by leaf spraying but not by leaf inoculation, suggesting a role for RpfS-controlled factors in the epiphytic phase of the disease cycle.
Project description:Resuscitation of Mtb is crucial to the etiology of Tuberculosis, because latent tuberculosis is estimated to affect one-third of the world population. The resuscitation-promoting factor RpfB is mainly responsible for Mtb resuscitation from dormancy. Given the impact of latent Tuberculosis, RpfB represents an interesting target for tuberculosis drug discovery. However, no molecular models of substrate binding and catalysis are hitherto available for this enzyme. Here, we identified key interactions involved in substrate binding to RpfB by combining x-ray diffraction studies and computational approaches. The crystal structure of RpfB catalytic domain in complex with N,N',N"-triacetyl-chitotriose, as described here, provides the first, to our knowledge, atomic representation of ligand recognition by RpfB and demonstrates that the strongest interactions are established by the N-acetylglucosamine moiety in the central region of the enzyme binding cleft. Molecular dynamics analyses provided information on the dynamic behavior of protein-substrate interactions and on the role played by the solvent in RpfB function. These data combined with sequence conservation analysis suggest that Glu-292 is the sole residue crucial for catalysis, implying that RpfB acts via the formation of an oxocarbenium ion rather than a covalent intermediate. Present data represent a solid base for the design of effective drug inhibitors of RpfB. Moreover, homology models were generated for the catalytic domains of all members of the Mtb Rpf family (RpfA-E). The analysis of these models unveiled analogies and differences among the different members of the Rpf protein family.
Project description:In Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), the proteins encoded by the rpf (regulator of pathogenicity factor) gene cluster produce and sense a fatty acid signal molecule called diffusible signalling factor (DSF, 2(Z)-11-methyldodecenoic acid). RpfB was reported to be involved in DSF processing and was predicted to encode an acyl-CoA ligase. We report that RpfB activates a wide range of fatty acids to their CoA esters in vitro. Moreover, RpfB can functionally replace the paradigm bacterial acyl-CoA ligase, Escherichia coli?FadD, in the E. coli ß-oxidation pathway and deletion of RpfB from the Xcc genome results in a strain unable to utilize fatty acids as carbon sources. An essential RpfB function in the pathogenicity factor pathway was demonstrated by the properties of a strain deleted for both the rpfB and rpfC genes. The ?rpfB ?rpfC strain grew poorly and lysed upon entering stationary phase. Deletion of rpfF, the gene encoding the DSF synthetic enzyme, restored normal growth to this strain. RpfF is a dual function enzyme that synthesizes DSF by dehydration of a 3-hydroxyacyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) fatty acid synthetic intermediate and also cleaves the thioester bond linking DSF to ACP. However, the RpfF thioesterase activity is of broad specificity and upon elimination of its RpfC inhibitor RpfF attains maximal activity and its thioesterase activity proceeds to block membrane lipid synthesis by cleavage of acyl-ACP intermediates. This resulted in release of the nascent acyl chains to the medium as free fatty acids. This lack of acyl chains for phospholipid synthesis results in cell lysis unless RpfB is present to counteract the RpfF thioesterase activity by catalysing uptake and activation of the free fatty acids to give acyl-CoAs that can be utilized to restore membrane lipid synthesis. Heterologous expression of a different fatty acid activating enzyme, the Vibrio harveyi acyl-ACP synthetase, replaced RpfB in counteracting the effects of high level RpfF thioesterase activity indicating that the essential role of RpfB is uptake and activation of free fatty acids.
Project description:The success of Mycobacterium tuberculosis relies on the ability to switch between active growth and non-replicating persistence, associated with latent TB infection. Resuscitation promoting factors (Rpfs) are essential for the transition between these states. Rpf expression is tightly regulated as these enzymes are able to degrade the cell wall, and hence potentially lethal to the bacterium itself. We have identified a regulatory element in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of rpfB. We demonstrate that this element is a transcriptionally regulated RNA switch/riboswitch candidate, which appears to be restricted to pathogenic mycobacteria, suggesting a role in virulence. We have used translation start site mapping to re-annotate the RpfB start codon and identified and validated a ribosome binding site that is likely to be targeted by an rpfB antisense RNA. Finally, we show that rpfB is co-transcribed with ksgA and ispE downstream. ksgA encodes a universally conserved methyltransferase involved in ribosome maturation and ispE encodes an essential kinase involved in cell wall synthesis. This arrangement implies co-regulation of resuscitation, cell wall synthesis and ribosome maturation via the RNA switch.
Project description:It has been known that most regulation of pathogenicity factor (rpf) genes in xanthomonads regulates virulence in response to the diffusible signal factor, DSF. Although many rpf genes have been functionally characterized, the function of rpfE is still unknown. We cloned the rpfE gene from a Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) Korean race KACC10859 and generated mutant strains to elucidate the role of RpfE with respect to the rpf system. Through experiments using the rpfE-deficient mutant strain, we found that mutation in rpfE gene in Xoo reduced virulence, swarm motility, and production of virulence factors such as cellulase and extracellular polysaccharide. Disease progress by the rpfE-deficient mutant strain was significantly slowed compared to disease progress by the wild type and the number of the rpfE-deficient mutant strain was lower than that of the wild type in the early phase of infection in the inoculated rice leaf. The rpfE mutant strain was unable to utilize sucrose or xylose as carbon sources efficiently in culture. The mutation in rpfE, however, did not affect DSF synthesis. Our results suggest that the rpfE gene regulates the virulence of Xoo under different nutrient conditions without change of DSF production.
Project description:Dormancy is a common strategy adopted by bacterial cells as a means of surviving adverse environmental conditions. For Streptomyces bacteria, this involves developing chains of dormant exospores that extend away from the colony surface. Both spore formation and subsequent spore germination are tightly controlled processes, and while significant progress has been made in understanding the underlying regulatory and enzymatic bases for these, there are still significant gaps in our understanding. One class of proteins with a potential role in spore-associated processes are the so-called resuscitation-promoting factors, or Rpfs, which in other actinobacteria are needed to restore active growth to dormant cell populations. The model species Streptomyces coelicolor encodes five Rpf proteins (RpfA to RfpE), and here we show that these proteins have overlapping functions during growth. Collectively, the S. coelicolor Rpfs promote spore germination and are critical for growth under nutrient-limiting conditions. Previous studies have revealed structural similarities between the Rpf domain and lysozyme, and our in vitro biochemical assays revealed various levels of peptidoglycan cleavage capabilities for each of these five Streptomyces enzymes. Peptidoglycan remodeling by enzymes such as these must be stringently governed so as to retain the structural integrity of the cell wall. Our results suggest that one of the Rpfs, RpfB, is subject to a unique mode of enzymatic autoregulation, mediated by a domain of previously unknown function (DUF348) located within the N terminus of the protein; removal of this domain led to significantly enhanced peptidoglycan cleavage.