Conserved active site cysteine residue of archaeal THI4 homolog is essential for thiamine biosynthesis in Haloferax volcanii.
ABSTRACT: Thiamine (vitamin B1) is synthesized de novo by certain yeast, fungi, plants, protozoans, bacteria and archaea. The pathway of thiamine biosynthesis by archaea is poorly understood, particularly the route of sulfur relay to form the thiazole ring. Archaea harbor structural homologs of both the bacterial (ThiS-ThiF) and eukaryotic (THI4) proteins that mobilize sulfur to thiazole ring precursors by distinct mechanisms.Based on comparative genome analysis, halophilic archaea are predicted to synthesize the pyrimidine moiety of thiamine by the bacterial pathway, initially suggesting that also a bacterial ThiS-ThiF type mechanism for synthesis of the thiazole ring is used in which the sulfur carrier ThiS is first activated by ThiF-catalyzed adenylation. The only ThiF homolog of Haloferax volcanii (UbaA) was deleted but this had no effect on growth in the absence of thiamine. Usage of the eukaryotic THI4-type sulfur relay was initially considered less likely for thiamine biosynthesis in archaea, since the active-site cysteine residue of yeast THI4p that donates the sulfur to the thiazole ring by a suicide mechanism is replaced by a histidine residue in many archaeal THI4 homologs and these are described as D-ribose-1,5-bisphosphate isomerases. The THI4 homolog of the halophilic archaea, including Hfx. volcanii (HVO_0665, HvThi4) was found to differ from that of methanogens and thermococci by having a cysteine residue (Cys165) corresponding to the conserved active site cysteine of yeast THI4p (Cys205). Deletion of HVO_0665 generated a thiamine auxotroph that was trans-complemented by a wild-type copy of HVO_0665, but not the modified gene encoding an HvThi4 C165A variant.Based on our results, we conclude that the archaeon Hfx. volcanii uses a yeast THI4-type mechanism for sulfur relay to form the thiazole ring of thiamine. We extend this finding to a relatively large group of archaea, including haloarchaea, ammonium oxidizing archaea, and some methanogen and Pyrococcus species, by observing that these organisms code for THI4 homologs that have a conserved active site cysteine residue which is likely used in thiamine biosynthesis. Thus, archaeal members of IPR002922 THI4 family that have a conserved cysteine active site should be reexamined for a function in thiamine biosynthesis.
Project description:Thiamine biosynthesis is commonly regulated by a riboswitch mechanism; however, the enzymatic steps and regulation of this pathway in archaea are poorly understood. Haloferax volcanii, one of the representative archaea, uses a eukaryote-like Thi4 (thiamine thiazole synthase) for the production of the thiazole ring and condenses this ring with a pyrimidine moiety synthesized by an apparent bacterium-like ThiC (2-methyl-4-amino-5-hydroxymethylpyrimidine [HMP] phosphate synthase) branch. Here we found that archaeal Thi4 and ThiC were encoded by leaderless transcripts, ruling out a riboswitch mechanism. Instead, a novel ThiR transcription factor that harbored an N-terminal helix-turn-helix (HTH) DNA binding domain and C-terminal ThiN (TMP synthase) domain was identified. In the presence of thiamine, ThiR was found to repress the expression of thi4 and thiC by a DNA operator sequence that was conserved across archaeal phyla. Despite having a ThiN domain, ThiR was found to be catalytically inactive in compensating for the loss of ThiE (TMP synthase) function. In contrast, bifunctional ThiDN, in which the ThiN domain is fused to an N-terminal ThiD (HMP/HMP phosphate [HMP-P] kinase) domain, was found to be interchangeable for ThiE function and, thus, active in thiamine biosynthesis. A conserved Met residue of an extended ?-helix near the active-site His of the ThiN domain was found to be important for ThiDN catalytic activity, whereas the corresponding Met residue was absent and the ?-helix was shorter in ThiR homologs. Thus, we provide new insight into residues that distinguish catalytic from noncatalytic ThiN domains and reveal that thiamine biosynthesis in archaea is regulated by a transcriptional repressor, ThiR, and not by a riboswitch.IMPORTANCE Thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) is a cofactor needed for the enzymatic activity of many cellular processes, including central metabolism. In archaea, thiamine biosynthesis is an apparent chimera of eukaryote- and bacterium-type pathways that is not well defined at the level of enzymatic steps or regulatory mechanisms. Here we find that ThiN is a versatile domain of transcriptional repressors and catalytic enzymes of thiamine biosynthesis in archaea. Our study provides new insight into residues that distinguish catalytic from noncatalytic ThiN domains and reveals that archaeal thiamine biosynthesis is regulated by a ThiN domain transcriptional repressor, ThiR, and not by a riboswitch.
Project description:Thiamin diphosphate is an essential cofactor in all forms of life and plays a key role in amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism. Its biosynthesis involves separate syntheses of the pyrimidine and thiazole moieties, which are then coupled to form thiamin monophosphate. A final phosphorylation produces the active form of the cofactor. In most bacteria, six gene products are required for biosynthesis of the thiamin thiazole. In yeast and fungi only one gene product, Thi4, is required for thiazole biosynthesis. Methanococcus jannaschii expresses a putative Thi4 ortholog that was previously reported to be a ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate synthase [Finn, M. W. and Tabita, F. R. (2004) J. Bacteriol., 186, 6360-6366]. Our structural studies show that the Thi4 orthologs from M. jannaschii and Methanococcus igneus are structurally similar to Thi4 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In addition, all active site residues are conserved except for a key cysteine residue, which in S. cerevisiae is the source of the thiazole sulfur atom. Our recent biochemical studies showed that the archael Thi4 orthologs use nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, glycine, and free sulfide to form the thiamin thiazole in an iron-dependent reaction [Eser, B., Zhang, X., Chanani, P. K., Begley, T. P., and Ealick, S. E. (2016) J. Am. Chem. Soc. , DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b00445]. Here we report X-ray crystal structures of Thi4 from M. jannaschii complexed with ADP-ribulose, the C205S variant of Thi4 from S. cerevisiae with a bound glycine imine intermediate, and Thi4 from M. igneus with bound glycine imine intermediate and iron. These studies reveal the structural basis for the iron-dependent mechanism of sulfur transfer in archael and yeast thiazole synthases.
Project description:We have determined the crystal structure of the Escherichia coli ThiS-ThiF protein complex at 2.0 A resolution. ThiS and ThiF are bacterial proteins involved in the synthesis of the thiazole moiety of thiamin. ThiF catalyzes the adenylation of the carboxy terminus of ThiS and the subsequent displacement of AMP catalyzed by ThiI-persulfide to give a ThiS-ThiI acyl disulfide. Disulfide interchange, involving Cys184 on ThiF, then generates the ThiS-ThiF acyl disulfide, which functions as the sulfur donor for thiazole formation. ThiS is a small 7.2 kDa protein that structurally resembles ubiquitin and the molybdopterin biosynthetic protein MoaD. ThiF is a 27 kDa protein with distinct sequence and structural similarity to the ubiquitin activating enzyme E1 and the molybdopterin biosynthetic protein MoeB. The ThiF-ThiS structure clarifies the mechanism of the sulfur transfer chemistry involved in thiazole biosynthesis.
Project description:Bacteria and yeast utilize different strategies for sulfur incorporation in the biosynthesis of the thiamin thiazole. Bacteria use thiocarboxylated proteins. In contrast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae thiazole synthase (THI4p) uses an active site cysteine as the sulfide source and is inactivated after a single turnover. Here, we demonstrate that the Thi4 ortholog from Methanococcus jannaschii uses exogenous sulfide and is catalytic. Structural and biochemical studies on this enzyme elucidate the mechanistic details of the sulfide transfer reactions.
Project description:In bacteria, many genes involved in the biosynthesis of cofactors such as thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) are regulated by ribo switches, regions in the 5' end of mRNAs to which the cofactor binds, thereby affecting translation and/or transcription. TPP riboswitches have now been identified in fungi, in which they alter mRNA splicing. Here, we show that addition of thiamine to cultures of the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii alters splicing of transcripts for the THI4 and THIC genes, encoding the first enzymes of the thiazole and pyrimidine branches of thiamine biosynthesis, respectively, concomitant with an increase in intracellular thiamine and TPP levels. Comparison with Volvox carteri, a related alga, revealed highly conserved regions within introns of these genes. Inspection of the sequences identified TPP riboswitch motifs, and RNA transcribed from the regions binds TPP in vitro. The THI4 riboswitch, but not the promoter region, was found to be necessary and sufficient for thiamine to repress expression of a luciferase-encoding reporter construct in vivo. The pyr1 mutant of C. reinhardtii, which is resistant to the thiamine analogue pyrithiamine, has a mutation in the THI4 riboswitch that prevents the THI4 gene from being repressed by TPP. By the use of these ribo switches, thiamine biosynthesis in C. reinhardtii can be effectively regulated at physiological concentrations of the vitamin.
Project description:Thiamine deficiency is common in populations consuming polished rice as a major source of carbohydrates. Thiamine is required to synthesize thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), an essential cofactor of enzymes of central metabolism. Its biosynthesis pathway has been partially elucidated and the effect of overexpression of a few genes such as thi1 and thiC, on thiamine accumulation in rice has been reported. Based on current knowledge, this review focuses on the potential of gene editing in metabolic engineering of thiamine biosynthesis pathway to improve thiamine in rice grains. Candidate genes, suitable for modification of the structural part to evolve more efficient versions of enzymes in the pathway, are discussed. For example, adjacent cysteine residues may be introduced in the catalytic domain of thi4 to improve the turn over activity of thiamine thiazole synthase 2. Motif specific editing to modify promoter regulatory regions of genes is discussed to modulate gene expression. Editing cis acting regulatory elements in promoter region can shift the expression of transporters and thiamine binding proteins to endosperm. This can enhance dietary availability of thiamine from rice grains. Differential transcriptomics on rice varieties with contrasting grain thiamine and functional genomic studies will identify more strategic targets for editing in future. Developing functionally enhanced foods by biofortification is a sustainable approach to make diets wholesome.
Project description:Based on our recent work with Haloferax volcanii, ubiquitin-like (Ubl) proteins (SAMP1 and SAMP2) are known to be covalently attached to proteins in archaea. Here, we investigated the enzymes required for the formation of these Ubl-protein conjugates (SAMPylation) and whether this system is linked to sulfur transfer. Markerless in-frame deletions were generated in H. volcanii target genes. The mutants were examined for: (i) the formation of Ubl protein conjugates, (ii) growth under various conditions, including those requiring the synthesis of the sulfur-containing molybdenum cofactor (MoCo), and (iii) the thiolation of tRNA. With this approach we found that UbaA of the E1/MoeB/ThiF superfamily was required for the formation of both SAMP1- and SAMP2-protein conjugates. In addition, UbaA, SAMP1, and MoaE (a homolog of the large subunit of molybdopterin synthase) were essential for MoCo-dependent dimethyl sulfoxide reductase activity, suggesting that these proteins function in MoCo-biosynthesis. UbaA and SAMP2 were also crucial for optimal growth at high temperature and the thiolation of tRNA. Based on these results, we propose a working model for archaea in which the E1-like UbaA can activate multiple Ubl SAMPs for protein conjugation as well as for sulfur transfer. In sulfur transfer, SAMP1 and SAMP2 appear specific for MoCo biosynthesis and the thiolation of tRNA, respectively. Overall, this study provides a fundamental insight into the diverse cellular functions of the Ubl system.
Project description:Escherichia coli K-12 synthesizes thiamine pyrophosphate (vitamin B1) de novo. Two precursors [4-methyl-5-(beta-hydroxyethyl)thiazole monophosphate and 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine pyrophosphate] are coupled to form thiamine monophosphate, which is then phosphorylated to make thiamine pyrophosphate. Previous studies have identified two classes of thi mutations, clustered at 90 min on the genetic map, which result in requirements for the thiazole or the hydroxymethylpryimidine. We report here our initial molecular genetic analysis of the thi cluster. We cloned the thi cluster genes and examined their organization, structure, and function by a combination of phenotypic testing, complementation analysis, polypeptide expression, and DNA sequencing. We found five tightly linked genes, designated thiCEFGH. The thiC gene product is required for the synthesis of the hydroxymethylpyrimidine. The thiE, thiF, thiG, and thiH gene products are required for synthesis of the thiazole. These mutants did not respond to 1-deoxy-D-threo-2-pentulose, indicating that they are blocked in the conversion of this precursor compound to the thiazole itself.
Project description:Plant and fungal THI4 thiazole synthases produce the thiamin thiazole moiety in aerobic conditions via a single-turnover suicide reaction that uses an active-site Cys residue as sulfur donor. Multiple-turnover (i.e. catalytic) THI4s lacking an active-site Cys (non-Cys THI4s) that use sulfide as sulfur donor have been biochemically characterized -- but only from archaeal methanogens that are anaerobic, O2-sensitive hyperthermophiles from sulfide-rich habitats. These THI4s prefer iron as cofactor. A survey of prokaryote genomes uncovered non-Cys THI4s in aerobic mesophiles from sulfide-poor habitats, suggesting that multiple-turnover THI4 operation is possible in aerobic, mild, low-sulfide conditions. This was confirmed by testing 23 representative non-Cys THI4s for complementation of an Escherichia coli ΔthiG thiazole auxotroph in aerobic conditions. Sixteen were clearly active, and more so when intracellular sulfide level was raised by supplying Cys, demonstrating catalytic function in the presence of O2 at mild temperatures and indicating use of sulfide or a sulfide metabolite as sulfur donor. Comparative genomic evidence linked non-Cys THI4s with proteins from families that bind, transport, or metabolize cobalt or other heavy metals. The crystal structure of the aerotolerant bacterial Thermovibrio ammonificans THI4 was determined to probe the molecular basis of aerotolerance. The structure suggested no large deviations compared with the structures of THI4s from O2-sensitive methanogens, but is consistent with an alternative catalytic metal. Together with complementation data, use of cobalt rather than iron was supported. We conclude that catalytic THI4s can indeed operate aerobically and that the metal cofactor inserted is a likely natural determinant of aerotolerance.
Project description:Here we provide the first detailed biochemical study of a noncanonical E1-like enzyme with broad specificity for cognate ubiquitin-like (Ubl) proteins that mediates Ubl protein modification and sulfur mobilization to form molybdopterin and thiolated tRNA. Isothermal titration calorimetry and in vivo analyses proved useful in discovering that environmental conditions, ATP binding, and Ubl type controlled the mechanism of association of the Ubl protein with its cognate E1-like enzyme (SAMP and UbaA of the archaeon Haloferax volcanii, respectively). Further analysis revealed that ATP hydrolysis triggered the formation of thioester and peptide bonds within the Ubl:E1-like complex. Importantly, the thioester was an apparent precursor to Ubl protein modification but not sulfur mobilization. Comparative modeling to MoeB/ThiF guided the discovery of key residues within the adenylation domain of UbaA that were needed to bind ATP as well as residues that were specifically needed to catalyze the downstream reactions of sulfur mobilization and/or Ubl protein modification. UbaA was also found to be Ubl-automodified at lysine residues required for early (ATP binding) and late (sulfur mobilization) stages of enzyme activity revealing multiple layers of autoregulation. Cysteine residues, distinct from the canonical E1 'active site' cysteine, were found important in UbaA function supporting a model that this noncanonical E1 is structurally flexible in its active site to allow Ubl~adenylate, Ubl~E1-like thioester and cysteine persulfide(s) intermediates to form.