Site-specific processing of Ras and Rap1 Switch I by a MARTX toxin effector domain.
ABSTRACT: Ras (Rat sarcoma) protein is a central regulator of cell growth and proliferation. Mutations in the RAS gene are known to occur in human cancers and have been shown to contribute to carcinogenesis. In this study, we show that the multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin-effector domain DUF5(Vv) from Vibrio vulnificus to be a site-specific endopeptidase that cleaves within the Switch 1 region of Ras and Rap1. DUF5(Vv) processing of Ras, which occurs both biochemically and in mammalian cell culture, inactivates ERK1/2, thereby inhibiting cell proliferation. The ability to cleave Ras and Rap1 is shared by DUF5(Vv) homologues found in other bacteria. In addition, DUF5(Vv )can cleave all Ras isoforms and KRas with mutations commonly implicated in malignancies. Therefore, we speculate that this new family of Ras/Rap1-specific endopeptidases (RRSPs) has potential to inactivate both wild-type and mutant Ras proteins expressed in malignancies.
Project description:Ras/Rap1-specific endopeptidase (RRSP) is a cytotoxic effector domain of the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin of highly virulent strains of Vibrio vulnificus. RRSP blocks RAS-MAPK kinase signaling by cleaving Ras and Rap1 within the switch I region between Y32 and D33. Although the RRSP processing site is highly conserved among small GTPases, only Ras and Rap1 have been identified as proteolytic substrates. Here we report that residues Y32 and D33 at the scissile bond play an important role in RRSP substrate recognition, while the nucleotide state of Ras has an only minimal effect. In addition, substrate specificity is generated by residues across the entire switch I region. Indeed, swapping the Ras switch I region into either RalA or RhoA, GTPases that are not recognized by RRSP, generated chimeras that are substrates of RRSP. However, a difference in the processing efficiency of Ras switch I in the context of Ras, RalA, or RhoA indicates that protein regions outside Ras switch I also contribute to efficient RRSP substrate recognition. Moreover, we show that synthetic peptides corresponding to the Ras and Rap1, but not RalA, switch I regions are cleaved by RRSP, demonstrating sequence-specific substrate recognition. In conclusion, this work demonstrates that the GTPase recognition of RRSP is independent of the nucleotide state and is mainly driven by the Ras and Rap1 switch I loop and also influenced by additional protein-protein interactions, increasing the substrate specificity of RRSP.
Project description:The multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX(Vv)) toxin that harbours a varied repertoire of effector domains is the primary virulence factor of Vibrio vulnificus. Although ubiquitously present among Biotype I toxin variants, the 'Makes caterpillars floppy-like' effector domain (MCF(Vv)) is previously unstudied. Using transient expression and protein delivery, MCF(Vv) and MCF(Ah) from the Aeromonas hydrophila?MARTX(Ah)) toxin are shown for the first time to induce cell rounding. Alanine mutagenesis across the C-terminal subdomain of MCF(Vv) identified an Arg-Cys-Asp (RCD) tripeptide motif shown to comprise a cysteine protease catalytic site essential for autoprocessing of MCF(Vv). The autoprocessing could be recapitulated in vitro by the addition of host cell lysate to recombinant MCF(Vv), indicating induced autoprocessing by cellular factors. The RCD motif is also essential for cytopathicity, suggesting autoprocessing is essential first to activate the toxin and then to process a cellular target protein resulting in cell rounding. Sequence homology places MCF(Vv) within the C58 cysteine protease family that includes the type III secretion effectors YopT from Yersinia spp. and AvrPphB from Pseudomonas syringae. However, the catalytic site RCD motif is unique compared with other C58 peptidases and is here proposed to represent a new subgroup of autopeptidase found within a number of putative large bacterial toxins.
Project description:The objective of this study was to analyze multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin domain organization within the aquatic species Vibrio vulnificus as well as to study the evolution of the rtxA1 gene. The species is subdivided into three biotypes that differ in host range and geographical distribution. We have found three different types (I, II, and III) of V. vulnificus MARTX (MARTX(Vv)) toxins with common domains (an autocatalytic cysteine protease domain [CPD], an ?/?-hydrolase domain, and a domain resembling that of the LifA protein of Escherichia coli O127:H6 E2348/69 [Efa/LifA]) and specific domains (a Rho-GTPase inactivation domain [RID], a domain of unknown function [DUF], a domain resembling that of the rtxA protein of Photorhabdus asymbiotica [rtxA(PA)], and an actin cross-linking domain [ACD]). Biotype 1 isolates harbor MARTX(Vv) toxin types I and II, biotype 2 isolates carry MARTX(Vv) toxin type III, and biotype 3 isolates have MARTX(Vv) toxin type II. The analyzed biotype 2 isolates harbor two identical copies of rtxA1, one chromosomal and the other plasmidic. The evolutionary history of the gene demonstrates that MARTX(Vv) toxins are mosaics, comprising pieces with different evolutionary histories, some of which have been acquired by intra- or interspecific horizontal gene transfer. Finally, we have found evidence that the evolutionary history of the rtxA1 gene for biotype 2 differs totally from the gene history of biotypes 1 and 3.
Project description:Multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are secreted by Gram-negative bacteria and function as primary virulence-promoting macromolecules that deliver multiple cytopathic and cytotoxic effector domains into the host cytoplasm. Among these effectors, Ras/Rap1-specific endopeptidase (RRSP) catalyzes the sequence-specific cleavage of the Switch I region of the cellular substrates Ras and Rap1 that are crucial for host innate immune defenses during infection. To dissect the molecular basis underpinning RRSP-mediated substrate inactivation, we determined the crystal structure of an RRSP from the sepsis-causing bacterial pathogen Vibrio vulnificus (VvRRSP). Structural and biochemical analyses revealed that VvRRSP is a metal-independent TIKI family endopeptidase composed of an N-terminal membrane-localization and substrate-recruitment domain (N lobe) connected via an inter-lobe linker to the C-terminal active site-coordinating core β-sheet-containing domain (C lobe). Structure-based mutagenesis identified the 2His/2Glu catalytic residues in the core catalytic domain that are shared with other TIKI family enzymes and that are essential for Ras processing. In vitro KRas cleavage assays disclosed that deleting the N lobe in VvRRSP causes complete loss of enzymatic activity. Endogenous Ras cleavage assays combined with confocal microscopy analysis of HEK293T cells indicated that the N lobe functions both in membrane localization via the first α-helix and in substrate assimilation by altering the functional conformation of the C lobe to facilitate recruitment of cellular substrates. Collectively, these results indicate that RRSP is a critical virulence factor that robustly inactivates Ras and Rap1 and augments the pathogenicity of invading bacteria via the combined effects of its N and C lobes.
Project description:Vibrio vulnificus infects humans and causes lethal septicemia. The primary virulence factor is a multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxin consisting of conserved repeats-containing regions and various effector domains. Recent genomic analyses for the newly emerged V. vulnificus biotype 3 strain revealed that its MARTX toxin has two previously unknown effector domains. Herein, we characterized one of these domains, Domain X (DmXVv ). A structure-based homology search revealed that DmXVv belongs to the C58B cysteine peptidase subfamily. When ectopically expressed in cells, DmXVv was autoprocessed and induced cytopathicity including Golgi dispersion. When the catalytic cysteine or the region flanking the scissile bond was mutated, both autoprocessing and cytopathicity were significantly reduced indicating that DmXVv cytopathicity is activated by amino-terminal autoprocessing. Consistent with this, host cell protein export was affected by Vibrio cells producing a toxin with wild-type, but not catalytically inactive, DmXVv . DmXVv was found to localize to Golgi and to directly interact with Golgi-associated ADP-ribosylation factors ARF1, ARF3 and ARF4, although ARF binding was not necessary for the subcellular localization. Rather, this interaction was found to induce autoprocessing of DmXVv . These data demonstrate that the V. vulnificus hijacks the host ARF proteins to activate the cytopathic DmXVv effector domain of MARTX toxin.
Project description:Multifunctional-autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are a heterogeneous group of toxins found in a number of Vibrio species and other Gram-negative bacteria. The toxins are composed of conserved repeat regions and an autoprocessing protease domain that together function as a delivery platform for transfer of cytotoxic and cytopathic domains into target eukaryotic cell cytosol. Within the cells, the effectors can alter biological processes such as signaling or cytoskeletal structure, presumably to the benefit of the bacterium. Ten effector domains are found in the various Vibrio MARTX toxins, although any one toxin carries only two to five effector domains. The specific toxin variant expressed by a species can be modified by homologous recombination to acquire or lose effector domains, such that different strains within the same species can express distinct variants of the toxins. This review examines the conserved structural elements of the MARTX toxins and details the different toxin arrangements carried by Vibrio species and strains. The catalytic function of domains and how the toxins are linked to pathogenesis of human and animals is described.
Project description:Vibrio vulnificus is a pathogen that causes both severe necrotizing wound infections and life-threatening food-borne infections. Food-borne infection is particularly lethal as the infection can progress rapidly to primary septicemia resulting in death from septic shock and multiorgan failure. In this study, we use both bioluminescence whole animal imaging and V. vulnificus bacterial colonization of orally infected mice to demonstrate that the secreted multifunctional-autoprocessing RTX toxin (MARTX(Vv)) and the cytolysin/hemolysin VvhA of clinical isolate CMCP6 have an important function in the gut to promote early in vivo growth and dissemination of this pathogen from the small intestine to other organs. Using histopathology, we find that both cytotoxins can cause villi disruption, epithelial necrosis, and inflammation in the mouse small intestine. A double mutant deleted of genes for both cytotoxins was essentially avirulent, did not cause intestinal epithelial tissue damage, and was cleared from infected mice by 36 hours by an effective immune response. Therefore, MARTX(Vv) and VvhA seem to play an additive role for pathogenesis of CMCP6 causing intestinal tissue damage and inflammation that then promotes dissemination of the infecting bacteria to the bloodstream and other organs. In the absence of these two secreted factors, we propose that this bacterium is unable to cause intestinal infection in humans.
Project description:Many Gram-negative bacterial pathogens directly deliver numerous effector proteins from the bacterium to the host cell, thereby altering the target cell physiology. The already well-characterized effector delivery systems are type III, type IV, and type VI secretion systems. Multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxin (MARTX) toxins are another effector delivery platform employed by some genera of Gram-negative bacteria. These single polypeptide exotoxins possess up to five effector domains in a modular fashion in their central regions. Upon binding to the host cell plasma membrane, MARTX toxins form a pore using amino- and carboxyl-terminal repeat-containing arms and translocate the effector domains into the cells. Consequently, MARTX toxins affect the integrity of the host cells and often induce cell death. Thus, they have been characterized as crucial virulence factors of certain human pathogens. This review covers how each of the MARTX toxin effector domains exhibits cytopathic and/or cytotoxic activities in cells, with their structural features revealed recently. In addition, future directions for the comprehensive understanding of MARTX toxin-mediated pathogenesis are discussed.
Project description:Membrane localization domain (MLD) was first proposed for a 4-helix-bundle motif in the crystal structure of the C1 domain of Pasteurella multocida toxin (PMT). This structure motif is also found in the crystal structures of several clostridial glycosylating toxins (TcdA, TcdB, TcsL, and TcnA). The Ras/Rap1-specific endopeptidase (RRSP) module of the multifunctional autoprocessing repeats-in-toxins (MARTX) toxin produced by Vibrio vulnificus has sequence homology to the C1-C2 domains of PMT, including a putative MLD. We have determined the solution structure for the MLDs in PMT and in RRSP using solution state NMR. We conclude that the MLDs in these two toxins assume a 4-helix-bundle structure in solution.
Project description:Vibrio vulnificus is a food-borne bacterial pathogen associated with 1% of all food-related deaths, predominantly because of consumption of contaminated seafood. The ability of V. vulnificus to cause disease is linked to the production of a large cytotoxin called the "multifunctional-autoprocessing RTX" (MARTX(Vv)) toxin, a factor shown here to be an important virulence factor by the intragastric route of infection in mice. In this study, we examined genetic variation of the rtxA1 gene that encodes MARTX(Vv) in 40 V. vulnificus Biotype 1 strains and found four distinct variants of rtxA1 that encode toxins with different arrangements of effector domains. We provide evidence that these variants arose by recombination either with rtxA genes carried on plasmids or with the rtxA gene of Vibrio anguillarum. Contrary to expected results, the most common rtxA1 gene variant in clinical-type V. vulnificus encodes a toxin with reduced potency and is distinct from the toxin produced by strains isolated from market oysters. These results indicate that an important virulence factor of V. vulnificus is undergoing significant genetic rearrangement and may be subject to selection for reduced virulence in the environment. This finding would imply further that in the future on-going genetic variation of the MARTX(Vv) toxins could result in the emergence of novel strains with altered virulence in humans.