Ricin uses arginine 235 as an anchor residue to bind to P-proteins of the ribosomal stalk.
ABSTRACT: Ricin toxin A chain (RTA) binds to stalk P-proteins to reach the ?-sarcin/ricin loop (SRL) where it cleaves a conserved adenine. Arginine residues at the RTA/RTB interface are involved in this interaction. To investigate the individual contribution of each arginine, we generated single, double and triple arginine mutations in RTA. The R235A mutation reduced toxicity and depurination activity more than any other single arginine mutation in yeast. Further reduction in toxicity, depurination activity and ribosome binding was observed when R235A was combined with a mutation in a nearby arginine. RTA interacts with the ribosome via a two-step process, which involves slow and fast interactions. Single arginine mutations eliminated the fast interactions with the ribosome, indicating that they increase the binding rate of RTA. Arginine residues form a positively charged patch to bind to negatively charged residues at the C-termini of P-proteins. When electrostatic interactions conferred by the arginines are lost, hydrophobic interactions are also abolished, suggesting that the hydrophobic interactions alone are insufficient to allow binding. We propose that Arg235 serves as an anchor residue and cooperates with nearby arginines and the hydrophobic interactions to provide the binding specificity and strength in ribosome targeting of RTA.
Project description:Ricin interacts with the ribosomal P stalk to cleave a conserved adenine from the α-sarcin/ricin loop (SRL) of the rRNA. Ricin toxin A chain (RTA) uses Arg235 as the most critical arginine for binding to the P stalk through electrostatic interactions to facilitate depurination. Structural analysis showed that a P2 peptide binds to a hydrophobic pocket on RTA and the last two residues form hydrogen bonds with Arg235. The importance of hydrophobic residues relative to Arg235 in the interaction with the P stalk in vivo and on the toxicity of RTA is not known. Here, we mutated residues in the hydrophobic pocket to analyze their contribution to toxicity and depurination activity in yeast and in mammalian cells. We found that Leu232, Tyr183 and Phe240 contribute cumulatively to toxicity, with Leu232 being the most significant. A quadruple mutant, Y183A/L232A/R235A/F240A, which combined mutations in critical hydrophobic residues with R235A completely abolished the activity of RTA, indicating that Arg235 and hydrophobic residues are required for full biological activity. Y183A and F240A mutants had reduced activity on RNA, but higher activity on ribosomes compared with R235A in vitro, suggesting that they could partially regain activity upon interaction with ribosomes. These results expand the region of interaction between RTA and the P stalk critical for cellular activity to include the hydrophobic pocket and provide the first evidence that interaction of P stalk with the hydrophobic pocket promotes a conformational rearrangement of RTA to correctly position the active site residues for catalytic attack on the SRL.
Project description:Ricin is a potent ribotoxin that is considered a bioterror threat due to its ease of isolation and possibility of aerosolization. In yeast, mutation of arginine residues away from the active site results in a ricin toxin A chain (RTA) variant that is unable to bind the ribosome and exhibits reduced cytotoxicity. The goal of the present work was to determine if these residues contribute to ribosome binding and cytotoxicity of RTA in mammalian cells. The RTA mutant R193A/R235A did not interact with mammalian ribosomes, while a G212E variant with a point mutation near its active site bound ribosomes similarly to wild-type (WT) RTA. R193A/R235A retained full catalytic activity on naked RNA but had reduced activity on mammalian ribosomes. To determine the effect of this mutant in intact cells, pre R193A/R235A containing a signal sequence directing it to the endoplasmic reticulum and mature R193A/R235A that directly targeted cytosolic ribosomes were each expressed. Depurination and protein synthesis inhibition were reduced by both pre- and mature R193A/R235A relative to WT. Protein synthesis inhibition was reduced to a greater extent by R193A/R235A than by G212E. Pre R193A/R235A caused a greater reduction in caspase activation and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential than G212E relative to WT RTA. These findings indicate that an RTA variant with reduced ribosome binding is less toxic than a variant with less catalytic activity but normal ribosome binding activity. The toxin-ribosome interaction represents a novel target for the development of therapeutics to prevent or treat ricin intoxication.
Project description:Ricin inhibits protein synthesis by depurinating the ?-sarcin/ricin loop (SRL). Ricin holotoxin does not inhibit translation unless the disulfide bond between the A (RTA) and B (RTB) subunits is reduced. Ricin holotoxin did not bind ribosomes or depurinate them but could depurinate free RNA. When RTA is separated from RTB, arginine residues located at the interface are exposed to the solvent. Because this positively charged region, but not the active site, is blocked by RTB, we mutated arginine residues at or near the interface of RTB to determine if they are critical for ribosome binding. These variants were structurally similar to wild type RTA but could not bind ribosomes. Their K(m) values and catalytic rates (k(cat)) for an SRL mimic RNA were similar to those of wild type, indicating that their activity was not altered. However, they showed an up to 5-fold increase in K(m) and up to 38-fold decrease in kcat toward ribosomes. These results suggest that the stalk binding stimulates the catalysis of ribosome depurination by RTA. The mutated arginines have side chains behind the active site cleft, indicating that the ribosome binding surface of RTA is on the opposite side of the surface that interacts with the SRL. We propose that stalk binding stimulates the catalysis of ribosome depurination by orienting the active site of RTA toward the SRL and thereby allows docking of the target adenine into the active site. This model may apply to the translation factors that interact with the stalk.
Project description:The A1 subunits of Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1A1) and Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2A1) interact with the conserved C termini of ribosomal-stalk P-proteins to remove a specific adenine from the sarcin/ricin loop. We previously showed that Stx2A1 has higher affinity for the ribosome and higher catalytic activity than Stx1A1. To determine if conserved arginines at the distal face of the active site contribute to the higher affinity of Stx2A1 for the ribosome, we mutated Arg172, Arg176, and Arg179 in both toxins. We show that Arg172 and Arg176 are more important than Arg179 for the depurination activity and toxicity of Stx1A1 and Stx2A1. Mutation of a single arginine reduced the depurination activity of Stx1A1 more than that of Stx2A1. In contrast, mutation of at least two arginines was necessary to reduce depurination by Stx2A1 to a level similar to that of Stx1A1. R176A and R172A/R176A mutations eliminated interaction of Stx1A1 and Stx2A1 with ribosomes and with the stalk, while mutation of Arg170 at the active site reduced the binding affinity of Stx1A1 and Stx2A1 for the ribosome, but not for the stalk. These results demonstrate that conserved arginines at the distal face of the active site are critical for interactions of Stx1A1 and Stx2A1 with the stalk, while a conserved arginine at the active site is critical for non-stalk-specific interactions with the ribosome. Arginine mutations at either site reduced ribosome interactions of Stx1A1 and Stx2A1 similarly, indicating that conserved arginines are critical for ribosome interactions but do not contribute to the higher affinity of Stx2A1 for the ribosome.
Project description:Ricin A chain (RTA) depurinates the sarcin/ricin loop (SRL) by interacting with the C-termini of the ribosomal P stalk. The ribosome interaction site and the active site are located on opposite faces of RTA. The interaction with P proteins allows RTA to depurinate the SRL on the ribosome at physiological pH with an extremely high activity by orienting the active site towards the SRL. Therefore, if an inhibitor disrupts RTA?ribosome interaction by binding to the ribosome binding site of RTA, it should inhibit the depurination activity. To test this model, we synthesized peptides mimicking the last 3 to 11 amino acids of P proteins and examined their interaction with wild-type RTA and ribosome binding mutants by Biacore. We measured the inhibitory activity of these peptides on RTA-mediated depurination of yeast and rat liver ribosomes. We found that the peptides interacted with the ribosome binding site of RTA and inhibited depurination activity by disrupting RTA?ribosome interactions. The shortest peptide that could interact with RTA and inhibit its activity was four amino acids in length. RTA activity was inhibited by disrupting its interaction with the P stalk without targeting the active site, establishing the ribosome binding site as a new target for inhibitor discovery.
Project description:Ricin A-chain (RTA) and saporin-L1 (SAP) catalyze adenosine depurination of 28S rRNA to inhibit protein synthesis and cause cell death. We present the crystal structures of RTA and SAP in complex with transition state analogue inhibitors. These tight-binding inhibitors mimic the sarcin-ricin recognition loop of 28S rRNA and the dissociative ribocation transition state established for RTA catalysis. RTA and SAP share unique purine-binding geometry with quadruple pi-stacking interactions between adjacent adenine and guanine bases and 2 conserved tyrosines. An arginine at one end of the pi-stack provides cationic polarization and enhanced leaving group ability to the susceptible adenine. Common features of these ribosome-inactivating proteins include adenine leaving group activation, a remarkable lack of ribocation stabilization, and conserved glutamates as general bases for activation of the H(2)O nucleophile. Catalytic forces originate primarily from leaving group activation evident in both RTA and SAP in complex with transition state analogues.
Project description:Ricin undergoes retrograde transport to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and ricin toxin A chain (RTA) enters the cytosol from the ER. Previous reports indicated that RTA inhibits activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in yeast and in mammalian cells. Both precursor (preRTA) and mature form of RTA (mRTA) inhibited splicing of HAC1u (u for uninduced) mRNA, suggesting that UPR inhibition occurred on the cytosolic face of the ER. Here, we examined the role of ribosome binding and depurination activity on inhibition of the UPR using mRTA mutants. An active-site mutant with very low depurination activity, which bound ribosomes as WT RTA, did not inhibit HAC1u mRNA splicing. A ribosome-binding mutant, which showed reduced binding to ribosomes but retained depurination activity, inhibited HAC1u mRNA splicing. This mutant allowed separation of the UPR inhibition by RTA from cytotoxicity because it reduced the rate of depurination. The ribosome-binding mutant inhibited the UPR without affecting IRE1 oligomerization or cleavage of HAC1u mRNA at the splice site junctions. Inhibition of the UPR correlated with the depurination level, suggesting that ribosomes play a role in splicing of HAC1u mRNA. We show that HAC1u mRNA is associated with ribosomes and does not get processed on depurinated ribosomes, thereby inhibiting the UPR. These results demonstrate that RTA inhibits HAC1u mRNA splicing through its depurination activity on the ribosome without directly affecting IRE1 oligomerization or the splicing reaction and provide evidence that IRE1 recognizes HAC1u mRNA that is associated with ribosomes.
Project description:Ribosome inactivating proteins (RIPs) depurinate a universally conserved adenine in the ?-sarcin/ricin loop (SRL) and inhibit protein synthesis at the translation elongation step. We previously showed that ribosomal stalk is required for depurination of the SRL by ricin toxin A chain (RTA). The interaction between RTA and ribosomes was characterized by a two-step binding model, where the stalk structure could be considered as an important interacting element. Here, using purified yeast ribosomal stalk complexes assembled in vivo, we show a direct interaction between RTA and the isolated stalk complex. Detailed kinetic analysis of these interactions in real time using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) indicated that there is only one type of interaction between RTA and the ribosomal stalk, which represents one of the two binding steps of the interaction with ribosomes. Interactions of RTA with the isolated stalk were relatively insensitive to salt, indicating that nonelectrostatic interactions were dominant. We compared the interaction of RTA with the full pentameric stalk complex containing two pairs of P1/P2 proteins with its interaction with the trimeric stalk complexes containing only one pair of P1/P2 and found that the rate of association of RTA with the pentamer was higher than with either trimer. These results demonstrate that the stalk is the main landing platform for RTA on the ribosome and that pentameric organization of the stalk accelerates recruitment of RTA to the ribosome for depurination. Our results suggest that multiple copies of the stalk proteins might also increase the scavenging ability of the ribosome for the translational GTPases.
Project description:Ribosome inactivating proteins (RIPs) like ricin, pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP) and Shiga-like toxins 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2) share the same substrate, the alpha-sarcin/ricin loop, but differ in their specificities towards prokaryotic and eukaryotic ribosomes. Ricin depurinates the eukaryotic ribosomes more efficiently than the prokaryotic ribosomes, while PAP can depurinate both types of ribosomes. Accumulating evidence suggests that different docking sites on the ribosome might be used by different RIPs, providing a basis for understanding the mechanism underlying their kingdom specificity. Our previous results demonstrated that PAP binds to the ribosomal protein L3 to depurinate the alpha-sarcin/ricin loop and binding of PAP to L3 was critical for its cytotoxicity. Here, we used surface plasmon resonance to demonstrate that ricin toxin A chain (RTA) binds to the P1 and P2 proteins of the ribosomal stalk in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ribosomes from the P protein mutants were depurinated less than the wild-type ribosomes when treated with RTA in vitro. Ribosome depurination was reduced when RTA was expressed in the DeltaP1 and DeltaP2 mutants in vivo and these mutants were more resistant to the cytotoxicity of RTA than the wild-type cells. We further show that while RTA, Stx1 and Stx2 have similar requirements for ribosome depurination, PAP has different requirements, providing evidence that the interaction of RIPs with different ribosomal proteins is responsible for their ribosome specificity.
Project description:Ricin A-chain (RTA) depurinates the sarcin-ricin loop of 28S ribosomal RNA and inhibits protein synthesis in mammalian cells. In yeast, the ribosomal stalk facilitates the interaction of RTA with the ribosome and subsequent depurination. Despite homology between the stalk structures from yeast and humans, there are notable differences. The human ribosomal stalk contains two identical heterodimers of P1 and P2 bound to P0, whereas the yeast stalk consists of two different heterodimers, P1?-P2? and P2?-P1?, bound to P0. RTA exhibits higher activity towards mammalian ribosomes than towards ribosomes from other organisms, suggesting that the mode of interaction with ribosomes may vary. Here, we examined whether the human ribosomal stalk proteins facilitate the interaction of RTA with human ribosomes and subsequent depurination of the sarcin-ricin loop. Using small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of P1/P2 expression in human cells, we demonstrated that the depurination activity of RTA is lower when P1 and P2 levels are reduced. Biacore analysis showed that ribosomes from P1/P2-depleted cells have a reduced ability to bind RTA, which correlates with reduced depurination activity both in vitro and inside cells. RTA interacts directly with recombinant human P1-P2 dimer, further demonstrating the importance of human P1 and P2 in enabling RTA to bind and depurinate human ribosomes.