Molecular aspects of biogenesis of Escherichia coli Dr Fimbriae: characterization of DraB-DraE complexes.
ABSTRACT: The Dr hemagglutinin of uropathogenic Escherichia coli is a fimbrial homopolymer of DraE subunits encoded by the dra operon. The dra operon includes the draB and draC genes, whose products exhibit homology to chaperone-usher proteins involved in the biogenesis of surface-located polymeric structures. DraB is one of the periplasmic proteins belonging to the superfamily of PapD-like chaperones. It possesses two conserved cysteine residues characteristic of the FGL subfamily of Caf1M-like chaperones. In this study we obtained evidence that DraB cysteines form a disulfide bond in a mature chaperone and have the crucial function of forming the DraB-DraE binary complex. Expression experiments showed that the DraB protein is indispensable in the folding of the DraE subunit to a form capable of polymerization. Accumulation of DraB-DraE(n) oligomers, composed of head-to-tail subunits and the chaperone DraB, was observed in the periplasm of a recombinant E. coli strain which expressed DraB and DraE (but not DraC). To investigate the donor strand exchange mechanism during the formation of DraE oligomers, we constructed a series of DraE N-terminal deletion mutants. Deletion of the first three N-terminal residues of a potential donor strand resulted in a DraE protein lacking an oligomerization function. In vitro data showed that the DraE disulfide bond was not needed to form a binary complex with the DraB chaperone but was essential in the polymerization process. Our data suggest that assembly of Dr fimbriae requires a chaperone-usher pathway and the donor strand exchange mechanism.
Project description:Dr fimbriae are homopolymeric adhesive organelles of uropathogenic Escherichia coli composed of DraE subunits, responsible for the attachment to host cells. These structures are characterized by enormously high stability resulting from the structural properties of an Ig-like fold of DraE. One feature of DraE and other fimbrial subunits that makes them peculiar among Ig-like domain-containing proteins is a conserved disulfide bond that joins their A and B strands. Here, we investigated how this disulfide bond affects the stability and folding/unfolding pathway of DraE. We found that the disulfide bond stabilizes self-complemented DraE (DraE-sc) by ?50 kJ mol-1 in an exclusively thermodynamic manner, i.e. by lowering the free energy of the native state and with almost no effect on the free energy of the transition state. This finding was confirmed by experimentally determined folding and unfolding rate constants of DraE-sc and a disulfide bond-lacking DraE-sc variant. Although the folding of both proteins exhibited similar kinetics, the unfolding rate constant changed upon deletion of the disulfide bond by 10 orders of magnitude, from ?10-17 s-1 to 10-7 s-1 Molecular simulations revealed that unfolding of the disulfide bond-lacking variant is initiated by strands A or G and that disulfide bond-mediated joining of strand A to the core strand B cooperatively stabilizes the whole protein. We also show that the disulfide bond in DraE is recognized by the DraB chaperone, indicating a mechanism that precludes the incorporation of less stable, non-oxidized DraE forms into the fimbriae.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The global spread of bacterial resistance has given rise to a growing interest in new anti-bacterial agents with a new strategy of action. Pilicides are derivatives of ring-fused 2-pyridones which block the formation of the pili/fimbriae crucial to bacterial pathogenesis. They impair by means of a chaperone-usher pathway conserved in the Gram-negative bacteria of adhesive structures biogenesis. Pili/fimbriae of this type belong to two subfamilies, FGS and FGL, which differ in the details of their assembly mechanism. The data published to date have shown that pilicides inhibit biogenesis of type 1 and P pili of the FGS type which are encoded by uropathogenic E. coli strains. RESULTS: We evaluated the anti-bacterial activity of literature pilicides as blockers of the assembly of a model example of FGL-type adhesive structures--the Dr fimbriae encoded by a dra gene cluster of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains. In comparison to the strain grown without pilicide, the Dr? bacteria cultivated in the presence of the 3.5 mM concentration of pilicides resulted in a reduction of 75 to 87% in the adherence properties to CHO cells expressing Dr fimbrial DAF receptor protein. Using quantitative assays, we determined the amount of Dr fimbriae in the bacteria cultivated in the presence of 3.5 mM of pilicides to be reduced by 75 to 81%. The inhibition effect of pilicides is concentration dependent, which is a crucial property for their use as potential anti-bacterial agents. The data presented in this article indicate that pilicides in mM concentration effectively inhibit the adherence of Dr? bacteria to the host cells--the crucial, initial step in bacterial pathogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: Structural analysis of the DraB chaperone clearly showed it to be a model of the FGL subfamily of chaperones. This permits us to conclude that analyzed pilicides in mM concentration are effective inhibitors of the assembly of adhesins belonging to the Dr family, and more speculatively, of other FGL-type adhesive organelles. The presented data and those published so far permit to speculate that based on the conservation of chaperone-usher pathway in Gram-negative bacteria , the pilicides are potential anti-bacterial agents with activity against numerous pathogens, the virulence of which is dependent on the adhesive structures of the chaperone-usher type.
Project description:Adhesive pili are external component of fibrous adhesive organelles and help bacteria attach to biotic or abiotic surfaces. The biogenesis of adhesive pili via the chaperone-usher pathway (CUP) is independent of external energy sources. In the classical CUP, chaperones transport assembly-competent pilins in a folded but expanded conformation. During donor-strand exchange, pilins subsequently collapse, producing a tightly packed hydrophobic core and releasing the necessary free energy to drive fiber formation. Here, we show that pilus biogenesis in non-classical, archaic, and alternative CUPs uses a different source of conformational energy. High-resolution structures of the archaic Csu-pili system from Acinetobacter baumannii revealed that non-classical chaperones employ a short donor strand motif that is insufficient to fully complement the pilin fold. This results in chaperone-bound pilins being trapped in a substantially unfolded intermediate. The exchange of this short motif with the longer donor strand from adjacent pilin provides the full steric information essential for folding, and thereby induces a large unfolded-to-folded conformational transition to drive assembly. Our findings may inform the development of anti-adhesion drugs (pilicides) to combat bacterial infections.
Project description:Gram-negative pathogens express fibrous adhesive organelles that mediate targeting to sites of infection. The major class of these organelles is assembled via the classical, alternative and archaic chaperone-usher pathways. Although non-classical systems share a wider phylogenetic distribution and are associated with a range of diseases, little is known about their assembly mechanisms. Here we report atomic-resolution insight into the structure and biogenesis of Acinetobacter baumannii Csu and Escherichia coli ECP biofilm-mediating pili. We show that the two non-classical systems are structurally related, but their assembly mechanism is strikingly different from the classical assembly pathway. Non-classical chaperones, unlike their classical counterparts, maintain subunits in a substantially disordered conformational state, akin to a molten globule. This is achieved by a unique binding mechanism involving the register-shifted donor strand complementation and a different subunit carboxylate anchor. The subunit lacks the classical pre-folded initiation site for donor strand exchange, suggesting that recognition of its exposed hydrophobic core starts the assembly process and provides fresh inspiration for the design of inhibitors targeting chaperone-usher systems.
Project description:BACKGROUND: DraD invasin encoded by the dra operon possesses a classical structure characteristic to fimbrial subunits of the chaperone/usher type. The Ig-fold of the DraD possesses two major characteristics distinguishing it from the family of fimbrial subunits: 1) a distortion of the β-barrel structure in the region of the acceptor cleft, demonstrated by a disturbance of the main-chain hydrogen bonds network, and 2) an unusually located disulfide bond connecting B and F strands - the localization exclusively observed in the subfamily of DraD/AfaD-type subunits. RESULTS: To evaluate the influence of the DraD-sc specific structural features on its stability and mechanism of thermal denaturation, a series of DSC and FT-IR denaturation experiments were performed giving following conclusions. 1) The DraD-sc is characterized by a low stability (standard Gibbs free energy and enthalpy of unfolding of 18.4 ±1.4 kJ mol(-1) and 131 ±25 kJ mol(-1), respectively) that contrasts strongly with almost infinite stability of the described previously DraE-sc fimbrial protein. 2) The DraD-sc unfolds thermally according to the two state equilibrium model, in contrast to the irreversible kinetically controlled transition of the DraE-sc. 3) The DraD specific disulfide bond is crucial at the folding stage and has little stability effect in the mature protein. CONCLUSIONS: Data published so far emphasize unique biological properties of the DraD invasin as fimbrial subunit: a chaperone independent folding, an usher independent surface localization and the possibility to exist in two forms: as unbound subunits and as loosely bound at fimbrial tip.Presented calorimetric and FT-IR stability data combined with structural correlations has underlined that the DraD invasin is also characterized by unique physicochemical and structural attributes in the context of its belonging to the family of fimbrial subunits.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The chaperone/usher pathway is used by Gram-negative bacteria to assemble adhesive surface structures known as pili or fimbriae. Uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli use this pathway to assemble P and type 1 pili, which facilitate colonization of the kidney and bladder, respectively. Pilus assembly requires a periplasmic chaperone and outer membrane protein termed the usher. The chaperone allows folding of pilus subunits and escorts the subunits to the usher for polymerization into pili and secretion to the cell surface. Based on previous structures of mutant versions of the P pilus chaperone PapD, it was suggested that the chaperone dimerizes in the periplasm as a self-capping mechanism. Such dimerization is counterintuitive because the chaperone G1 strand, important for chaperone-subunit interaction, is buried at the dimer interface. Here, we show that the wild-type PapD chaperone also forms a dimer in the crystal lattice; however, the dimer interface is different from the previously solved structures. In contrast to the crystal structures, we found that both PapD and the type 1 pilus chaperone, FimC, are monomeric in solution. Our findings indicate that pilus chaperones do not sequester their G1 ?-strand by forming a dimer. Instead, the chaperones may expose their G1 strand for facile interaction with pilus subunits. We also found that the type 1 pilus adhesin, FimH, is flexible in solution while in complex with its chaperone, whereas the P pilus adhesin, PapGII, is rigid. Our study clarifies a crucial step in pilus biogenesis and reveals pilus-specific differences that may relate to biological function. IMPORTANCE:Pili are critical virulence factors for many bacterial pathogens. Uropathogenic E. coli relies on P and type 1 pili assembled by the chaperone/usher pathway to adhere to the urinary tract and establish infection. Studying pilus assembly is important for understanding mechanisms of protein secretion, as well as for identifying points for therapeutic intervention. Pilus biogenesis is a multistep process. This work investigates the oligomeric state of the pilus chaperone in the periplasm, which is important for understanding early assembly events. Our work unambiguously demonstrates that both PapD and FimC chaperones are monomeric in solution. We further demonstrate that the solution behavior of the FimH and PapGII adhesins differ, which may be related to functional differences between the two pilus systems.
Project description:Fimbriae and pili are macromolecular structures on the surface of Gram negative bacteria that are important for cellular adhesion. A 2.7Å resolution crystal structure of a complex of Escherichia coli fimbrial proteins containing FimH, FimG, FimF, and FimC provides the most complete model to date for the arrangement of subunits assembled in the native structure. The first three proteins form the tip of the fimbriae while FimC is the chaperone protein involved in the usher/chaperone assembly process. The subunits interact through donor strand complementation where a ?-strand from a subunit completes the ?-sandwich structure of the neighboring subunit or domain closer to the tip of the fimbria. The function of FimC is to provide a surrogate donor strand before delivery of each subunit to the FimD usher and the growing fimbria. Comparison of the subunits in this structure and their chaperone-bound complexes show that the two FimH domains change their relative orientation and position in forming the tip structure. Also, the non-chaperone subunits undergo a conformational change in their first ?-strand when the chaperone is replaced by the native donor strand. Some residues move as much as 14Å in the process. This structural shift has not been noted in structural studies of other bacterial adhesion sub-structures assembled via donor strand complementation. The domains undergo a significant structural change in the donor strand binding groove during fimbrial assembly, and this likely plays a role in determining the specificity of subunit-subunit interactions among the fimbrial proteins.
Project description:The chaperone-usher pathway directs the formation of adhesive surface fibres in numerous pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria. The fibres or pili consist exclusively of protein subunits that, before assembly, form transient complexes with a chaperone in the periplasm. In these chaperone:subunit complexes, the chaperone donates one beta-strand to complete the imperfect immunoglobulin-like fold of the subunit. During pilus assembly, the chaperone is replaced by a polypeptide extension of another subunit in a process termed 'donor strand exchange' (DSE). Here we show that DSE occurs in a concerted reaction in which a chaperone-bound acceptor subunit is attacked by another chaperone-bound donor subunit. We provide evidence that efficient DSE requires interactions between the reacting subunits in addition to those involving the attacking donor strand. Our results indicate that the pilus assembly platforms in the outer membrane, referred to as ushers, catalyse fibre formation by increasing the effective concentrations of donor and acceptor subunits.
Project description:P pili are important adhesive fibres that are assembled by the conserved chaperone-usher pathway. During pilus assembly, the subunits are incorporated into the growing fibre by the donor-strand exchange mechanism, whereby the beta-strand of the chaperone, which complements the incomplete immunoglobulin fold of each subunit, is displaced by the amino-terminal extension of an incoming subunit in a zip-in-zip-out exchange process that is initiated at the P5 pocket, an exposed hydrophobic pocket in the groove of the subunit. In vivo, termination of P pilus growth requires a specialized subunit, PapH. Here, we show that PapH is incorporated at the base of the growing pilus, where it is unable to undergo donor-strand exchange. This inability is not due to a stronger PapD-PapH interaction, but to a lack of a P5 initiator pocket in the PapH structure, suggesting that PapH terminates pilus growth because it is lacking the initiation point by which donor-strand exchange proceeds.
Project description:P pili are hair-like adhesive structures that are assembled on the outer membrane (OM) of uropathogenic Escherichia coli by the chaperone-usher pathway. In this pathway, chaperone-subunit complexes are formed in the periplasm and targeted to an OM assembly platform, the usher. Pilus subunits display a large groove caused by a missing β-strand which, in the chaperone-subunit complex, is provided by the chaperone. At the usher, pilus subunits are assembled in a mechanism termed "donor-strand exchange (DSE)" whereby the β-strand provided by the chaperone is exchanged by the incoming subunit's N-terminal extension (Nte). This occurs in a zip-in-zip-out fashion, starting with a defined residue, P5, in the Nte inserting into a defined site in the groove, the P5 pocket. Here, electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) has been used to measure DSE rates in vitro. Second order rate constants between the chaperone-subunit complex and a range of Nte peptides substituted at different residues confirmed the importance of the P5 residue of the Nte in determining the rate of DSE. In addition, residues either side of the P5 residue (P5 + 1 and P5 - 1), the side-chains of which are directed away from the subunit groove, also modulate the rates of DSE, most likely by aiding the docking of the Nte into the P5 pocket on the accepting subunit prior to DSE. The ESI-MS approach developed is applicable to the measurement of rates of DSE in pilus biogenesis in general and demonstrates the scope of ESI-MS in determining biomolecular processes in molecular detail.