TrmD: A Methyl Transferase for tRNA Methylation With m1G37.
ABSTRACT: TrmD is an S-adenosyl methionine (AdoMet)-dependent methyl transferase that synthesizes the methylated m1G37 in tRNA. TrmD is specific to and essential for bacterial growth, and it is fundamentally distinct from its eukaryotic and archaeal counterpart Trm5. TrmD is unusual by using a topological protein knot to bind AdoMet. Despite its restricted mobility, the TrmD knot has complex dynamics necessary to transmit the signal of AdoMet binding to promote tRNA binding and methyl transfer. Mutations in the TrmD knot block this intramolecular signaling and decrease the synthesis of m1G37-tRNA, prompting ribosomes to +1-frameshifts and premature termination of protein synthesis. TrmD is unique among AdoMet-dependent methyl transferases in that it requires Mg2+ in the catalytic mechanism. This Mg2+ dependence is important for regulating Mg2+ transport to Salmonella for survival of the pathogen in the host cell. The strict conservation of TrmD among bacterial species suggests that a better characterization of its enzymology and biology will have a broad impact on our understanding of bacterial pathogenesis.
Project description:The enzyme tRNA(m1G37) methyl transferase catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl methionine (AdoMet) to the N1 position of G37, which is 3' to the anticodon sequence and whose modification is important for maintaining the reading frame fidelity. While the enzyme in bacteria is highly conserved and is encoded by the trmD gene, recent studies show that the counterpart of this enzyme in archaea and eukarya, encoded by the trm5 gene, is unrelated to trmD both in sequence and in structure. To further test this prediction, we seek to identify residues in the second class of tRNA(m1G37) methyl transferase that are required for catalysis. Such residues should provide mechanistic insights into the distinct structural origins of the two classes. Using the Trm5 enzyme of the archaeon Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (previously MJ0883) as an example, we have created mutants to test many conserved residues for their catalytic potential and substrate-binding capabilities with respect to both AdoMet and tRNA. We identified that the proline at position 267 (P267) is a critical residue for catalysis, because substitution of this residue severely decreases the kcat of the methylation reaction in steady-state kinetic analysis, and the k(chem) in single turnover kinetic analysis. However, substitution of P267 has milder effect on the Km and little effect on the Kd of either substrate. Because P267 has no functional side chain that can directly participate in the chemistry of methyl transfer, we suggest that its role in catalysis is to stabilize conformations of enzyme and substrates for proper alignment of reactive groups at the enzyme active site. Sequence analysis shows that P267 is embedded in a peptide motif that is conserved among the Trm5 family, but absent from the TrmD family, supporting the notion that the two families are descendants of unrelated protein structures.
Project description:Enzymes that use distinct active site structures to perform identical reactions are known as analogous enzymes. The isolation of analogous enzymes suggests the existence of multiple enzyme structural pathways that can catalyze the same chemical reaction. A fundamental question concerning analogous enzymes is whether their distinct active-site structures would confer the same or different kinetic constraints to the chemical reaction, particularly with respect to the control of enzyme turnover. Here, we address this question with the analogous enzymes of bacterial TrmD and its eukaryotic and archaeal counterpart Trm5. TrmD and Trm5 catalyze methyl transfer to synthesize the m1G37 base at the 3' position adjacent to the tRNA anticodon, using S-adenosyl methionine (AdoMet) as the methyl donor. TrmD features a trefoil-knot active-site structure whereas Trm5 features the Rossmann fold. Pre-steady-state analysis revealed that product synthesis by TrmD proceeds linearly with time, whereas that by Trm5 exhibits a rapid burst followed by a slower and linear increase with time. The burst kinetics of Trm5 suggests that product release is the rate-limiting step of the catalytic cycle, consistent with the observation of higher enzyme affinity to the products of tRNA and AdoMet. In contrast, the lack of burst kinetics of TrmD suggests that its turnover is controlled by a step required for product synthesis. Although TrmD exists as a homodimer, it showed half-of-the-sites reactivity for tRNA binding and product synthesis. The kinetic differences between TrmD and Trm5 are parallel with those between the two classes of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, which use distinct active site structures to catalyze tRNA aminoacylation. This parallel suggests that the findings have a fundamental importance for enzymes that catalyze both methyl and aminoacyl transfer to tRNA in the decoding process.
Project description:The deep trefoil knot architecture is unique to the SpoU and tRNA methyltransferase D (TrmD) (SPOUT) family of methyltransferases (MTases) in all three domains of life. In bacteria, TrmD catalyzes the N(1)-methylguanosine (m(1)G) modification at position 37 in transfer RNAs (tRNAs) with the (36)GG(37) sequence, using S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) as the methyl donor. The m(1)G37-modified tRNA functions properly to prevent +1 frameshift errors on the ribosome. Here we report the crystal structure of the TrmD homodimer in complex with a substrate tRNA and an AdoMet analog. Our structural analysis revealed the mechanism by which TrmD binds the substrate tRNA in an AdoMet-dependent manner. The trefoil-knot center, which is structurally conserved among SPOUT MTases, accommodates the adenosine moiety of AdoMet by loosening/retightening of the knot. The TrmD-specific regions surrounding the trefoil knot recognize the methionine moiety of AdoMet, and thereby establish the entire TrmD structure for global interactions with tRNA and sequential and specific accommodations of G37 and G36, resulting in the synthesis of m(1)G37-tRNA.
Project description:Proteins with knotted configurations, in comparison with unknotted proteins, are restricted in conformational space. Little is known regarding whether knotted proteins have sufficient dynamics to communicate between spatially separated substrate-binding sites. TrmD is a bacterial methyltransferase that uses a knotted protein fold to catalyze methyl transfer from S-adenosyl methionine (AdoMet) to G37-tRNA. The product, m1G37-tRNA, is essential for life and maintains protein-synthesis reading frames. Using an integrated approach of structural, kinetic, and computational analysis, we show that the structurally constrained TrmD knot is required for its catalytic activity. Unexpectedly, the TrmD knot undergoes complex internal movements that respond to AdoMet binding and signaling. Most of the signaling propagates the free energy of AdoMet binding, thereby stabilizing tRNA binding and allowing assembly of the active site. This work demonstrates new principles of knots as organized structures that capture the free energies of substrate binding and facilitate catalysis.
Project description:tRNA(m(1)G37)methyltransferase (TrmD) catalyzes the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L- methionine (AdoMet) to G(37) within a subset of bacterial tRNA species, which have a G residue at the 36th position. The modified guanosine is adjacent to and 3' of the anticodon and is essential for the maintenance of the correct reading frame during translation. Here we report four crystal structures of TrmD from Haemophilus influenzae, as binary complexes with either AdoMet or S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (AdoHcy), as a ternary complex with AdoHcy and phosphate, and as an apo form. This first structure of TrmD indicates that it functions as a dimer. It also suggests the binding mode of G(36)G(37) in the active site of TrmD and the catalytic mechanism. The N-terminal domain has a trefoil knot, in which AdoMet or AdoHcy is bound in a novel, bent conformation. The C-terminal domain shows structural similarity to trp repressor. We propose a plausible model for the TrmD(2)-tRNA(2) complex, which provides insights into recognition of the general tRNA structure by TrmD.
Project description:Bacterial TrmD and eukaryotic-archaeal Trm5 form a pair of analogous tRNA methyltransferase that catalyze methyl transfer from S-adenosyl methionine (AdoMet) to N(1) of G37, using catalytic motifs that share no sequence or structural homology. Here we show that natural and synthetic analogs of AdoMet are unable to distinguish TrmD from Trm5. Instead, fragments of AdoMet, adenosine and methionine, are selectively inhibitory of TrmD rather than Trm5. Detailed structural information of the two enzymes in complex with adenosine reveals how Trm5 escapes targeting by adopting an altered structure, whereas TrmD is trapped by targeting due to its rigid structure that stably accommodates the fragment. Free energy analysis exposes energetic disparities between the two enzymes in how they approach the binding of AdoMet versus fragments and provides insights into the design of inhibitors selective for TrmD.
Project description:Mycobacterium abscessus (Mab) is a rapidly growing species of multidrug-resistant nontuberculous mycobacteria that has emerged as a growing threat to individuals with cystic fibrosis and other pre-existing chronic lung diseases. Mab pulmonary infections are difficult, or sometimes impossible, to treat and result in accelerated lung function decline and premature death. There is therefore an urgent need to develop novel antibiotics with improved efficacy. tRNA (m1G37) methyltransferase (TrmD) is a promising target for novel antibiotics. It is essential in Mab and other mycobacteria, improving reading frame maintenance on the ribosome to prevent frameshift errors. In this work, a fragment-based approach was employed with the merging of two fragments bound to the active site, followed by structure-guided elaboration to design potent nanomolar inhibitors against Mab TrmD. Several of these compounds exhibit promising activity against mycobacterial species, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae in addition to Mab, supporting the use of TrmD as a target for the development of antimycobacterial compounds.
Project description:The tRNA modification m1G37, introduced by the tRNA methyltransferase TrmD, is thought to be essential for growth in bacteria because it suppresses translational frameshift errors at proline codons. However, because bacteria can tolerate high levels of mistranslation, it is unclear why loss of m1G37 is not tolerated. Here, we addressed this question through experimental evolution of trmD mutant strains of Escherichia coli. Surprisingly, trmD mutant strains were viable even if the m1G37 modification was completely abolished, and showed rapid recovery of growth rate, mainly via duplication or mutation of the proline-tRNA ligase gene proS. Growth assays and in vitro aminoacylation assays showed that G37-unmodified tRNAPro is aminoacylated less efficiently than m1G37-modified tRNAPro, and that growth of trmD mutant strains can be largely restored by single mutations in proS that restore aminoacylation of G37-unmodified tRNAPro. These results show that inefficient aminoacylation of tRNAPro is the main reason for growth defects observed in trmD mutant strains and that proS may act as a gatekeeper of translational accuracy, preventing the use of error-prone unmodified tRNAPro in translation. Our work shows the utility of experimental evolution for uncovering the hidden functions of essential genes and has implications for the development of antibiotics targeting TrmD.
Project description:Trm5 is a eukaryal and archaeal tRNA methyltransferase that catalyzes methyl transfer from S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) to the N(1) position of G37 directly 3' to the anticodon. While the biological role of m(1)G37 in enhancing translational fidelity is well established, the catalytic mechanism of Trm5 has remained obscure. To address the mechanism of Trm5 and more broadly the mechanism of N-methylation to nucleobases, we examined the pH-activity profile of an archaeal Trm5 enzyme, and performed structure-guided mutational analysis. The data reveal a marked dependence of enzyme-catalyzed methyl transfer on hydrogen ion equilibria: the single-turnover rate constant for methylation increases by one order of magnitude from pH 6.0 to reach a plateau at pH 7.0. This suggests a mechanism involving proton transfer from G37 as the key element in catalysis. Consideration of the kinetic data in light of the Trm5-tRNA-AdoMet ternary cocrystal structure, determined in a precatalytic conformation, suggests that proton transfer is associated with an induced fit rearrangement of the complex that precedes formation of the reactive configuration in the active site. Key roles for the conserved R145 side chain in stabilizing a proposed oxyanion at G37-O(6), and for E185 as a general base to accept the proton from G37-N(1), are suggested based on the mutational analysis.
Project description:The tRNA (m1G37) methyltransferase TrmD catalyzes m1G formation at position 37 in many tRNA isoacceptors and is essential in most bacteria, which positions it as a target for antibiotic development. In spite of its crucial role, little is known about TrmD in Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PaTrmD), an important human pathogen. Here we present detailed structural, substrate, and kinetic properties of PaTrmD. The mass spectrometric analysis confirmed the G36G37-containing tRNAs Leu(GAG), Leu(CAG), Leu(UAG), Pro(GGG), Pro(UGG), Pro(CGG), and His(GUG) as PaTrmD substrates. Analysis of steady-state kinetics with S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) and tRNALeu(GAG) showed that PaTrmD catalyzes the two-substrate reaction by way of a ternary complex, while isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that SAM and tRNALeu(GAG) bind to PaTrmD independently, each with a dissociation constant of 14 ± 3 µM. Inhibition by the SAM analog sinefungin was competitive with respect to SAM (K i = 0.41 ± 0.07 µM) and uncompetitive for tRNA (K i = 6.4 ± 0.8 µM). A set of crystal structures of the homodimeric PaTrmD protein bound to SAM and sinefungin provide the molecular basis for enzyme competitive inhibition and identify the location of the bound divalent ion. These results provide insights into PaTrmD as a potential target for the development of antibiotics.