Dynamics-Derived Insights into Complex Formation between the CXCL8 Monomer and CXCR1 N-Terminal Domain: An NMR Study.
ABSTRACT: Interleukin-8 (CXCL8), a potent neutrophil-activating chemokine, exerts its function by activating the CXCR1 receptor that belongs to class A G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Receptor activation involves interactions between the CXCL8 N-terminal loop and CXCR1 N-terminal domain (N-domain) residues (Site-I) and between the CXCL8 N-terminal and CXCR1 extracellular/transmembrane residues (Site-II). CXCL8 exists in equilibrium between monomers and dimers, and it is known that the monomer binds CXCR1 with much higher affinity and that Site-I interactions are largely responsible for the differences in monomer vs. dimer affinity. Here, using backbone 15N-relaxation nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data, we characterized the dynamic properties of the CXCL8 monomer and the CXCR1 N-domain in the free and bound states. The main chain of CXCL8 appears largely rigid on the picosecond time scale as evident from high order parameters (S²). However, on average, S² are higher in the bound state. Interestingly, several residues show millisecond-microsecond (ms-?s) dynamics only in the bound state. The CXCR1 N-domain is unstructured in the free state but structured with significant dynamics in the bound state. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) data indicate that both enthalpic and entropic factors contribute to affinity, suggesting that increased slow dynamics in the bound state contribute to affinity. In sum, our data indicate a critical and complex role for dynamics in driving CXCL8 monomer-CXCR1 Site-I interactions.
Project description:Chemokine CXCL8 and its receptor CXCR1 are key mediators in combating infection and have also been implicated in the pathophysiology of various diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer. CXCL8 exists as monomers and dimers but monomer alone binds CXCR1 with high affinity. CXCL8 function involves binding two distinct CXCR1 sites - the N-terminal domain (Site-I) and the extracellular/transmembrane domain (Site-II). Therefore, higher monomer affinity could be due to stronger binding at Site-I or Site-II or both. We have now characterized the binding of a human CXCR1 N-terminal domain peptide (hCXCR1Ndp) to WT CXCL8 under conditions where it exists as both monomers and dimers. We show that the WT monomer binds the CXCR1 N-domain with much higher affinity and that binding is coupled to dimer dissociation. We also characterized the binding of two CXCL8 monomer variants and a trapped dimer to two different hCXCR1Ndp constructs, and observe that the monomer binds with ?10- to 100-fold higher affinity than the dimer. Our studies also show that the binding constants of monomer and dimer to the receptor peptides, and the dimer dissociation constant, can vary significantly as a function of pH and buffer, and so the ability to observe WT monomer peaks is critically dependent on NMR experimental conditions. We conclude that the monomer is the high affinity CXCR1 agonist, that Site-I interactions play a dominant role in determining monomer vs. dimer affinity, and that the dimer plays an indirect role in regulating monomer function.
Project description:Chemokine CXCL8 plays a pivotal role in host immune response by recruiting neutrophils to the infection site. CXCL8 exists as monomers and dimers, and mediates recruitment by interacting with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and activating CXCR1 and CXCR2 receptors. How CXCL8 monomer and dimer interactions with both receptors and GAGs mediate trafficking is poorly understood. In particular, both haptotactic (mediated by GAG-bound chemokine) and chemotactic (mediated by soluble chemokine) gradients have been implicated, and whether it is the free or the GAG-bound CXCL8 monomer and/or dimer that activates the receptor remains unknown. Using solution NMR spectroscopy, we have now characterized the binding of heparin-bound CXCL8 monomer and dimer to CXCR1 and CXCR2 receptor N-domains. Our data provide compelling evidence that heparin-bound monomers and dimers are unable to bind either of the receptors. Cellular assays also indicate that heparin-bound CXCL8 is impaired for receptor activity. Considering dimer binds GAGs with higher affinity, dimers will exist predominantly in the GAG-bound form and the monomer in the free form. We conclude that GAG interactions determine the levels of free CXCL8, and that it is the free, and not GAG-bound, CXCL8 that activates the receptors and mediates recruitment of blood neutrophils to the infected tissue.
Project description:All chemokines share a common structural scaffold that mediate a remarkable variety of functions from immune surveillance to organogenesis. Chemokines are classified as CXC or CC on the basis of conserved cysteines, and the two subclasses bind distinct sets of GPCR class of receptors and also have markedly different quaternary structures, suggesting that the CXC/CC motif plays a prominent role in both structure and function. For both classes, receptor activation involves interactions between chemokine N-loop and receptor N-domain residues (Site-I), and between chemokine N-terminal and receptor extracellular/transmembrane residues (Site-II). We engineered a CC variant (labeled as CC-CXCL8) of the chemokine CXCL8 by deleting residue X (CXC ? CC), and found its structure is essentially similar to WT. In stark contrast, CC-CXCL8 bound poorly to its cognate receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2 (K(i) > 1 ?m). Further, CC-CXCL8 failed to mobilize Ca(2+) in CXCR2-expressing HL-60 cells or recruit neutrophils in a mouse lung model. However, most interestingly, CC-CXCL8 mobilizes Ca(2+) in neutrophils and in CXCR1-expressing HL-60 cells. Compared with the WT, CC-CXCL8 binds CXCR1 N-domain with only ?5-fold lower affinity indicating that the weak binding to intact CXCR1 must be due to its weak binding at Site-II. Nevertheless, this level of binding is sufficient for receptor activation indicating that affinity and activity are separable functions. We propose that the CXC motif functions as a conformational switch that couples Site-I and Site-II interactions for both receptors, and that this coupling is critical for high affinity binding but differentially regulates activation.
Project description:The human chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8; CXCL8) is a key mediator of innate immune and inflammatory responses. This small, soluble protein triggers a host of biological effects upon binding and activating CXCR1, a G protein-coupled receptor, located in the cell membrane of neutrophils. Here, we describe 1H-detected magic angle spinning solid-state NMR studies of monomeric IL-8 (1-66) bound to full-length and truncated constructs of CXCR1 in phospholipid bilayers under physiological conditions. Cross-polarization experiments demonstrate that most backbone amide sites of IL-8 (1-66) are immobilized and that their chemical shifts are perturbed upon binding to CXCR1, demonstrating that the dynamics and environments of chemokine residues are affected by interactions with the chemokine receptor. Comparisons of spectra of IL-8 (1-66) bound to full-length CXCR1 (1-350) and to N-terminal truncated construct NT-CXCR1 (39-350) identify specific chemokine residues involved in interactions with binding sites associated with N-terminal residues (binding site-I) and extracellular loop and helical residues (binding site-II) of the receptor. Intermolecular paramagnetic relaxation enhancement broadening of IL-8 (1-66) signals results from interactions of the chemokine with CXCR1 (1-350) containing Mn2+ chelated to an unnatural amino acid assists in the characterization of the receptor-bound form of the chemokine.
Project description:Chemokines are unusual class-A G protein-coupled receptor agonists because of their large size (?10 kDa) and binding at two distinct receptor sites: N-terminal domain (Site-I, unique to chemokines) and a groove defined by extracellular loop/transmembrane helices (Site-II, shared with all small molecule class-A ligands). Structures and sequence analysis reveal that the receptor N-terminal domains (N-domains) are flexible and contain intrinsic disorder. Using a hybrid NMR-MD approach, we characterized the role of Site-I interactions for the CXCL8-CXCR1 pair. NMR data indicate that the CXCR1 N-domain becomes structured on binding and that the binding interface is extensive with 30% CXCL8 residues participating in this initial interaction. MD simulations indicate that CXCL8 bound at Site-I undergoes extensive reorganization on engaging Site-II with several residues initially engaged at Site-I also engaging at Site-II. We conclude that structural plasticity of Site-I interactions plays an active role in driving ligand recognition by a chemokine receptor.
Project description:Interleukin-8 (IL-8 or CXCL8) plays a critical role in orchestrating the immune response by binding and activating the receptor CXCR1 that belongs to the GPCR class. IL-8 exists as both monomers and dimers, and both bind CXCR1 but with differential affinities. It is well established that the monomer is the high-affinity ligand and that the interactions between the ligand N-loop and receptor N-domain play a critical role in determining binding affinity. In order to characterize the structural basis of differential binding of the IL-8 monomer and dimer to the CXCR1 N-domain, we analyzed binding-induced NMR chemical shift and peak intensity changes and show that they are exquisitely sensitive and can provide detailed insights into the binding process. We used three IL-8 variants, a designed monomer, a trapped disulfide-linked dimer, and WT at dimeric concentrations. NMR data for the monomer show that nonsequential residues that span the entire N-loop are involved in the binding process and that the binding is mediated by a network of extensive direct and indirect coupled interactions. Interestingly, in the case of WT, binding induces dissociation of the dimer-receptor complex to the monomer-receptor complex, and in the case of the trapped dimer, binding results in increased global conformational flexibility. Increased dynamics is evidence of unfavorable interactions, indicating that binding of the WT dimer triggers conformational changes that disrupt dimer-interface interactions, resulting in its dissociation. These results together provide evidence that binding is not a localized event but results in extensive coupled interactions within the monomer and across the dimer interface and that these interactions play a fundamental role in determining binding affinity.
Project description:Interleukin-8 (IL-8), a member of the chemokine superfamily, exists as both monomers and dimers, and mediates its function by binding to neutrophil CXCR1 and CXCR2 receptors that belong to the G protein-coupled receptor class. It is now well established that the monomer functions as a high-affinity ligand, but the binding affinity of the dimer remains controversial. The approximately 1000-fold difference between monomer-dimer equilibrium constant (microM) and receptor binding constant (nM) of IL-8 does not allow receptor-binding affinity measurements of the native IL-8 dimer. In this study, we overcame this roadblock by creating a "trapped" nondissociating dimer that contains a disulfide bond across the dimer interface at the 2-fold symmetry point. The NMR studies show that the structure of this trapped dimer is indistinguishable from the native dimer. The trapped dimer, compared to a trapped monomer, bound CXCR1 with approximately 70-fold and CXCR2 with approximately 20-fold lower affinities. Receptor binding involves two interactions, between the IL-8 N-loop and receptor N-domain residues, and between IL-8 N-terminal and receptor extracellular loop residues. In contrast to a trapped monomer that bound an isolated CXCR1 N-domain peptide with microM affinity, the trapped dimer failed to show any binding, indicating that dimerization predominantly perturbs the binding of only the N-loop residues. These results demonstrate that only the monomer is a high-affinity ligand for both receptors, and also provide a structural basis for the lower binding affinity of the dimer.
Project description:Interleukin-8 (CXCL8, IL-8) is a proinflammatory chemokine important for the regulation of inflammatory and immune responses via its interaction with G-protein coupled receptors, including CXC receptor 1 (CXCR1). CXCL8 exists as both a monomer and as a dimer at physiological concentrations, yet the molecular basis of CXCL8 interaction with its receptor as well as the importance of CXCL8 dimer formation remain poorly characterized. Although several biological studies have indicated that both the CXCL8 monomer and dimer are active, biophysical studies have reported conflicting results regarding the binding of CXCL8 to CXCR1. To clarify this problem, we expressed and purified a peptide (hCXCR1pep) corresponding to the N-terminal region of human CXCR1 (hCXCR1) and utilized nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to interrogate the binding of wild-type CXCL8 and a previously reported mutant (CXCL8M) that stabilizes the monomeric form. Our data reveal that the CXCL8 monomer engages hCXCR1pep with a slightly higher affinity than the CXCL8 dimer, but that the CXCL8 dimer does not dissociate upon binding hCXCR1pep. These investigations also showed that CXCL8 is dynamic on multiple timescales, which may help explain the versatility in this interleukin for engaging its target receptors.
Project description:Chemokines, a large family of highly versatile small soluble proteins, play crucial roles in defining innate and adaptive immune responses by regulating the trafficking of leukocytes, and also play a key role in various aspects of human physiology. Chemokines share the characteristic feature of reversibly existing as monomers and dimers, and their functional response is intimately coupled to interaction with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Currently, nothing is known regarding the structural basis or molecular mechanisms underlying CXCL5-GAG interactions. To address this missing knowledge, we characterized the interaction of a panel of heparin oligosaccharides to CXCL5 using solution NMR, isothermal titration calorimetry, and molecular dynamics simulations. NMR studies indicated that the dimer is the high-affinity GAG binding ligand and that lysine residues from the N-loop, 40s turn, ?3 strand, and C-terminal helix mediate binding. Isothermal titration calorimetry indicated a stoichiometry of two oligosaccharides per CXCL5 dimer. NMR-based structural models reveal that these residues form a contiguous surface within a monomer and, interestingly, that the GAG-binding domain overlaps with the receptor-binding domain, indicating that a GAG-bound chemokine cannot activate the receptor. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the roles of the individual lysines are not equivalent and that helical lysines play a more prominent role in determining binding geometry and affinity. Further, binding interactions and GAG geometry in CXCL5 are novel and distinctly different compared with the related chemokines CXCL1 and CXCL8. We conclude that a finely tuned balance between the GAG-bound dimer and free soluble monomer regulates CXCL5-mediated receptor signaling and function.
Project description:The CXCL1/CXCR2 axis plays a crucial role in recruiting neutrophils in response to microbial infection and tissue injury, and dysfunction in this process has been implicated in various inflammatory diseases. Chemokines exist as monomers and dimers, and compelling evidence now exists that both forms regulate in vivo function. Therefore, knowledge of the receptor activities of both CXCL1 monomer and dimer is essential to describe the molecular mechanisms by which they orchestrate neutrophil function. The monomer-dimer equilibrium constant (~20 ?m) and the CXCR2 binding constant (1 nm) indicate that WT CXCL1 is active as a monomer. To characterize dimer activity, we generated a trapped dimer by introducing a disulfide across the dimer interface. This disulfide-linked CXCL1 dimer binds CXCR2 with nanomolar affinity and shows potent agonist activity in various cellular assays. We also compared the receptor binding mechanism of this dimer with that of a CXCL1 monomer, generated by deleting the C-terminal residues that stabilize the dimer interface. We observe that the binding interactions of the dimer and monomer to the CXCR2 N-terminal domain, which plays an important role in determining affinity and activity, are essentially conserved. The potent activity of the CXCL1 dimer is novel: dimers of the CC chemokines CCL2 and CCL4 are inactive, and the dimer of the CXC chemokine CXCL8 (which is closely related to CXCL1) is marginally active for CXCR1 but shows variable activity for CXCR2. We conclude that large differences in dimer activity among different chemokine-receptor pairs have evolved for fine-tuned leukocyte function.