A structural and functional analysis of the glycosyltransferase BshA from Staphylococcus aureus: Insights into the reaction mechanism and regulation of bacillithiol production.
ABSTRACT: Bacillithiol is a glucosamine-derived antioxidant found in several pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria. The compound is involved in maintaining the appropriate redox state within the cell as well as detoxifying foreign agents like the antibiotic fosfomycin. Bacillithiol is produced via the action of three enzymes, including BshA, a retaining GT-B glycosyltransferase that utilizes UDP-N-acetylglucosamine and l-malate to produce N-acetylglucosaminyl-malate. Recent studies suggest that retaining GT-B glycosyltransferases like BshA utilize a substrate-assisted mechanism that goes through an SN i-like transition state. In a previous study, we relied on X-ray crystallography as well as computational simulations to hypothesize the manner in which substrates would bind the enzyme, but several questions about substrate binding and the role of one of the amino acid residues persisted. Another study demonstrated that BshA might be subject to feedback inhibition by bacillithiol, but this phenomenon was not analyzed further to determine the exact mechanism of inhibition. Here we present X-ray crystallographic structures and steady-state kinetics results that help elucidate both of these issues. Our ligand-bound crystal structures demonstrate that the active site provides an appropriate steric and geometric arrangement of ligands to facilitate the substrate-assisted mechanism. Finally, we show that bacillithiol is competitive for UDP-N-acetylglucosamine with a Ki value near 120-130??M and likely binds within the BshA active site, suggesting that bacillithiol modulates BshA activity via feedback inhibition. The work presented here furthers our understanding of bacillithiol metabolism and can aid in the development of inhibitors to counteract resistance to antibiotics such as fosfomycin.
Project description:Bacillithiol is a compound produced by several Gram-positive bacterial species, including the human pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus anthracis. It is involved in maintaining cellular redox balance as well as the destruction of reactive oxygen species and harmful xenobiotic agents, including the antibiotic fosfomycin. BshA, BshB, and BshC are the enzymes involved in bacillithiol biosynthesis. BshA is a retaining glycosyltransferase responsible for the first committed step in bacillithiol production, namely the addition of N-acetylglucosamine to l-malate. Retaining glycosyltransferases like BshA are proposed to utilize an SNi-like reaction mechanism in which leaving group departure and nucleophilic attack occur on the same face of the hexose. However, significant questions regarding the details of how BshA and similar enzymes accommodate their substrates and facilitate catalysis persist. Here we report X-ray crystallographic structures of BshA from Bacillus subtilis 168 bound with UMP and/or GlcNAc-mal at resolutions of 2.15 and 2.02 Å, respectively. These ligand-bound structures, along with our functional and computational studies, provide clearer insight into how BshA and other retaining GT-B glycosyltransferases operate, corroborating the substrate-assisted, SNi-like reaction mechanism. The analyses presented herein can serve as the basis for the design of inhibitors capable of preventing bacillithiol production and, subsequently, help combat resistance to fosfomycin in various pathogenic Gram-positive microorganisms.
Project description:The first step during bacillithiol (BSH) biosynthesis involves the formation of N-acetylglucosaminylmalate from UDP-N-acetylglucosamine and l-malate and is catalyzed by a GT4 class glycosyltransferase enzyme (BshA). Recombinant Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis BshA were highly specific and active with l-malate but the former showed low activity with d-glyceric acid and the latter with d-malate. We show that BshA is inhibited by BSH and similarly that MshA (first enzyme of mycothiol biosynthesis) is inhibited by the final product MSH.
Project description:Bacillithiol (Cys-GlcN-malate, BSH) has recently been identified as a novel low-molecular weight thiol in Bacillus anthracis, Staphylococcus aureus, and several other Gram-positive bacteria lacking glutathione and mycothiol. We have now characterized the first two enzymes for the BSH biosynthetic pathway in B. anthracis, which combine to produce ?-d-glucosaminyl l-malate (GlcN-malate) from UDP-GlcNAc and l-malate. The structure of the GlcNAc-malate intermediate has been determined, as have the kinetic parameters for the BaBshA glycosyltransferase (?GlcNAc-malate) and the BaBshB deacetylase (?GlcN-malate). BSH is one of only two natural products reported to contain a malyl glycoside, and the crystal structure of the BaBshA-UDP-malate ternary complex, determined in this work at 3.3 Å resolution, identifies several active-site interactions important for the specific recognition of l-malate, but not other ?-hydroxy acids, as the acceptor substrate. In sharp contrast to the structures reported for the GlcNAc-1-d-myo-inositol-3-phosphate synthase (MshA) apo and ternary complex forms, there is no major conformational change observed in the structures of the corresponding BaBshA forms. A mutant strain of B. anthracis deficient in the BshA glycosyltransferase fails to produce BSH, as predicted. This B. anthracis bshA locus (BA1558) has been identified in a transposon-site hybridization study as required for growth, sporulation, or germination [Day, W. A., Jr., Rasmussen, S. L., Carpenter, B. M., Peterson, S. N., and Friedlander, A. M. (2007) J. Bacteriol. 189, 3296-3301], suggesting that the biosynthesis of BSH could represent a target for the development of novel antimicrobials with broad-spectrum activity against Gram-positive pathogens like B. anthracis. The metabolites that function in thiol redox buffering and homeostasis in Bacillus are not well understood, and we present a composite picture based on this and other recent work.
Project description:In Staphylococcus aureus, the low-molecular-weight thiol called bacillithiol (BSH), together with cognate S-transferases, is believed to be the counterpart to the glutathione system of other organisms. To explore the physiological role of BSH in S. aureus, we constructed mutants with the deletion of bshA (sa1291), which encodes the glycosyltransferase that catalyzes the first step of BSH biosynthesis, and fosB (sa2124), which encodes a BSH-S-transferase that confers fosfomycin resistance, in several S. aureus strains, including clinical isolates. Mutation of fosB or bshA caused a 16- to 60-fold reduction in fosfomycin resistance in these S. aureus strains. High-pressure liquid chromatography analysis, which quantified thiol extracts, revealed some variability in the amounts of BSH present across S. aureus strains. Deletion of fosB led to a decrease in BSH levels. The fosB and bshA mutants of strain COL and a USA300 isolate, upon further characterization, were found to be sensitive to H2O2 and exhibited decreased NADPH levels compared with those in the isogenic parents. Microarray analyses of COL and the isogenic bshA mutant revealed increased expression of genes involved in staphyloxanthin synthesis in the bshA mutant relative to that in COL under thiol stress conditions. However, the bshA mutant of COL demonstrated decreased survival compared to that of the parent in human whole-blood survival assays; likewise, the naturally BSH-deficient strain SH1000 survived less well than its BSH-producing isogenic counterpart. Thus, the survival of S. aureus under oxidative stress is facilitated by BSH, possibly via a FosB-mediated mechanism, independently of its capability to produce staphyloxanthin.
Project description:FosB is a divalent-metal-dependent thiol-S-transferase implicated in fosfomycin resistance among many pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria. In the present paper, we describe detailed kinetic studies of FosB from Staphylococcus aureus (SaFosB) that confirm that bacillithiol (BSH) is its preferred physiological thiol substrate. SaFosB is the first to be characterized among a new class of enzyme (bacillithiol-S-transferases), which, unlike glutathione transferases, are distributed among many low-G+C Gram-positive bacteria that use BSH instead of glutathione as their major low-molecular-mass thiol. The K(m) values for BSH and fosfomycin are 4.2 and 17.8 mM respectively. Substrate specificity assays revealed that the thiol and amino groups of BSH are essential for activity, whereas malate is important for SaFosB recognition and catalytic efficiency. Metal activity assays indicated that Mn(2+) and Mg(2+) are likely to be the relevant cofactors under physiological conditions. The serine analogue of BSH (BOH) is an effective competitive inhibitor of SaFosB with respect to BSH, but uncompetitive with respect to fosfomycin. Coupled with NMR characterization of the reaction product (BS-fosfomycin), this demonstrates that the SaFosB-catalysed reaction pathway involves a compulsory ordered binding mechanism with fosfomycin binding first followed by BSH which then attacks the more sterically hindered C-1 carbon of the fosfomycin epoxide. Disruption of BSH biosynthesis in S. aureus increases sensitivity to fosfomycin. Together, these results indicate that SaFosB is a divalent-metal-dependent bacillithiol-S-transferase that confers fosfomycin resistance on S. aureus.
Project description:Bacillithiol (BSH), the alpha-anomeric glycoside of L-cysteinyl-D-glucosamine with L-malic acid, is a major low-molecular-weight thiol in Bacillus subtilis and related bacteria. Here, we identify genes required for BSH biosynthesis and provide evidence that the synthetic pathway has similarities to that established for the related thiol (mycothiol) in the Actinobacteria. Consistent with a key role for BSH in detoxification of electrophiles, the BshA glycosyltransferase and BshB1 deacetylase are encoded in an operon with methylglyoxal synthase. BshB1 is partially redundant in function with BshB2, a deacetylase of the LmbE family. Phylogenomic profiling identified a conserved unknown function protein (COG4365) as a candidate cysteine-adding enzyme (BshC) that co-occurs in genomes also encoding BshA, BshB1, and BshB2. Additional evolutionarily linked proteins include a thioredoxin reductase homolog and two thiol:disulfide oxidoreductases of the DUF1094 (CxC motif) family. Mutants lacking BshA, BshC, or both BshB1 and BshB2 are devoid of BSH. BSH is at least partially redundant in function with other low-molecular-weight thiols: redox proteomics indicates that protein thiols are largely reduced even in the absence of BSH. At the transcriptional level, the induction of genes controlled by two thiol-based regulators (OhrR, Spx) occurs normally. However, BSH null cells are significantly altered in acid and salt resistance, sporulation, and resistance to electrophiles and thiol reactive compounds. Moreover, cells lacking BSH are highly sensitive to fosfomycin, an epoxide-containing antibiotic detoxified by FosB, a prototype for bacillithiol-S-transferase enzymes.
Project description:Bacillithiol is produced by many Gram-positive bacteria via a pathway utilizing the enzymes BshA, BshB, and BshC. Here we report the 1.77 Å resolution crystal structure of BshC, the putative cysteine ligase in bacillithiol production. The structure reveals that BshC contains a core Rossmann fold with connecting peptide motifs (CP1 and CP2) and a unique α-helical coiled-coil domain that facilitates dimerization. The model contains citrate and glycerol in the canonical active site and ADP in a second binding pocket. The overall structure and bound ligands give insight into the function of this unique enzyme.
Project description:Bacillithiol is a low-molecular-weight thiol analogous to glutathione and is found in several Firmicutes, including Staphylococcus aureus. Since its discovery in 2009, bacillithiol has been a topic of interest because it has been found to contribute to resistance during oxidative stress and detoxification of electrophiles, such as the antibiotic fosfomycin, in S. aureus. The rapid increase in resistance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to available therapeutic agents is a great health concern, and many research efforts are focused on identifying new drugs and targets to combat this organism. This review describes the discovery of bacillithiol, studies that have elucidated the physiological roles of this molecule in S. aureus and other Bacilli, and the contribution of bacillithiol to S. aureus fitness during pathogenesis. Additionally, the bacillithiol biosynthesis pathway is evaluated as a novel drug target that can be utilized in combination with existing therapies to treat S. aureus infections.
Project description:Bacillithiol (BSH) has been prepared on the gram scale from the inexpensive starting material, D-glucosamine hydrochloride, in 11 steps and 8-9% overall yield. The BSH was used to survey the substrate and metal-ion selectivity of FosB enzymes from four Gram-positive microorganisms associated with the deactivation of the antibiotic fosfomycin. The in vitro results indicate that the preferred thiol substrate and metal ion for the FosB from Staphylococcus aureus are BSH and Ni(II), respectively. However, the metal-ion selectivity is less distinct with FosB from Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus anthracis, or Bacillus cereus.
Project description:The development of new antibiotics is necessitated by the rapid development of resistance to current therapies. UDP-N-acetylglucosamine enolpyruvyl transferase (MurA), which catalyzes the first committed step of bacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis, is a prime candidate for therapeutic intervention. MurA is the target of the antibiotic fosfomycin, a natural product produced by Streptomyces. Despite possessing a high degree of sequence conservation with MurA enzymes from fosfomycin-susceptible organisms, recent microbiological studies suggest that MurA from Vibrio fischeri (VfiMurA) may confer fosfomycin resistance via a mechanism that is not yet understood. The crystal structure of VfiMurA in a ternary complex with the substrate UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (UNAG) and fosfomycin has been solved to a resolution of 1.93 Å. Fosfomycin is known to inhibit MurA by covalently binding to a highly conserved cysteine in the active site of the enzyme. A comparison of the title structure with the structure of fosfomycin-susceptible Haemophilus influenzae MurA (PDB entry 2rl2) revealed strikingly similar conformations of the mobile substrate-binding loop and clear electron density for a fosfomycin-cysteine adduct. Based on these results, there are no distinguishing sequence/structural features in VfiMurA that would translate to a diminished sensitivity to fosfomycin. However, VfiMurA is a robust crystallizer and shares high sequence identity with many clinically relevant bacterial pathogens. Thus, it would serve as an ideal system for use in the structure-guided optimization of new antibacterial agents.