Design, Validation, and Application of an Enzyme-Coupled Hydrogen Sulfide Detection Assay.
ABSTRACT: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a key metabolite in biosynthesis and is increasingly being recognized as an essential gasotransmitter. Owing to its diffusible and reactive nature, H2S can be difficult to quantify, particularly in situ. Although several detection schemes are available, they have drawbacks. In efforts to quantify sulfide release in the cross-linking reaction of the flagellar protein FlgE, we developed an enzyme-coupled sulfide detection assay using the Escherichia coli O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase enzyme CysM. Conversion of HS- to l-cysteine via CysM followed by derivatization with the thiol-specific fluorescent dye 7-diethylamino-3-(4-maleimidophenyl)-4-methylcoumarin enables for facile detection and quantification of H2S by fluorescent HPLC. The assay was validated by comparison to the well-established methylene blue sulfide detection assay and the robustness demonstrated by interference assays in the presence of common thiols such as glutathione, 2-mercaptoethanol, dithiothreitol, and l-methionine, as well as a range of anions. We then applied the assay to the aforementioned lysinoalanine cross-linking by the Treponema denticola flagellar hook protein FlgE. Overall, unlike previously reported H2S detection methods, the assay provides a biologically compatible platform to accurately and specifically measure hydrogen sulfide in situ, even when it is produced on long time scales.
Project description:The flagellar hook protein FlgE from spirochaete bacteria self-catalyzes the formation of an unusual inter-subunit lysinoalanine (Lal) crosslink that is critical for cell motility. Unlike other known examples of Lal biosynthesis, conserved cysteine and lysine residues in FlgE spontaneously react to form Lal without the involvement of additional enzymes. Oligomerization of FlgE via its D0 and Dc domains drives assembly of the crosslinking site at the D1-D2 domain interface. Structures of the FlgED2 domain, dehydroalanine (DHA) intermediate and Lal crosslinked FlgE subunits reveal successive snapshots of the reaction. Cys178 flips from a buried configuration to release hydrogen sulfide (H2S/HS-) and produce DHA. Interface residues provide hydrogen bonds to anchor the active site, facilitate ?-elimination of Cys178 and polarize the peptide backbone to activate DHA for reaction with Lys165. Cysteine-reactive molecules accelerate DHA formation, whereas nucleophiles can intercept the DHA intermediate, thereby indicating a potential for Lal crosslink inhibitors to combat spirochaetal diseases.
Project description:Spirochaetes are bacteria responsible for several serious diseases, including Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), syphilis (Treponema pallidum) and leptospirosis (Leptospira interrogans), and contribute to periodontal diseases (Treponema denticola)(1). These spirochaetes employ an unusual form of flagella-based motility necessary for pathogenicity; indeed, spirochaete flagella (periplasmic flagella) reside and rotate within the periplasmic space(2-11). The universal joint or hook that links the rotary motor to the filament is composed of ?120-130 FlgE proteins, which in spirochaetes form an unusually stable, high-molecular-weight complex(9,12-17). In other bacteria, the hook can be readily dissociated by treatments such as heat(18). In contrast, spirochaete hooks are resistant to these treatments, and several lines of evidence indicate that the high-molecular-weight complex is the consequence of covalent crosslinking(12,13,17). Here, we show that T. denticola FlgE self-catalyses an interpeptide crosslinking reaction between conserved lysine and cysteine, resulting in the formation of an unusual lysinoalanine adduct that polymerizes the hook subunits. Lysinoalanine crosslinks are not needed for flagellar assembly, but they are required for cell motility and hence infection. The self-catalytic nature of FlgE crosslinking has important implications for protein engineering, and its sensitivity to chemical inhibitors provides a new avenue for the development of antimicrobials targeting spirochaetes.
Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis is dependent on cysteine biosynthesis, and reduced sulfur compounds such as mycothiol synthesized from cysteine serve in first-line defense mechanisms against oxidative stress imposed by macrophages. Two biosynthetic routes to l-cysteine, each with its own specific cysteine synthase (CysK1 and CysM), have been described in M. tuberculosis, but the function of a third putative sulfhydrylase in this pathogen, CysK2, has remained elusive. We present biochemical and biophysical evidence that CysK2 is an S-sulfocysteine synthase, utilizing O-phosphoserine (OPS) and thiosulfate as substrates. The enzyme uses a mechanism via a central aminoacrylate intermediate that is similar to that of other members of this pyridoxal phosphate-dependent enzyme family. The apparent second-order rate of the first half-reaction with OPS was determined as kmax/Ks = (3.97 × 10(3)) ± 619 M(-1) s(-1), which compares well to the OPS-specific mycobacterial cysteine synthase CysM with a kmax/Ks of (1.34 × 10(3)) ± 48.2. Notably, CysK2 does not utilize thiocarboxylated CysO as a sulfur donor but accepts thiosulfate and sulfide as donor substrates. The specificity constant kcat/Km for thiosulfate is 40-fold higher than for sulfide, suggesting an annotation as S-sulfocysteine synthase. Mycobacterial CysK2 thus provides a third metabolic route to cysteine, either directly using sulfide as donor or indirectly via S-sulfocysteine. Hypothetically, S-sulfocysteine could also act as a signaling molecule triggering additional responses in redox defense in the pathogen upon exposure to reactive oxygen species during dormancy.
Project description:Host-microbe interactions determine the outcome of host responses to commensal and pathogenic microbes. Previously, two epithelial cell-binding peptides were found to be homologues of two sites (B, aa168-174; F, aa303-309) in the flagellar hook protein FlgE of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Tertiary modeling predicted these sites at the interface of neighboring FlgE monomers in the fully formed hook. Recombinant FlgE protein stimulated proinflammatory cytokine production in a human cell line and in murine lung organoid culture as detected with real-time RT-PCR and ELISA assays. When administered to mice, FlgE induced lung inflammation and enhanced the Th2-biased humoral response to ovalbumin. A pull-down assay performed with FlgE-saturated resin identified caveolin-1 as an FlgE-binding protein, and caveolin-1 deficiency impaired FlgE-induced inflammation and downstream Erk1/2 pathway activation in lung organoids. Intact flagellar hooks from bacteria were also proinflammatory. Mutations to sites B and F impaired bacteria motility and proinflammatory potency of FlgE without altering adjuvanticity of FlgE. These findings suggest that the flagellar hook and FlgE are novel players in host-bacterial interactions at immunological level. Further studies along this direction would provide new opportunities for understanding and management of diseases related with bacterial infection.
Project description:Exogenous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) administration and endogenous H2S metabolism were explored in the nematode C. elegans. Chronic treatment with a slow-releasing H2S donor, GYY4137, extended median survival by 17-23% and increased tolerance towards oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Also, cysl-2, a sulfhydrylase/cysteine synthase in C. elegans, was transcriptionally upregulated by GYY4137 treatment and the deletion of cysl-2 resulted in a significant reduction in lifespan which was partially recovered by the supplementation of GYY4137. Likewise, a mammalian cell culture system, GYY4137 was able to protect bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) from oxidative stress and (H2O2)-induced cell death. Taken together, this provides further support that H2S exerts a protective function which is consistent with the longevity dividend theory. Overall, this study underlines the therapeutic potential of a slow-releasing H2S donor as regulators of the aging and cellular stress pathways.
Project description:Amino acid biosynthesis pathways observed in nature typically require enzymes that are made with the amino acids they produce. For example, Escherichia coli produces cysteine from serine via two enzymes that contain cysteine: serine acetyltransferase (CysE) and O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase (CysK/CysM). To solve this chicken-and-egg problem, we substituted alternate amino acids in CysE, CysK and CysM for cysteine and methionine, which are the only two sulfur-containing proteinogenic amino acids. Using a cysteine-dependent auxotrophic E. coli strain, CysE function was rescued by cysteine-free and methionine-deficient enzymes, and CysM function was rescued by cysteine-free enzymes. CysK function, however, was not rescued in either case. Enzymatic assays showed that the enzymes responsible for rescuing the function in CysE and CysM also retained their activities in vitro. Additionally, substitution of the two highly conserved methionines in CysM decreased but did not eliminate overall activity. Engineering amino acid biosynthetic enzymes to lack the so-produced amino acids can provide insights into, and perhaps eventually fully recapitulate via a synthetic approach, the biogenesis of biotic amino acids.
Project description:The nucleotide sequence of the sulfate and thiosulfate transport gene cluster has been determined and located 3' to the gene (cysP) encoding the thiosulfate-binding protein. Four open reading frames, designated cysT, cysW, cysA, and cysM, have been identified. Similarities in primary structure were observed between (i) the deduced amino acid sequences of CysT and CysW with membrane-bound components of other binding protein-dependent transport systems, (ii) that of the CysA sequence with the "conserved" component of such systems, and (iii) that of the CysM sequence with O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase A (cysK gene product) and the beta-subunit of tryptophan synthase (coded by trpB). Expression of the four genes was analyzed in the T7 promoter-polymerase system.
Project description:The flgE gene encoding the flagellar hook protein of Campylobacter coli VC167-T1 was cloned by immunoscreening of a genomic library constructed in lambdaZAP Express. The flgE DNA sequence was 2,553 bp in length and encoded a protein with a deduced molecular mass of 90,639 Da. The sequence had significant homology to the 5' and 3' sequences of the flgE genes of Helicobacter pylori, Treponema phagedenis, and Salmonella typhimurium. Primer extension analysis indicated that the VC167 flgE gene is controlled by a sigma54 promoter. PCR analysis showed that the flgE gene size and the 5' and 3' DNA sequences were conserved among C. coli and C. jejuni strains. Southern hybridization analyses confirmed that there is considerable sequence identity among the hook genes of C. coli and C. jejuni but that there are also regions within the genes which differ. Mutants of C. coli defective in hook production were generated by allele replacement. These mutants were nonmotile and lacked flagellar filaments. Analyses of flgE mutants indicated that the carboxy terminus of FlgE is necessary for assembly of the hook structure but not for secretion of FlgE and that, unlike salmonellae, the lack of flgE expression does not result in repression of flagellin expression.
Project description:FlgJ plays a very important role in flagellar assembly. In the enteric bacteria, flgJ null mutants fail to produce the flagellar rods, hooks, and filaments but still assemble the integral membrane-supramembrane (MS) rings. These mutants are nonmotile. The FlgJ proteins consist of two functional domains. The N-terminal rod-capping domain acts as a scaffold for rod assembly, and the C-terminal domain acts as a peptidoglycan (PG) hydrolase (PGase), which allows the elongating flagellar rod to penetrate through the PG layer. However, the FlgJ homologs in several bacterial phyla (including spirochetes) often lack the PGase domain. The function of these single-domain FlgJ proteins remains elusive. Herein, a single-domain FlgJ homolog (FlgJ(Bb)) was studied in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Cryo-electron tomography analysis revealed that the flgJ(Bb) mutant still assembled intact flagellar basal bodies but had fewer and disoriented flagellar hooks and filaments. Consistently, Western blots showed that the levels of flagellar hook (FlgE) and filament (FlaB) proteins were substantially decreased in the flgJ(Bb) mutant. Further studies disclosed that the decreases of FlgE and FlaB in the mutant occurred at the posttranscriptional level. Microscopic observation and swarm plate assay showed that the motility of the flgJ(Bb) mutant was partially deficient. The altered phenotypes were completely restored when the mutant was complemented. Collectively, these results indicate that FlgJ(Bb) is involved in the assembly of the flagellar hook and filament but not the flagellar rod in B. burgdorferi. The observed phenotype is different from that of flgJ mutants in the enteric bacteria.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an important biological signaling molecule, and chemical tools for H2S delivery and detection have emerged as important investigative methods. Key challenges in these fields include developing donors that are triggered to release H2S in response to stimuli and developing probes that do not irreversibly consume H2S. Here we report a new strategy for H2S donation based on self-immolation of benzyl thiocarbamates to release carbonyl sulfide, which is rapidly converted to H2S by carbonic anhydrase. We leverage this chemistry to develop easily modifiable donors that can be triggered to release H2S. We also demonstrate that this approach can be coupled with common H2S-sensing motifs to generate scaffolds which, upon reaction with H2S, generate a fluorescence response and also release caged H2S, thus addressing challenges of analyte homeostasis in reaction-based probes.