Alternative ?I/anti-?I factors represent a unique form of bacterial ?/anti-? complex.
ABSTRACT: The ?70 family alternative ?I factors and their cognate anti-?I factors are widespread in Clostridia and Bacilli and play a role in heat stress response, virulence, and polysaccharide sensing. Multiple ?I/anti-?I factors exist in some lignocellulolytic clostridial species, specifically for regulation of components of a multienzyme complex, termed the cellulosome. The ?I and anti-?I factors are unique, because the C-terminal domain of ?I (SigIC) and the N-terminal inhibitory domain of anti-?I (RsgIN) lack homology to known proteins. Here, we report structure and interaction studies of a pair of ?I and anti-?I factors, SigI1 and RsgI1, from the cellulosome-producing bacterium, Clostridium thermocellum. In contrast to other known anti-? factors that have N-terminal helical structures, RsgIN has a ?-barrel structure. Unlike other anti-? factors that bind both ?2 and ?4 domains of the ? factors, RsgIN binds SigIC specifically. Structural analysis showed that SigIC contains a positively charged surface region that recognizes the promoter -35 region, and the synergistic interactions among multiple interfacial residues result in the specificity displayed by different ?I/anti-?I pairs. We suggest that the ?I/anti-?I factors represent a distinctive mode of ?/anti-? complex formation, which provides the structural basis for understanding the molecular mechanism of the intricate ?I/anti-?I system.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) is reliant on the simultaneous enzyme production, saccharification of biomass, and fermentation of released sugars into valuable products such as butanol. Clostridial species that produce butanol are, however, unable to grow on crystalline cellulose. In contrast, those saccharolytic species that produce predominantly ethanol, such as Clostridium thermocellum and Clostridium cellulolyticum, degrade crystalline cellulose with high efficiency due to their possession of a multienzyme complex termed the cellulosome. This has led to studies directed at endowing butanol-producing species with the genetic potential to produce a cellulosome, albeit by localising the necessary transgenes to unstable autonomous plasmids. Here we have explored the potential of our previously described Allele-Coupled Exchange (ACE) technology for creating strains of the butanol producing species Clostridium acetobutylicum in which the genes encoding the various cellulosome components are stably integrated into the genome. RESULTS:We used BioBrick2 (BB2) standardised parts to assemble a range of synthetic genes encoding C. thermocellum cellulosomal scaffoldin proteins (CipA variants) and glycoside hydrolases (GHs, Cel8A, Cel9B, Cel48S and Cel9K) as well as synthetic cellulosomal operons that direct the synthesis of Cel8A, Cel9B and a truncated form of CipA. All synthetic genes and operons were integrated into the C. acetobutylicum genome using the recently developed ACE technology. Heterologous protein expression levels and mini-cellulosome self-assembly were assayed by western blot and native PAGE analysis. CONCLUSIONS:We demonstrate the successful expression, secretion and self-assembly of cellulosomal subunits by the recombinant C. acetobutylicum strains, providing a platform for the construction of novel cellulosomes.
Project description:Clostridium thermocellum is a thermophilic anaerobic bacterium that rapidly solubilizes cellulose with the aid of a multienzyme cellulosome complex. Creation of knockout mutants for Cel48S (also known as CelS, S(S), and S8), the most abundant cellulosome subunit, was undertaken to gain insight into its role in enzymatic and microbial cellulose solubilization. Cultures of the Cel48S deletion mutant (S mutant) were able to completely solubilize 10 g/L crystalline cellulose. The cellulose hydrolysis rate of the S mutant strain was 60% lower than the parent strain, with the S mutant strain also exhibiting a 40% reduction in cell yield. The cellulosome produced by the S mutant strain was purified by affinity digestion, characterized enzymatically, and found to have a 35% lower specific activity on Avicel. The composition of the purified cellulosome was analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry with APEX quantification and no significant changes in abundance were observed in any of the major (>1% of cellulosomal protein) enzymatic subunits. Although most cellulolytic bacteria have one family 48 cellulase, C. thermocellum has two, Cel48S and Cel48Y. Cellulose solubilization by a Cel48S and Cel48Y double knockout was essentially the same as that of the Cel48S single knockout. Our results indicate that solubilization of crystalline cellulose by C. thermocellum can proceed to completion without expression of a family 48 cellulase.
Project description:Clostridium thermocellum produces the prototypical cellulosome, a large multienzyme complex that efficiently hydrolyzes plant cell wall polysaccharides into fermentable sugars. This ability has garnered great interest in its potential application in biofuel production. The core non-catalytic scaffoldin subunit, CipA, bears nine type I cohesin modules that interact with the type I dockerin modules of secreted hydrolytic enzymes and promotes catalytic synergy. Because the large size and flexibility of the cellulosome preclude structural determination by traditional means, the structural basis of this synergy remains unclear. Small angle x-ray scattering has been successfully applied to the study of flexible proteins. Here, we used small angle x-ray scattering to determine the solution structure and to analyze the conformational flexibility of two overlapping N-terminal cellulosomal scaffoldin fragments comprising two type I cohesin modules and the cellulose-specific carbohydrate-binding module from CipA in complex with Cel8A cellulases. The pair distribution functions, ab initio envelopes, and rigid body models generated for these two complexes reveal extended structures. These two N-terminal cellulosomal fragments are highly dynamic and display no preference for extended or compact conformations. Overall, our work reveals structural and dynamic features of the N terminus of the CipA scaffoldin that may aid in cellulosome substrate recognition and binding.
Project description:Cellulolytic clostridia use a highly efficient cellulosome system to degrade polysaccharides. To regulate genes encoding enzymes of the multi-enzyme cellulosome complex, certain clostridia contain alternative sigma I (?I ) factors that have cognate membrane-associated anti-?I factors (RsgIs) which act as polysaccharide sensors. In this work, we analyzed the structure-function relationship of the extracellular sensory elements of Clostridium (Ruminiclostridium) thermocellum and Clostridium clariflavum (RsgI3 and RsgI4, respectively). These elements were selected for comparison, as each comprised two tandem PA14-superfamily motifs. The X-ray structures of the PA14 modular dyads from the two bacterial species were determined, both of which showed a high degree of structural and sequence similarity, although their binding preferences differed. Bioinformatic approaches indicated that the DNA sequence of promoter of sigI/rsgI operons represents a strong signature, which helps to differentiate binding specificity of the structurally similar modules. The ?I4 -dependent C. clariflavum promoter sequence correlates with binding of RsgI4_PA14 to xylan and was identified in genes encoding xylanases, whereas the ?I3 -dependent C. thermocellum promoter sequence correlates with RsgI3_PA14 binding to pectin and regulates pectin degradation-related genes. Structural similarity between clostridial PA14 dyads to PA14-containing proteins in yeast helped identify another crucial signature element: the calcium-binding loop 2 (CBL2), which governs binding specificity. Variations in the five amino acids that constitute this loop distinguish the pectin vs xylan specificities. We propose that the first module (PA14A ) is dominant in directing the binding to the ligand in both bacteria. The two X-ray structures of the different PA14 dyads represent the first reported structures of tandem PA14 modules.
Project description:A genomic library of Clostridium thermocellum DNA constructed in lambda ZAPII was screened for xylanase-expressing clones. Cross-hybridization experiments revealed a new xylanase gene isolated from the gene library, which was designated xyn Y. The encoded enzyme, xylanase Y (XYLY), displayed features characteristic of an endo-beta1,4-xylanase: the enzyme rapidly hydrolysed oat spelt, wheat and rye arabinoxylans and was active against methyl-umbelliferyl-beta-D-cellobioside, but did not hydrolyse any cellulosic substrates. The pH and temperature optima of the enzyme were 6.8 and 75 degrees C respectively, and the recombinant XYLY, expressed by Escherichia coli had a maximum Mr of 116000. The nucleotide sequence of xyn Y contained an open reading frame of 3228 bp encoding a protein of predicted Mr 120 105. The encoded enzyme contained a typical N-terminal 26-residue signal peptide, followed by a 164 amino acid sequence, designated domain A, that was not essential for catalytic activity. Downstream of domain A was a 351-residue xylanase Family F catalytic domain, followed by a 180-residue sequence that exhibited 28% sequence identity with a thermostable domain of Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum xylanase A. The C-terminal portion of XYLY comprised the 23-residue duplicated docking sequence found in all other C. thermocellum plant cell wall hydrolases that are constituents of the bacterium's multienzyme complex, termed the cellulosome, followed by a 286-residue domain which exhibited 32% sequence identity with the N-terminal region of C. thermocellum xylanase Z. The enzyme did not contain linker sequences found in other C. thermocellum plant cell wall hydrolases. Analysis of truncated forms of XYLY and hybrid proteins, comprising segments of XYLY fused to the E. coli maltose binding domain, confirmed that XYLY contained a central catalytic domain and an adjacent thermostable domain. The C-terminal domain did not bind to cellulose or xylan. Western blot analysis using antiserum raised against XYLY showed that the xylanase was located in the cellulosome and did not appear to be extensively glycosylated. The non-catalytic domains of XYLY are discussed in relation to the general stability of thermophilic xylanases.
Project description:Cellulosomes are multienzyme complexes responsible for efficient degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides. The nonenzymatic scaffoldin subunit provides a platform for cellulolytic enzyme binding that enhances the overall activity of the bound enzymes. Understanding the unique quaternary structural elements responsible for the enzymatic synergy of the cellulosome is hindered by the large size and inherent flexibility of these multiprotein complexes. Herein, we have used x-ray crystallography and small angle x-ray scattering to structurally characterize a ternary protein complex from the Clostridium thermocellum cellulosome that comprises a C-terminal trimodular fragment of the CipA scaffoldin bound to the SdbA type II cohesin module and the type I dockerin module from the Cel9D glycoside hydrolase. This complex represents the largest fragment of the cellulosome solved by x-ray crystallography to date and reveals two rigid domains formed by the type I cohesin·dockerin complex and by the X module-type II cohesin·dockerin complex, which are separated by a 13-residue linker in an extended conformation. The type I dockerin modules of the four structural models found in the asymmetric unit are in an alternate orientation to that previously observed that provides further direct support for the dual mode of binding. Conserved intermolecular contacts between symmetry-related complexes were also observed and may play a role in higher order cellulosome structure. SAXS analysis of the ternary complex revealed that the 13-residue intermodular linker of the scaffoldin subunit is highly dynamic in solution. These studies provide fundamental insights into modular positioning, linker flexibility, and higher order organization of the cellulosome.
Project description:The cellulosome is a supramolecular multienzyme complex comprised of a wide variety of polysaccharide-degrading enzymes and scaffold proteins. The cellulosomal enzymes that bind to the scaffold proteins synergistically degrade crystalline cellulose. Here, we report in vitro reconstitution of the Clostridium thermocellum cellulosome from 40 cellulosomal components and the full-length scaffoldin protein that binds to nine enzyme molecules. These components were each synthesized using a wheat germ cell-free protein synthesis system and purified. Cellulosome complexes were reconstituted from 3, 12, 30, and 40 components based on their contents in the native cellulosome. The activity of the enzyme-saturated complex indicated that greater enzymatic variety generated more synergy for the degradation of crystalline cellulose and delignified rice straw. Surprisingly, a less complete enzyme complex displaying fewer than nine enzyme molecules was more efficient for the degradation of delignified rice straw than the enzyme-saturated complex, despite the fact that the enzyme-saturated complex exhibited maximum synergy for the degradation of crystalline cellulose. These results suggest that greater enzymatic diversity of the cellulosome is crucial for the degradation of crystalline cellulose and plant biomass, and that efficient degradation of different substrates by the cellulosome requires not only a different enzymatic composition, but also different cellulosome structures.
Project description:Cellulosomes are considered to be one of the most efficient systems for the degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides. The central cellulosome component comprises a large, noncatalytic protein subunit called scaffoldin. Multiple saccharolytic enzymes are incorporated into the scaffoldins via specific high-affinity cohesin-dockerin interactions. Recently, the regulation of genes encoding certain cellulosomal components by multiple RNA polymerase alternative ?I factors has been demonstrated in Clostridium (Ruminiclostridium) thermocellum In the present report, we provide experimental evidence demonstrating that the C. thermocellum cipA gene, which encodes the primary cellulosomal scaffoldin, is regulated by several alternative ?I factors and by the vegetative ?A factor. Furthermore, we show that previously suggested transcriptional start sites (TSSs) of C. thermocellum cipA are actually posttranscriptional processed sites. By using comparative bioinformatic analysis, we have also identified highly conserved ?I- and ?A-dependent promoters upstream of the primary scaffoldin-encoding genes of other clostridia, namely, Clostridium straminisolvens, Clostridium clariflavum, Acetivibrio cellulolyticus, and Clostridium sp. strain Bc-iso-3. Interestingly, a previously identified TSS of the primary scaffoldin CbpA gene of Clostridium cellulovorans matches the predicted ?I-dependent promoter identified in the present work rather than the previously proposed ?A promoter. With the exception of C. cellulovorans, both ?I and ?A promoters of primary scaffoldin genes are located more than 600 nucleotides upstream of the start codon, yielding long 5'-untranslated regions (5'-UTRs). Furthermore, these 5'-UTRs have highly conserved stem-loop structures located near the start codon. We propose that these large 5'-UTRs may be involved in the regulation of both the primary scaffoldin and other cellulosomal components.IMPORTANCE Cellulosome-producing bacteria are among the most effective cellulolytic microorganisms known. This group of bacteria has biotechnological potential for the production of second-generation biofuels and other biocommodities from cellulosic wastes. The efficiency of cellulose hydrolysis is due to their cellulosomes, which arrange enzymes in close proximity on the cellulosic substrate, thereby increasing synergism among the catalytic domains. The backbone of these multienzyme nanomachines is the scaffoldin subunit, which has been the subject of study for many years. However, its genetic regulation is poorly understood. Hence, from basic and applied points of view, it is imperative to unravel the regulatory mechanisms of the scaffoldin genes. The understanding of these regulatory mechanisms can help to improve the performance of the industrially relevant strains of C. thermocellum and related cellulosome-producing bacteria en route to the consolidated bioprocessing of biomass.
Project description:Interactions between cohesin and dockerin modules play a crucial role in the assembly of multienzyme cellulosome complexes. Although intraspecies cohesin and dockerin modules bind in general with high affinity but indiscriminately, cross-species binding is rare. Here, we combined ELISA-based experiments with Rosetta-based computational design to evaluate the contribution of distinct residues at the Clostridium thermocellum cohesin-dockerin interface to binding affinity, specificity, and promiscuity. We found that single mutations can show distinct and significant effects on binding affinity and specificity. In particular, mutations at cohesin position Asn(37) show dramatic variability in their effect on dockerin binding affinity and specificity: the N37A mutant binds promiscuously both to cognate (C. thermocellum) as well as to non-cognate Clostridium cellulolyticum dockerin. N37L in turn switches binding specificity: compared with the wild-type C. thermocellum cohesin, this mutant shows significantly increased preference for C. cellulolyticum dockerin combined with strongly reduced binding to its cognate C. thermocellum dockerin. The observation that a single mutation can overcome the naturally observed specificity barrier provides insights into the evolutionary dynamics of this system that allows rapid modulation of binding specificity within a high affinity background.
Project description:Clostridium thermocellum produces a highly efficient cellulolytic extracellular complex, termed the cellulosome, for hydrolyzing plant cell wall biomass. The composition of the cellulosome is affected by the presence of extracellular polysaccharides; however, the regulatory mechanism is unknown. Recently, we have identified in C. thermocellum a set of putative ? and anti-? factors that include extracellular polysaccharide-sensing components [Kahel-Raifer et al. (2010) FEMS Microbiol Lett 308:84-93]. These factor-encoding genes are homologous to the Bacillus subtilis bicistronic operon sigI-rsgI, which encodes for an alternative ?(I) factor and its cognate anti-?(I) regulator RsgI that is functionally regulated by an extracytoplasmic signal. In this study, the binding of C. thermocellum putative anti-?(I) factors to their corresponding ? factors was measured, demonstrating binding specificity and dissociation constants in the range of 0.02 to 1 ?M. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR measurements revealed three- to 30-fold up-expression of the alternative ? factor genes in the presence of cellulose and xylan, thus connecting their expression to direct detection of their extracellular polysaccharide substrates. Cellulosomal genes that are putatively regulated by two of these ? factors, ?(I1) or ?(I6), were identified based on the sequence similarity of their promoters. The ability of ?(I1) to direct transcription from the sigI1 promoter and from the promoter of celS (encodes the family 48 cellulase) was demonstrated in vitro by runoff transcription assays. Taken together, the results reveal a regulatory mechanism in which alternative ? factors are involved in regulating the cellulosomal genes via an external carbohydrate-sensing mechanism.