Solution Structures and Dynamic Assembly of the 24-Meric Plasmodial Pdx1-Pdx2 Complex.
ABSTRACT: Plasmodium species are protozoan parasites causing the deadly malaria disease. They have developed effective resistance mechanisms against most antimalarial medication, causing an urgent need to identify new antimalarial drug targets. Ideally, new drugs would be generated to specifically target the parasite with minimal or no toxicity to humans, requiring these drug targets to be distinctly different from the host's metabolic processes or even absent in the host. In this context, the essential presence of vitamin B6 biosynthesis enzymes in Plasmodium, the pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) biosynthesis enzyme complex, and its absence in humans is recognized as a potential drug target. To characterize the PLP enzyme complex in terms of initial drug discovery investigations, we performed structural analysis of the Plasmodium vivax PLP synthase domain (Pdx1), glutaminase domain (Pdx2), and Pdx1-Pdx2 (Pdx) complex (PLP synthase complex) by utilizing complementary bioanalytical techniques, such as dynamic light scattering (DLS), X-ray solution scattering (SAXS), and electron microscopy (EM). Our investigations revealed a dodecameric Pdx1 and a monodispersed Pdx complex. Pdx2 was identified in monomeric and in different oligomeric states in solution. Interestingly, mixing oligomeric and polydisperse Pdx2 with dodecameric monodisperse Pdx1 resulted in a monodispersed Pdx complex. SAXS measurements revealed the low-resolution dodecameric structure of Pdx1, different oligomeric structures for Pdx2, and a ring-shaped dodecameric Pdx1 decorated with Pdx2, forming a heteromeric 24-meric Pdx complex.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Plants, fungi, bacteria and the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum are able to synthesize vitamin B6 de novo, whereas mammals depend upon the uptake of this essential nutrient from their diet. The active form of vitamin B6 is pyridoxal 5-phosphate (PLP). For its synthesis two enzymes, Pdx1 and Pdx2, act together, forming a multimeric complex consisting of 12 Pdx1 and 12 Pdx2 protomers. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we report amino acid residues responsible for stabilization of the structural and enzymatic integrity of the plasmodial PLP synthase, identified by using distinct mutational analysis and biochemical approaches. Residues R85, H88 and E91 (RHE) are located at the Pdx1:Pdx1 interface and play an important role in Pdx1 complex assembly. Mutation of these residues to alanine impedes both Pdx1 activity and Pdx2 binding. Furthermore, changing D26, K83 and K151 (DKK), amino acids from the active site of Pdx1, to alanine obstructs not only enzyme activity but also formation of the complex. In contrast to the monomeric appearance of the RHE mutant, alteration of the DKK residues results in a hexameric assembly, and does not affect Pdx2 binding or its activity. While the modelled position of K151 is distal to the Pdx1:Pdx1 interface, it affects the assembly of hexameric Pdx1 into a functional dodecamer, which is crucial for PLP synthesis. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, our data suggest that the assembly of a functional Pdx1:Pdx2 complex follows a defined pathway and that inhibition of this assembly results in an inactive holoenzyme.
Project description:Vitamin B6 is an essential metabolic cofactor that has more functions in humans than any other single nutrient. Its de novo biosynthesis occurs through two mutually exclusive pathways that are absent in animals. The predominant pathway found in most prokaryotes, fungi, and plants has only recently been discovered. It is distinguished by a glutamine amidotransferase, which is remarkable in that it alone can synthesize the cofactor form, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), directly from a triose and a pentose saccharide and glutamine. Here we report the 3D structure of the PLP synthase complex with substrate glutamine bound as well as those of the individual synthase and glutaminase subunits Pdx1 and Pdx2, respectively. The complex is made up of 24 protein units assembled like a cogwheel, a dodecameric Pdx1 to which 12 Pdx2 subunits attach. In contrast to the architecture of previously determined glutamine amidotransferases, macromolecular assembly is directed by an N-terminal alpha-helix on the synthase. Interaction with the synthase subunit leads to glutaminase activation, resulting in formation of an oxyanion hole, a prerequisite for catalysis. Mutagenesis permitted identification of the remote glutaminase and synthase catalytic centers and led us to propose a mechanism whereby ammonia shuttles between these active sites through a methionine-rich hydrophobic tunnel.
Project description:Vitamin B(6) is essential in all organisms, due to its requirement as a cofactor in the form of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) for key metabolic enzymes. It can be synthesized de novo by either of two pathways known as deoxyxylulose 5-phosphate (DXP)-dependent and DXP-independent. The DXP-independent pathway is the predominant pathway and is found in most microorganisms and plants. A glutamine amidotransferase consisting of the synthase Pdx1 and its glutaminase partner, Pdx2, form a complex that directly synthesizes PLP from ribose 5-phosphate, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, and glutamine. The protein complex displays an ornate architecture consisting of 24 subunits, two hexameric rings of 12 Pdx1 subunits to which 12 Pdx2 subunits attach, with the glutaminase and synthase active sites remote from each other. The multiple catalytic ability of Pdx1, the remote glutaminase and synthase active sites, and the elaborate structure suggest regulation of activity on several levels. A missing piece in deciphering this intricate puzzle has been information on the Pdx1 C-terminal region that has thus far eluded structural characterization. Here we use fluorescence spectrophotometry and protein chemistry to demonstrate that the Pdx1 C terminus is indispensable for PLP synthase activity and mediates intersubunit cross-talk within the enzyme complex. We provide evidence that the C terminus can act as a flexible lid, bridging as well as shielding the active site of an adjacent protomer in Pdx1. We show that ribose 5-phosphate binding triggers strong cooperativity in Pdx1, and the affinity for this substrate is substantially enhanced upon interaction with the Michaelis complex of Pdx2 and glutamine.
Project description:The Pdx1 or Ipf1 gene encodes an important homeodomain-containing protein with key roles in pancreas development and function. Mutations in human PDX1 are implicated in developmental defects and disease of the pancreas. Extensive research, including genome sequencing, has indicated that Pdx1 is the only member of its gene family in mammals, birds, amphibians, and ray-finned fish, and with the exception of teleost fish, this gene forms part of the ParaHox gene cluster along with Gsx1 and Cdx2. The ParaHox cluster, however, is a remnant of a 4-fold genome duplication; the three other ParaHox paralogues lack a Pdx-like gene in all vertebrate genomes examined to date. We have used bacterial artificial chromosome cloning and synteny analysis to show that the ancestor of living jawed vertebrates in fact had more ParaHox genes, including two Pdx genes (Pdx1 and Pdx2). Surprisingly, the two Pdx genes have been retained in parallel in two quite distantly related lineages, the cartilaginous fish (sharks, skates, and chimeras) and the Indonesian coelacanth, Latimeria menadoensis. The Pdx2 gene has been lost independently in ray-finned fish and in tetrapods.
Project description:The lack of a general clinic-relevant model for human cancer is a major impediment to the acceleration of novel therapeutic approaches for clinical use. We propose to establish and characterize primary human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) xenografts that can be used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of adoptive chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and accelerate the clinical translation of CAR T cells used in HCC.Primary HCCs were used to establish the xenografts. The morphology, immunological markers, and gene expression characteristics of xenografts were detected and compared to those of the corresponding primary tumors. CAR T cells were adoptively transplanted into patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of HCC. The cytotoxicity of CAR T cells in vivo was evaluated.PDX1, PDX2, and PDX3 were established using primary tumors from three individual HCC patients. All three PDXs maintained original tumor characteristics in their morphology, immunological markers, and gene expression. Tumors in PDX1 grew relatively slower than that in PDX2 and PDX3. Glypican 3 (GPC3)-CAR T cells efficiently suppressed tumor growth in PDX3 and impressively eradicated tumor cells from PDX1 and PDX2, in which GPC3 proteins were highly expressed.GPC3-CAR T cells were capable of effectively eliminating tumors in PDX model of HCC. Therefore, GPC3-CAR T cell therapy is a promising candidate for HCC treatment.
Project description:The prevalent de novo biosynthetic pathway of vitamin B6 involves only two enzymes (Pdx1 and Pdx2) that form an ornate multisubunit complex functioning as a glutamine amidotransferase. The synthase subunit, Pdx1, utilizes ribose 5-phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, as well as ammonia derived from the glutaminase activity of Pdx2 to directly form the cofactor vitamer, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate. Given the fact that a single enzyme performs the majority of the chemistry behind this reaction, a complicated mechanism is anticipated. Recently, the individual steps along the reaction co-ordinate are beginning to be unraveled. In particular, the binding of the pentose substrate and the first steps of the reaction have been elucidated but it is not known if the latter part of the chemistry, involving the triose sugar, takes place in the same or a disparate site. Here, we demonstrate through the use of enzyme assays, enzyme kinetics, and mutagenesis studies that indeed a second site is involved in binding the triose sugar and moreover, is the location of the final vitamin product, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate. Furthermore, we show that product release is triggered by the presence of a PLP-dependent enzyme. Finally, we provide evidence that a single arginine residue of the C terminus of Pdx1 is responsible for coordinating co-operativity in this elaborate protein machinery.
Project description:In this paper we describe the isolation of a second gene in the newly identified pyridoxine biosynthesis pathway of archaebacteria, some eubacteria, fungi, and plants. Although pyridoxine biosynthesis has been thoroughly examined in Escherichia coli, recent characterization of the Cercospora nicotianae biosynthesis gene PDX1 led to the discovery that most organisms contain a pyridoxine synthesis gene not found in E. coli. PDX2 was isolated by a degenerate primer strategy based on conserved sequences of a gene specific to PDX1-containing organisms. The role of PDX2 in pyridoxine biosynthesis was confirmed by complementation of two C. nicotianae pyridoxine auxotrophs not mutant in PDX1. Also, targeted gene replacement of PDX2 in C. nicotianae results in pyridoxine auxotrophy. Comparable to PDX1, PDX2 homologues are not found in any of the organisms with homologues to the E. coli pyridoxine genes, but are found in the same archaebacteria, eubacteria, fungi, and plants that contain PDX1 homologues. PDX2 proteins are less well conserved than their PDX1 counterparts but contain several protein motifs that are conserved throughout all PDX2 proteins.
Project description:Human and mouse genomes contain six ParaHox genes implicated in gut and neural patterning. In coelacanths and cartilaginous fish, an additional ParaHox gene exists-Pdx2-that dates back to the genome duplications in early vertebrate evolution. Here we examine the genomic arrangement and flanking genes of all ParaHox genes in coelacanths, to determine the full complement of these genes. We find that coelacanths have seven ParaHox genes in total, in four chromosomal locations, revealing that five gene losses occurred soon after vertebrate genome duplication. Comparison of intergenic sequences reveals that some Pdx1 regulatory regions associated with development of pancreatic islets are older than tetrapods, that Pdx1 and Pdx2 share few if any conserved non-coding elements, and that there is very high sequence conservation between coelacanth species.
Project description:Vitamin B6 is an essential metabolite in all organisms. It can act as a coenzyme for numerous metabolic enzymes and has recently been shown to be a potent antioxidant. Plants and microorganisms have a de novo biosynthetic pathway for vitamin B6, but animals must obtain it from dietary sources. In Escherichia coli, it is known that the vitamin is derived from deoxyxylulose 5-phosphate (an intermediate in the nonmevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis) and 4-phosphohydroxy-l-threonine. It has been assumed that vitamin B6 is synthesized in the same way in plants, but this hypothesis has never been experimentally proven. Here, we show that, in plants, synthesis of the vitamin takes an entirely different route, which does not involve deoxyxylulose 5-phosphate but instead utilizes intermediates from the pentose phosphate pathway, i.e., ribose 5-phosphate or ribulose 5-phosphate, and from glycolysis, i.e., dihydroxyacetone phosphate or glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. The revelation is based on the recent discovery that, in bacteria and fungi, a novel pathway is in place that involves two genes (PDX1 and PDX2), neither of which is homologous to any of those involved in the previously doctrined E. coli pathway. We demonstrate that Arabidopsis thaliana has two functional homologs of PDX1 and a single homolog of PDX2. Furthermore, and contrary to what was inferred previously, we show that the pathway appears to be cytosolic and is not localized to the plastid. Last, we report that the single PDX2 homolog is essential for plant viability.
Project description:Vitamin B6 is recognized as an important cofactor required for numerous metabolic enzymes, and has been shown to act as an antioxidant and play a role in stress responses. It can be synthesized through two different routes: salvage and de novo pathways. However, little is known about the possible function of the vitamin B6 pathways in the fungal plant pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. Using genome walking, the de novo biosynthetic pathway genes; RsolPDX1 and RsolPDX2 and the salvage biosynthetic pathway gene, RsolPLR were sequenced. The predicted amino acid sequences of the three genes had high degrees of similarity to other fungal PDX1, PDX2, and PLR proteins and are closely related to other R. solani anastomosis groups. We also examined their regulation when subjected to reactive oxygen species (ROS) stress inducers, the superoxide generator paraquat, or H2O2, and compared it to the well-known antioxidant genes, catalase and glutathione-S-transferase (GST). The genes were differentially regulated with transcript levels as high as 33 fold depending on the gene and type of stress reflecting differences in the type of damage induced by ROS. Exogenous addition of the vitamers PN or PLP in culture medium significantly induced the transcription of the vitamin B6 de novo encoding genes as early as 0.5 hour post treatment (HPT). On the other hand, transcription of RsolPLR was vitamer-specific; a down regulation upon supplementation of PN and upregulation with PLP. Our results suggest that accumulation of ROS in R. solani mycelia is linked to transcriptional regulation of the three genes and implicate the vitamin B6 biosynthesis machinery in R. solani, similar to catalases and GST, as an antioxidant stress protector against oxidative stress.