Functional characterization of alanine racemase from Schizosaccharomyces pombe: a eucaryotic counterpart to bacterial alanine racemase.
ABSTRACT: Schizosaccharomyces pombe has an open reading frame, which we named alr1(+), encoding a putative protein similar to bacterial alanine racemase. We cloned the alr1(+) gene in Escherichia coli and purified the gene product (Alr1p), with an M(r) of 41,590, to homogeneity. Alr1p contains pyridoxal 5'-phosphate as a coenzyme and catalyzes the racemization of alanine with apparent K(m) and V(max) values as follows: for L-alanine, 5.0 mM and 670 micromol/min/mg, respectively, and for D-alanine, 2.4 mM and 350 micromol/min/mg, respectively. The enzyme is almost specific to alanine, but L-serine and L-2-aminobutyrate are racemized slowly at rates 3.7 and 0.37% of that of L-alanine, respectively. S. pombe uses D-alanine as a sole nitrogen source, but deletion of the alr1(+) gene resulted in retarded growth on the same medium. This indicates that S. pombe has catabolic pathways for both enantiomers of alanine and that the pathway for L-alanine coupled with racemization plays a major role in the catabolism of D-alanine. Saccharomyces cerevisiae differs markedly from S. pombe: S. cerevisiae uses L-alanine but not D-alanine as a sole nitrogen source. Moreover, D-alanine is toxic to S. cerevisiae. However, heterologous expression of the alr1(+) gene enabled S. cerevisiae to grow efficiently on D-alanine as a sole nitrogen source. The recombinant yeast was relieved from the toxicity of D-alanine.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic Gram-negative bacterium which is a common cause of hospital-acquired infections. Numerous antibiotic-resistant strains exist, emphasizing the need for the development of new antimicrobials. Alanine racemase (Alr) is a pyridoxal 5'-phosphate dependent enzyme that is responsible for racemization between enantiomers of alanine. As D-alanine is an essential component of the bacterial cell wall, its inhibition is lethal to prokaryotes, making it an excellent antibiotic drug target. The crystal structure of A. baumannii alanine racemase (AlrAba) from the highly antibiotic-resistant NCTC13302 strain has been solved to 1.9 Å resolution. Comparison of AlrAba with alanine racemases from closely related bacteria demonstrates a conserved overall fold. The substrate entryway and active site of the enzymes were shown to be highly conserved. The structure of AlrAba will provide the template required for future structure-based drug-design studies.
Project description:To obtain information on the reaction specificity of cystalysin from the spirochaete bacterium Treponema denticola, the interaction with L- and D-alanine has been investigated. Binding of both alanine enantiomers leads to the appearance of an external aldimine absorbing at 429 nm and of a band absorbing at 498 nm, indicative of a quinonoid species. Racemization and transamination reactions were observed to occur with both alanine isomers as substrates. The steady-state kinetic parameters for racemization, k (cat) and K (m), for L-alanine are 1.05+/-0.03 s(-1) and 10+/-1 mM respectively, whereas those for D-alanine are 1.4+/-0.1 s(-1) and 10+/-1 mM. During the reaction of cystalysin with L- or D-alanine, a time-dependent loss of beta-elimination activity occurs concomitantly with the conversion of the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) coenzyme into pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate (PMP). The catalytic efficiency of the half-transamination of L-alanine is found to be 5.3x10(-5) mM(-1) x s(-1), 5-fold higher when compared with that of D-alanine. The partition ratio between racemization and half-transamination reactions is 2.3x10(3) for L-alanine and 1.4x10(4) for D-alanine. The pH dependence of the kinetic parameters for both the reactions shows that the enzyme possesses a single ionizing residue with p K values of 6.5-6.6, which must be unprotonated for catalysis. Addition of pyruvate converts the PMP form of the enzyme back into the PLP form and causes the concomitant recovery of beta-elimination activity. In contrast with other PLP enzymes studied so far, but similar to alanine racemases, the apoform of the enzyme abstracted tritium from C4' of both (4' S)- and (4' R)-[4'-(3)H]PMP in the presence of pyruvate. Together with molecular modelling of the putative binding sites of L- and D-alanine at the active site of the enzyme, the implications of these studies for the mechanisms of the side reactions catalysed by cystalysin are discussed.
Project description:Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) dependent alanine racemase catalyzes racemization of L-Ala to D-Ala, a key component of the peptidoglycan network in bacterial cell wall. It has been extensively studied as an important antimicrobial drug target due to its restriction in eukaryotes. However, many marketed alanine racemase inhibitors also act on eukaryotic PLP-dependent enzymes and cause side effects. A thermostable alanine racemase (AlrTt) from Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis MB4 contains an evolutionarily non-conserved residue Gln360 in inner layer of the substrate entryway, which is supposed to be a key determinant in substrate specificity. Here we determined the crystal structure of AlrTt in complex with L-Ala at 2.7 Å resolution, and investigated the role of Gln360 by saturation mutagenesis and kinetic analysis. Compared to typical bacterial alanine racemase, presence of Gln360 and conformational changes of active site residues disrupted the hydrogen bonding interactions necessary for proper PLP immobilization, and decreased both the substrate affinity and turnover number of AlrTt. However, it could be complemented by introduction of hydrophobic amino acids at Gln360, through steric blocking and interactions with a hydrophobic patch near active site pocket. These observations explained the low racemase activity of AlrTt, revealed the essential role of Gln360 in substrate selection, and its preference for hydrophobic amino acids especially Tyr in bacterial alanine racemization. Our work will contribute new insights into the alanine racemization mechanism for antimicrobial drug development.
Project description:Streptococcus iniae is a pathogenic and zoonotic bacteria that impacted high mortality to many fish species as well as capable of causing serious disease to humans. Alanine racemase (Alr, EC 188.8.131.52) is a pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP)-containing homodimeric enzyme that catalyzes the racemization of L-alanine and D-alanine. In this study, we purified alanine racemase from S. iniae that was isolated from an infected Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis), as well as determined its biochemical characteristics and inhibitors. The alr gene has an open reading frame (ORF) of 1107 bp, encoding a protein of 369 amino acids, which has a molecular mass of 40 kDa. The enzyme has optimal activity at a temperature of 35°C and a pH of 9.5. It belongs to the PLP-dependent enzymes family and is highly specific to L-alanine. S. iniae Alr (SiAlr) could be inhibited by some metal ions, hydroxylamine and dithiothreitol (DTT). The kinetic parameters K m and V max of the enzyme were 33.11 mM, 2426 units/mg for L-alanine, and 14.36 mM, 963.6 units/mg for D-alanine. Finally, the 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) values and antibiotic activity of two alanine racemase inhibitors (homogentisic acid and hydroquinone), were determined and found to be effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria employed in this study.Streptococcus iniae is a pathogenic and zoonotic bacteria that impacted high mortality to many fish species as well as capable of causing serious disease to humans. Alanine racemase (Alr, EC 184.108.40.206) is a pyridoxal-5’-phosphate (PLP)-containing homodimeric enzyme that catalyzes the racemization of L-alanine and D-alanine. In this study, we purified alanine racemase from S. iniae that was isolated from an infected Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis), as well as determined its biochemical characteristics and inhibitors. The alr gene has an open reading frame (ORF) of 1107 bp, encoding a protein of 369 amino acids, which has a molecular mass of 40 kDa. The enzyme has optimal activity at a temperature of 35°C and a pH of 9.5. It belongs to the PLP-dependent enzymes family and is highly specific to L-alanine. S. iniae Alr (SiAlr) could be inhibited by some metal ions, hydroxylamine and dithiothreitol (DTT). The kinetic parameters K m and V max of the enzyme were 33.11 mM, 2426 units/mg for L-alanine, and 14.36 mM, 963.6 units/mg for D-alanine. Finally, the 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) values and antibiotic activity of two alanine racemase inhibitors (homogentisic acid and hydroquinone), were determined and found to be effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria employed in this study.
Project description:beta-Alanine synthase (EC 220.127.116.11), which catalyzes the final step of pyrimidine catabolism, has only been characterized in mammals. A Saccharomyces kluyveri pyd3 mutant that is unable to grow on N-carbamyl-beta-alanine as the sole nitrogen source and exhibits diminished beta-alanine synthase activity was used to clone analogous genes from different eukaryotes. Putative PYD3 sequences from the yeast S. kluyveri, the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster complemented the pyd3 defect. When the S. kluyveri PYD3 gene was expressed in S. cerevisiae, which has no pyrimidine catabolic pathway, it enabled growth on N-carbamyl-beta-alanine as the sole nitrogen source. The D. discoideum and D. melanogaster PYD3 gene products are similar to mammalian beta-alanine synthases. In contrast, the S. kluyveri protein is quite different from these and more similar to bacterial N-carbamyl amidohydrolases. All three beta-alanine synthases are to some degree related to various aspartate transcarbamylases, which catalyze the second step of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway. PYD3 expression in yeast seems to be inducible by dihydrouracil and N-carbamyl-beta-alanine, but not by uracil. This work establishes S. kluyveri as a model organism for studying pyrimidine degradation and beta-alanine production in eukaryotes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax and a potential bioterrorism threat. Here we report the biochemical and structural characterization of B. anthracis (Ames) alanine racemase (AlrBax), an essential enzyme in prokaryotes and a target for antimicrobial drug development. We also compare the native AlrBax structure to a recently reported structure of the same enzyme obtained through reductive lysine methylation. RESULTS: B. anthracis has two open reading frames encoding for putative alanine racemases. We show that only one, dal1, is able to complement a D-alanine auxotrophic strain of E. coli. Purified Dal1, which we term AlrBax, is shown to be a dimer in solution by dynamic light scattering and has a Vmax for racemization (L- to D-alanine) of 101 U/mg. The crystal structure of unmodified AlrBax is reported here to 1.95 A resolution. Despite the overall similarity of the fold to other alanine racemases, AlrBax makes use of a chloride ion to position key active site residues for catalysis, a feature not yet observed for this enzyme in other species. Crystal contacts are more extensive in the methylated structure compared to the unmethylated structure. CONCLUSION: The chloride ion in AlrBax is functioning effectively as a carbamylated lysine making it an integral and unique part of this structure. Despite differences in space group and crystal form, the two AlrBax structures are very similar, supporting the case that reductive methylation is a valid rescue strategy for proteins recalcitrant to crystallization, and does not, in this case, result in artifacts in the tertiary structure.
Project description:Acinetobacter baumannii has received much attention owing to its exceptional ability to develop resistance to currently available antibiotics. Alanine racemase (ALR) catalyzes the racemization of L-alanine to D-alanine with pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) as a cofactor. The D-alanine product is an essential component of the bacterial cell wall and ALR is a potential target for the development of novel antibacterial drugs. The alr gene from A. baumannii was cloned and the protein (AbALR) was expressed, purified and crystallized. The AbALR crystal diffracted to 2.3?Å resolution and belonged to the primitive orthorhombic space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 55.1, b = 85.0, c = 167.7?Å. Two protomers were present in the asymmetric unit, with a corresponding V(M) value of 2.3?Å(3)?Da(-1) and a solvent content of 47.5%.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is an opportunistic Gram-positive bacterium which causes a wide variety of diseases ranging from minor skin infections to potentially fatal conditions such as pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia. The pathogen is a leading cause of nosocomial acquired infections, a problem that is exacerbated by the existence of methicillin- and glycopeptide antibiotic-resistant strains which can be challenging to treat. Alanine racemase (Alr) is a pyridoxal-5'-phosphate-dependent enzyme which catalyzes reversible racemization between enantiomers of alanine. As D-alanine is an essential component of the bacterial cell-wall peptidoglycan, inhibition of Alr is lethal to prokaryotes. Additionally, while ubiquitous amongst bacteria, this enzyme is absent in humans and most eukaryotes, making it an excellent antibiotic drug target. The crystal structure of S. aureus alanine racemase (Alr(Sas)), the sequence of which corresponds to that from the highly antibiotic-resistant Mu50 strain, has been solved to 2.15 Å resolution. Comparison of the Alr(Sas) structure with those of various alanine racemases demonstrates a conserved overall fold, with the enzyme sharing most similarity to those from other Gram-positive bacteria. Structural examination indicates that the active-site binding pocket, dimer interface and active-site entryway of the enzyme are potential targets for structure-aided inhibitor design. Kinetic constants were calculated in this study and are reported here. The potential for a disulfide bond in this structure is noted. This structural and biochemical information provides a template for future structure-based drug-development efforts targeting Alr(Sas).
Project description:Among the archaea, Methanococcus maripaludis has the unusual ability to use L- or D-alanine as a nitrogen source. To understand how this occurs, we tested the roles of three adjacent genes encoding homologs of alanine dehydrogenase, alanine racemase, and alanine permease. To produce mutations in these genes, we devised a method for markerless mutagenesis that builds on previously established genetic tools for M. maripaludis. The technique uses a negative selection strategy that takes advantage of the ability of the M. maripaludis hpt gene encoding hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase to confer sensitivity to the base analog 8-azahypoxanthine. In addition, we developed a negative selection method to stably incorporate constructs into the genome at the site of the upt gene encoding uracil phosphoribosyltransferase. Mutants with in-frame deletion mutations in the genes for alanine dehydrogenase and alanine permease lost the ability to grow on either isomer of alanine, while a mutant with an in-frame deletion mutation in the gene for alanine racemase lost only the ability to grow on D-alanine. The wild-type gene for alanine dehydrogenase, incorporated into the upt site, complemented the alanine dehydrogenase mutation. Hence, the permease is required for the transport of either isomer, the dehydrogenase is specific for the L isomer, and the racemase converts the D isomer to the L isomer. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that all three genes had been acquired by lateral gene transfer from the low-moles-percent G+C gram-positive bacteria.
Project description:Clostridium difficile, a Gram-positive, spore-forming anaerobic bacterium, is the leading cause of infectious diarrhea among hospitalized patients. C. difficile is frequently associated with antibiotic treatment, and causes diseases ranging from antibiotic-associated diarrhea to life-threatening pseudomembranous colitis. The severity of C. difficile infections is exacerbated by the emergence of hypervirulent and multidrug-resistant strains, which are difficult to treat and are often associated with increased mortality rates. Alanine racemase (Alr) is a pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the reversible racemization of L- and D-alanine. Since D-alanine is an essential component of the bacterial cell-wall peptidoglycan, and there are no known Alr homologs in humans, this enzyme is being tested as an antibiotic target. Cycloserine is an antibiotic that inhibits Alr. In this study, the catalytic properties and crystal structures of recombinant Alr from the virulent and multidrug-resistant C. difficile strain 630 are presented. Three crystal structures of C. difficile Alr (CdAlr), corresponding to the complex with PLP, the complex with cycloserine and a K271T mutant form of the enzyme with bound PLP, are presented. The structures are prototypical Alr homodimers with two active sites in which the cofactor PLP and cycloserine are localized. Kinetic analyses reveal that the K271T mutant CdAlr has the highest catalytic constants reported to date for any Alr. Additional studies are needed to identify the basis for the high catalytic activity. The structural and activity data presented are first steps towards using CdAlr for the development of structure-based therapeutics for C. difficile infections.