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Abasic (AP) sites are one of the most common DNA lesions that block replicative polymerases. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine binding, embryonic stem cell-specific protein (HMCES) recognizes and processes these lesions in the context of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). A HMCES DNA-protein cross-link (DPC) intermediate is thought to shield the AP site from endonucleases and error-prone polymerases. The highly evolutionarily conserved SOS-response associated peptidase (SRAP) domain of HMCES and its Escherichia coli ortholog YedK mediate lesion recognition. Here we uncover the basis of AP site protection by SRAP domains from a crystal structure of the YedK DPC. YedK forms a stable thiazolidine linkage between a ring-opened AP site and the α-amino and sulfhydryl substituents of its amino-terminal cysteine residue. The thiazolidine linkage explains the remarkable stability of the HMCES DPC, its resistance to strand cleavage and the proteolysis requirement for resolution. Furthermore, its structure reveals that HMCES has specificity for AP sites in ssDNA at junctions found when replicative polymerases encounter the AP lesion.
Enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) is a major cause of foodborne gastrointestinal illness. EHEC uses a specialized type III secretion system (T3SS) to form attaching and effacing lesions in the colonic epithelium and outcompete commensal gut microbiota to cause disease. A recent report in (E. A. Cameron, M. M. Curtis, A. Kumar, G. M. Dunny, et al., mBio 9:e02204-18, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02204-18) describes a new role for gut commensals in potentiating disease caused by EHEC. Proteases produced by EHEC and the prevalent human commensal cleave proteins in the EHEC T3SS translocon that modulate T3SS function. protease activity promotes translocation of bacterial effectors required for lesion formation. These results describe a new role for the microbiota in gastrointestinal disease that could uncover future treatments to prevent the spread of gastroenteritis.
Copyright © 2019 Palmer and Skaar.
State-of-the-art strategies for proteomics are not able to rapidly interrogate complex peptide mixtures in an untargeted manner with sensitive peptide and protein identification rates. We describe a data-independent acquisition (DIA) approach, microDIA (μDIA), that applies a novel tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) mass spectral deconvolution method to increase the specificity of tandem mass spectra acquired during proteomics experiments. Using the μDIA approach with a 10 min liquid chromatography gradient allowed detection of 3.1-fold more HeLa proteins than the results obtained from data-dependent acquisition (DDA) of the same samples. Additionally, we found the μDIA MS/MS deconvolution procedure is critical for resolving modified peptides with relatively small precursor mass shifts that cause the same peptide sequence in modified and unmodified forms to theoretically cofragment in the same raw MS/MS spectra. The μDIA workflow is implemented in the PROTALIZER software tool which fully automates tandem mass spectral deconvolution, queries every peptide with a library-free search algorithm against a user-defined protein database, and confidently identifies multiple peptides in a single tandem mass spectrum. We also benchmarked μDIA against DDA using a 90 min gradient analysis of HeLa and Escherichia coli peptides that were mixed in predefined quantitative ratios, and our results showed μDIA provided 24% more true positives at the same false positive rate.
Flavin is covalently attached to the protein scaffold in ~10% of flavoenzymes. However, the mechanism of covalent modification is unclear, due in part to challenges in stabilizing assembly intermediates. Here, we capture the structure of an assembly intermediate of the Escherichia coli Complex II (quinol:fumarate reductase (FrdABCD)). The structure contains the E. coli FrdA subunit bound to covalent FAD and crosslinked with its assembly factor, SdhE. The structure contains two global conformational changes as compared to prior structures of the mature protein: the rotation of a domain within the FrdA subunit, and the destabilization of two large loops of the FrdA subunit, which may create a tunnel to the active site. We infer a mechanism for covalent flavinylation. As supported by spectroscopic and kinetic analyses, we suggest that SdhE shifts the conformational equilibrium of the FrdA active site to disfavor succinate/fumarate interconversion and enhance covalent flavinylation.
Quinol:fumarate reductase (QFR) is an integral membrane protein and a member of the respiratory Complex II superfamily. Although the structure of Escherichia coli QFR was first reported almost twenty years ago, many open questions of catalysis remain. Here we report two new crystal forms of QFR, one grown from the lipidic cubic phase and one grown from dodecyl maltoside micelles. QFR crystals grown from the lipid cubic phase processed as P1, merged to 7.5 Å resolution, and exhibited crystal packing similar to previous crystal forms. Crystals grown from dodecyl maltoside micelles processed as P2, merged to 3.35 Å resolution, and displayed a unique crystal packing. This latter crystal form provides the first view of the E. coli QFR active site without a dicarboxylate ligand. Instead, an unidentified anion binds at a shifted position. In one of the molecules in the asymmetric unit, this is accompanied by rotation of the capping domain of the catalytic subunit. In the other molecule, this is associated with loss of interpretable electron density for this same capping domain. Analysis of the structure suggests that the ligand adjusts the position of the capping domain.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
There remains a need for new non-ionic detergents that are suitable for use in biochemical and biophysical studies of membrane proteins. Here we explore the properties of n-dodecyl-β-melibioside (β-DDMB) micelles as a medium for membrane proteins. Melibiose is d-galactose-α(1→6)-d-glucose. Light scattering showed the β-DDMB micelle to be roughly 30 kDa smaller than micelles formed by the commonly used n-dodecyl-β-maltoside (β-DDM). β-DDMB stabilized diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) against thermal inactivation. Moreover, activity assays conducted using aliquots of DAGK purified into β-DDMB yielded activities that were 40% higher than those of DAGK purified into β-DDM. β-DDMB yielded similar or better TROSY-HSQC NMR spectra for two single-pass membrane proteins and the tetraspan membrane protein peripheral myelin protein 22. β-DDMB appears be a useful addition to the toolbox of non-ionic detergents available for membrane protein research.
The Complex II homolog quinol:fumarate reductase (QFR, FrdABCD) catalyzes the interconversion of fumarate and succinate at a covalently attached FAD within the FrdA subunit. The SdhE assembly factor enhances covalent flavinylation of Complex II homologs, but the mechanisms underlying the covalent attachment of FAD remain to be fully elucidated. Here, we explored the mechanisms of covalent flavinylation of the QFR FrdA subunit. Using a Δ strain, we show that the requirement for the assembly factor depends on the cellular redox environment. We next identified residues important for the covalent attachment and selected the FrdA residue, which contributes to proton shuttling during fumarate reduction, for detailed biophysical and structural characterization. We found that QFR complexes containing FrdA have a structure similar to that of the WT flavoprotein, but lack detectable substrate binding and turnover. In the context of the isolated FrdA subunit, the anticipated assembly intermediate during covalent flavinylation, FrdA variants had stability similar to that of WT FrdA, contained noncovalent FAD, and displayed a reduced capacity to interact with SdhE. However, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) analysis of WT FrdA cross-linked to SdhE suggested that the FrdA residue is unlikely to contribute directly to the FrdA-SdhE protein-protein interface. We also found that no auxiliary factor is absolutely required for flavinylation, indicating that the covalent flavinylation is autocatalytic. We propose that multiple factors, including the SdhE assembly factor and bound dicarboxylates, stimulate covalent flavinylation by preorganizing the active site to stabilize the quinone-methide intermediate.
© 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
The ability to de novo synthesize purines has been associated with the intracellular survival of multiple bacterial pathogens. Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), the predominant cause of urinary tract infections, undergoes a transient intracellular lifestyle during which bacteria clonally expand into multicellular bacterial communities within the cytoplasm of bladder epithelial cells. Here, we characterized the contribution of the conserved de novo purine biosynthesis-associated locus cvpA-purF to UPEC pathogenesis. Deletion of cvpA-purF, or of purF alone, abolished de novo purine biosynthesis but did not impact bacterial adherence properties in vitro or in the bladder lumen. However, upon internalization by bladder epithelial cells, UPEC deficient in de novo purine biosynthesis was unable to expand into intracytoplasmic bacterial communities over time, unless it was extrachromosomally complemented. These findings indicate that UPEC is deprived of purine nucleotides within the intracellular niche and relies on de novo purine synthesis to meet this metabolic requirement.
Copyright © 2016 American Society for Microbiology.
Due to their functional independence, proteins that comprise standalone metabolic units, which we name single-protein metabolic modules, may be particularly prone to gene duplication (GD) and horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Flavohemoglobins (flavoHbs) are prime examples of single-protein metabolic modules, detoxifying nitric oxide (NO), a ubiquitous toxin whose antimicrobial properties many life forms exploit, to nitrate, a common source of nitrogen for organisms. FlavoHbs appear widespread in bacteria and have been identified in a handful of microbial eukaryotes, but how the distribution of this ecologically and biomedically important protein family evolved remains unknown. Reconstruction of the evolutionary history of 3,318 flavoHb protein sequences covering the family's known diversity showed evidence of recurrent HGT at multiple evolutionary scales including intrabacterial HGT, as well as HGT from bacteria to eukaryotes. One of the most striking examples of HGT is the acquisition of a flavoHb by the dandruff- and eczema-causing fungus Malassezia from Corynebacterium Actinobacteria, a transfer that growth experiments show is capable of mediating NO resistance in fungi. Other flavoHbs arose via GD; for example, many filamentous fungi possess two flavoHbs that are differentially targeted to the cytosol and mitochondria, likely conferring protection against external and internal sources of NO, respectively. Because single-protein metabolic modules such as flavoHb function independently, readily undergo GD and HGT, and are frequently involved in organismal defense and competition, we suggest that they represent "plug-and-play" proteins for ecological arms races.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
The small multidrug transporter from Escherichia coli, EmrE, couples the energetically uphill extrusion of hydrophobic cations out of the cell to the transport of two protons down their electrochemical gradient. Although principal mechanistic elements of proton/substrate antiport have been described, the structural record is limited to the conformation of the substrate-bound state, which has been shown to undergo isoenergetic alternating access. A central but missing link in the structure/mechanism relationship is a description of the proton-bound state, which is an obligatory intermediate in the transport cycle. Here we report a systematic spin labeling and double electron electron resonance (DEER) study that uncovers the conformational changes of EmrE subsequent to protonation of critical acidic residues in the context of a global description of ligand-induced structural rearrangements. We find that protonation of E14 leads to extensive rotation and tilt of transmembrane helices 1-3 in conjunction with repacking of loops, conformational changes that alter the coordination of the bound substrate and modulate its access to the binding site from the lipid bilayer. The transport model that emerges from our data posits a proton-bound, but occluded, resting state. Substrate binding from the inner leaflet of the bilayer releases the protons and triggers alternating access between inward- and outward-facing conformations of the substrate-loaded transporter, thus enabling antiport without dissipation of the proton gradient.