Ingénieur de recherche
The nucleoid-associated protein HU is involved in numerous DNA transactions and thus is essential in DNA maintenance and bacterial survival. The high affinity of HU for SSBs (single-strand breaks) has suggested its involvement in DNA protection, repair and recombination. SSB-containing DNA are major intermediates transiently generated by bifunctional DNA N-glycosylases that initiate the BER (base excision repair) pathway. Enzyme kinetics and DNA-binding experiments demonstrate that HU enhances the 8-oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase activity of Fpg (formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase) by facilitating the release of the enzyme from its final DNA product (one nucleoside gap). We propose that the displacement of Fpg from its end-DNA product by HU is an active mechanism in which HU recognizes the product when it is still bound by Fpg. Through DNA binding, the two proteins interplay to form a transient ternary complex Fpg/DNA/HU which results in the release of Fpg and the molecular entrapment of SSBs by HU. These results support the involvement of HU in BER in vivo.
The bacterial transcription termination factor Rho—a ring-shaped molecular motor displaying directional, ATP-dependent RNA helicase/translocase activity—is an interesting therapeutic target. Recently, Rho from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtbRho) has been proposed to operate by a mechanism uncoupled from molecular motor action, suggesting that the manner used by Rho to dissociate transcriptional complexes is not conserved throughout the bacterial kingdom. Here, however, we demonstrate that MtbRho is a bona fide molecular motor and directional helicase which requires a catalytic site competent for ATP hydrolysis to disrupt RNA duplexes or transcription elongation complexes. Moreover, we show that idiosyncratic features of the MtbRho enzyme are conferred by a large, hydrophilic insertion in its N-terminal ‘RNA binding’ domain and by a non-canonical R-loop residue in its C-terminal ‘motor’ domain. We also show that the ‘motor’ domain of MtbRho has a low apparent affinity for the Rho inhibitor bicyclomycin, thereby contributing to explain why M. tuberculosis is resistant to this drug. Overall, our findings support that, in spite of adjustments of the Rho motor to specific traits of its hosting bacterium, the basic principles of Rho action are conserved across species and could thus constitute pertinent screening criteria in high-throughput searches of new Rho inhibitors.
Transcription termination factor Rho is a ring-shaped, homo-hexamieric RNA translocase that dissociates transcription elongation complexes and transcriptional RNA-DNA duplexes (R-loops) in bacteria. The molecular mechanisms underlying these biological functions have been essentially studied with Rho enzymes from Escherichia coli or close Gram-negative relatives. However, phylo-divergent Rho factors may have distinct properties. Here, we describe methods for the preparation and in vitro characterization (ATPase and helicase activities) of the Rho factor from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a specimen with uncharacteristic molecular and enzymatic features. These methods set the stage for future studies aimed at better defining the diversity of enzymatic properties of Rho across the bacterial kingdom.
DNA glycosylases from the Fpg/Nei structural superfamily are base excision repair enzymes involved in the removal of a wide variety of mutagen and potentially lethal oxidized purines and pyrimidines. Although involved in genome stability, the recent discovery of synthetic lethal relationships between DNA glycosylases and other pathways highlights the potential of DNA glycosylase inhibitors for future medicinal chemistry development in cancer therapy. By combining biochemical and structural approaches, the physical target of 2-thioxanthine (2TX), an uncompetitive inhibitor of Fpg, was identified. 2TX interacts with the zinc finger (ZnF) DNA binding domain of the enzyme. This explains why the zincless hNEIL1 enzyme is resistant to 2TX. Crystal structures of the enzyme bound to DNA in the presence of 2TX demonstrate that the inhibitor chemically reacts with cysteine thiolates of ZnF and induces the loss of zinc. The molecular mechanism by which 2TX inhibits Fpg may be generalized to all prokaryote and eukaryote ZnF-containing Fpg/Nei-DNA glycosylases. Cell experiments show that 2TX can operate in cellulo on the human Fpg/Nei DNA glycosylases. The atomic elucidation of the determinants for the interaction of 2TX to Fpg provides the foundation for the future design and synthesis of new inhibitors with high efficiency and selectivity.
OBJECTIVES : In Salmonella Typhimurium, the genes encoding the AcrAB-TolC multidrug efflux system are mainly regulated by the ramRA locus, composed of the divergently transcribed ramA and ramR genes. The acrAB and tolC genes are transcriptionally activated by RamA, the gene for which is itself transcriptionally repressed by RamR. Previous studies have reported that bile induces acrAB in a ramA-dependent manner, but none provided evidence for an induction of ramA expression by bile. Therefore, the objective of this study was to clarify the regulatory mechanism by which bile activates acrAB and tolC. METHODS : qRT-PCR was used to address the effects of bile (using choleate, an ox-bile extract) on the expression of ramA, ramR, acrB and tolC. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and surface plasmon resonance experiments were used to measure the effect of bile on RamR binding to the ramA promoter (PramA) region. RESULTS : We show that ramA is transcriptionally activated by bile and is strictly required for the bile-mediated activation of acrB and tolC. Additionally, bile is shown to specifically inhibit the binding of RamR to the PramA region, which overlaps the putative divergent ramR promoter, thereby explaining our observation that bile also activates ramR transcription. *
CONCLUSIONS : We propose a regulation model whereby the bile-mediated activation of the acrAB and tolC multidrug efflux genes occurs mainly through the transcriptional derepression of the ramA activator gene.
Ovalbumin family contains three proteins with high sequence similarity : ovalbumin, ovalbumin-related protein Y (OVAY), and ovalbumin-related protein X (OVAX). Ovalbumin is the major egg white protein with still undefined function, whereas the biological activity of OVAX and OVAY has not yet been explored. Similar to ovalbumin and OVAY, OVAX belongs to the ovalbumin serine protease inhibitor family (ov-serpin). We show that OVAX is specifically expressed by the magnum tissue, which is responsible for egg white formation. OVAX is also the main heparin-binding protein of egg white. This glycoprotein with a predicted reactive site at Lys367-His368 is not able to inhibit trypsin, plasmin, or cathepsin G with or without heparin as a cofactor. Secondary structure of OVAX is similar to that of ovalbumin, but the three-dimensional model of OVAX reveals the presence of a cluster of exposed positive charges, which potentially explains the affinity of this ov-serpin for heparin, as opposed to ovalbumin. Interestingly, OVAX, unlike ovalbumin, displays antibacterial activities against both Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica sv. Enteritidis. These properties partly involve heparin-binding site(s) of the molecule as the presence of heparin reverses its anti-Salmonella but not its anti-Listeria potential. Altogether, these results suggest that OVAX and ovalbumin, although highly similar in sequence, have peculiar sequential and/or structural features that are likely to impact their respective biological functions.
The Drosophila melanogaster gene CG11501 is up regulated after a septic injury and was proposed to act as a negative regulator of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway. Diedel, the CG11501 gene product, is a small protein of 115 residues with 10 cysteines.
We have produced Diedel in Drosophila S2 cells as an extra cellular protein thanks to its own signal peptide and solved its crystal structure at 1.15 Å resolution by SIRAS using an iodo derivative. Diedel is composed of two sub domains SD1 and SD2. SD1 is made of an antiparallel β-sheet covered by an α-helix and displays a ferredoxin-like fold. SD2 reveals a new protein fold made of loops connected by four disulfide bridges. Further structural analysis identified conserved hydrophobic residues on the surface of Diedel that may constitute a potential binding site. The existence of two conformations, cis and trans, for the proline 52 may be of interest as prolyl peptidyl isomerisation has been shown to play a role in several physiological mechanisms. The genome of D. melanogaster contains two other genes coding for proteins homologous to Diedel, namely CG43228 and CG34329. Strikingly, apart from Drosophila and the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, Diedel-related sequences were exclusively identified in a few insect DNA viruses of the Baculoviridae and Ascoviridae families.
Diedel, a marker of the Drosophila antimicrobial/antiviral response, is a member of a small family of proteins present in drosophilids, aphids and DNA viruses infecting lepidopterans. Diedel is an extracellular protein composed of two sub-domains. Two special structural features (hydrophobic surface patch and cis/trans conformation for proline 52) may indicate a putative interaction site, and support an extra cellular signaling function for Diedel, which is in accordance with its proposed role as negative regulator of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway.
The transcriptional activator RamA is involved in multidrug resistance (MDR) by increasing expression of the AcrAB-TolC RND-type efflux system in several pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae. In Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), ramA expression is negatively regulated at the local level by RamR, a transcriptional repressor of the TetR family. We here studied the DNA-binding activity of the RamR repressor with the ramA promoter (P(ramA)). As determined by high-resolution footprinting, the 28-bp-long RamR binding site covers essential features of P(ramA), including the -10 conserved region, the transcriptional start site of ramA, and two 7-bp inverted repeats. Based on the RamR footprint and on electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs), we propose that RamR interacts with P(ramA) as a dimer of dimers, in a fashion that is structurally similar to the QacR-DNA binding model. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurements indicated that RamR has a 3-fold-lower affinity (K(D) [equilibrium dissociation constant] = 191 nM) for the 2-bp-deleted P(ramA) of an MDR S. Typhimurium clinical isolate than for the wild-type P(ramA) (K(D) = 66 nM). These results confirm the direct regulatory role of RamR in the repression of ramA transcription and precisely define how an alteration of its binding site can give rise to an MDR phenotype.
The histone-like HU protein is the major nucleoid-associated protein involved in the dynamics and structure of the bacterial chromosome. Under physiological conditions, the three possible dimeric forms of the E. coli HU protein (EcHUα₂, EcHUβ₂, and EcHUαβ) are in thermal equilibrium between two dimeric conformations (N₂ ↔ I₂) varying in their secondary structure content. High-temperature molecular dynamics simulations combined with NMR experiments provide information about structural and dynamics features at the atomic level for the N₂ to I₂ thermal transition of the EcHUβ₂ homodimer. On the basis of these data, a realistic 3D model is proposed for the major I₂ conformation of EcHUβ₂. This model is in agreement with previous experimental data.
Yhr049w/FSH1 was recently identified in a combined computational and experimental proteomics analysis for the detection of active serine hydrolases in yeast. This analysis suggested that FSH1 might be a serine-type hydrolase belonging to the broad functional alpha beta-hydrolase superfamily. In order to get insight into the molecular function of this gene, it was targeted in our yeast structural genomics project. The crystal structure of the protein confirms that it contains a Ser/His/Asp catalytic triad that is part of a minimal alpha beta-hydrolase fold. The architecture of the putative active site and analogies with other protein structures suggest that FSH1 may be an esterase. This finding was further strengthened by the unexpected presence of a compound covalently bound to the catalytic serine in the active site. Apparently, the enzyme was trapped with a reactive compound during the purification process.
Formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (Fpg) is a DNA repair enzyme that excises oxidized purines such as 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) and 2,6-diamino-4-hydroxy-5-formamidopyrimidine (FapyG) from damaged DNA. Here, we report the crystal structure of the Fpg protein from Lactococcus lactis (LlFpg) bound to a carbocyclic FapydG (cFapydG)-containing DNA. The structure reveals that Fpg stabilizes the cFapydG nucleoside into an extrahelical conformation inside its substrate binding pocket. In contrast to the recognition of the 8-oxodG lesion, which is bound with the glycosidic bond in a syn conformation, the cFapydG lesion displays in the complex an anti conformation.
The Escherichia coli histone-like HU protein pool is composed of three dimeric forms : two homodimers, EcHUa(2) and EcHUß(2), and a heterodimer, EcHUaß. The relative abundance of these dimeric forms varies during cell growth and in response to environmental changes, suggesting that each dimer plays different physiological roles.
Accurate experimental phases derived from a MAD experiment may be useful to enable the identification of solvent molecules during the course of an atomic parameter refinement. The structure of a double-stranded DNA decanucleotide bearing a cisplatin interstrand cross-link at 1.6 Angstrom resolution, whose phases were first determined experimentally using the L-III edge of the Pt atom, was refined by various methods. The previously published structure resulted from a least-squares refinement using the structure-factor magnitudes and stereochemical restraints (program SHELX). In this paper, these previous results are compared with a model obtained by the likelihood-maximization method (program REFMAC) which allows the combination of the observed magnitudes with experimental MAD phases.
The homodimeric form alpha(2) of the Escherichia coli DNA-binding protein HU was crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 4000 as a precipitant. The crystals belong to space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 31.09, b = 55.34, c = 117.63 Angstrom, and contain one monomer per asymmetric unit. A full diffraction data set was collected to 2.3 Angstrom resolution on a conventional X-ray source. The molecular-replacement method, using the HU crystallographic model from Bacillus stearothermophilus as a starting point, gave a reliable solution for the rotation and translation functions.