Uncovering Zn2+ as a cofactor of FAD-dependent Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 d-2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenasePseudomonas aeruginosa couples the oxidation of d-2-hydroxyglutarate (D2HG) to l-serine biosynthesis for survival, using d-2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase from P. aeruginosa (PaD2HGDH). Knockout of PaD2HGDH impedes P. aeruginosa growth, making PaD2HGDH a potential target for therapeutics. Previous studies showed that the enzyme's activity increased with Zn2+, Co2+, or Mn2+ but did not establish the enzyme's metal composition and whether the metal is an activator or a required cofactor for the enzyme, which we addressed in this study.
The Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 metallo flavoprotein d-2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase requires Zn2+ for substrate orientation and activationPseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 d-2-hydroxyglutarate (D2HG) dehydrogenase (PaD2HGDH) oxidizes D2HG to 2-ketoglutarate during the vital l-serine biosynthesis and is a potential therapeutic target against P. aeruginosa. PaD2HGDH, which oxidizes d-malate as an alternative substrate, has been demonstrated to be a metallo flavoprotein that requires Zn2+ for activity. However, the role of Zn2+ in the enzyme has not been elucidated, making it difficult to rationalize why nature employs both a redox center and a metal ion for catalysis in PaD2HGDH and other metallo flavoenzymes.
Consensus design and engineering of an efficient and high-yield peptide asparaginyl ligase for protein cyclization and ligationPlant legumains are Asn/Asp-specific endopeptidases that have diverse functions in plants. Peptide asparaginyl ligases (PALs) are a special legumain subtype that primarily catalyze peptide bond formation rather than hydrolysis. PALs are versatile protein engineering tools but are rarely found in nature. To overcome this limitation, here we describe a two-step method to design and engineer a high-yield and efficient recombinant PAL based on commonly found asparaginyl endopeptidases. We first constructed a consensus sequence derived from 1500 plant legumains to design the evolutionarily stable legumain conLEG that could be produced in E. coli with 20-fold higher yield relative to that for natural legumains.
The β-latch structural element of the SufS cysteine desulfurase mediates active site accessibility and SufE transpersulfurase positioningUnder oxidative stress and iron starvation conditions, Escherichia coli uses the Suf pathway to assemble iron-sulfur clusters. The Suf pathway mobilizes sulfur via SufS, a type II cysteine desulfurase. SufS is a pyridoxal-5′-phosphate–dependent enzyme that uses cysteine to generate alanine and an active-site persulfide (C364-S-S-). The SufS persulfide is protected from external oxidants/reductants and requires the transpersulfurase, SufE, to accept the persulfide to complete the SufS catalytic cycle.
A structure-function analysis of chlorophyllase reveals a mechanism for activity regulation dependent on disulfide bondsChlorophyll pigments are used by photosynthetic organisms to facilitate light capture and mediate the conversion of sunlight into chemical energy. Due to the indispensable nature of this pigment and its propensity to form reactive oxygen species, organisms heavily invest in its biosynthesis, recycling, and degradation. One key enzyme implicated in these processes is chlorophyllase, an α/β hydrolase that hydrolyzes the phytol tail of chlorophyll pigments to produce chlorophyllide molecules. This enzyme was discovered a century ago, but despite its importance to diverse photosynthetic organisms, there are still many missing biochemical details regarding how chlorophyllase functions.
Multiple oxidative post-translational modifications of human glutamine synthetase mediate peroxynitrite-dependent enzyme inactivation and aggregationGlutamine synthetase (GS), which catalyzes the ATP-dependent synthesis of L-glutamine from L-glutamate and ammonia, is a ubiquitous and conserved enzyme that plays a pivotal role in nitrogen metabolism across all life domains. In vertebrates, GS is highly expressed in astrocytes, where its activity sustains the glutamate-glutamine cycle at glutamatergic synapses and is thus essential for maintaining brain homeostasis. In fact, decreased GS levels or activity have been associated with neurodegenerative diseases, with these alterations attributed to oxidative post-translational modifications of the protein, in particular tyrosine nitration.
Structures of the NDP-pyranose mutase belonging to glycosyltransferase family 75 reveal residues important for Mn2+ coordination and substrate bindingMembers of glycosyltransferase family 75 (GT75) not only reversibly catalyze the autoglycosylation of a conserved arginine residue with specific NDP-sugars but also exhibit NDP-pyranose mutase activity that reversibly converts specific NDP-pyranose to NDP-furanose. The latter activity provides valuable NDP-furanosyl donors for glycosyltransferases and requires a divalent cation as a cofactor instead of FAD used by UDP-D-galactopyranose mutase. However, details of the mechanism for NDP-pyranose mutase activity are not clear.
Influenza virus and pneumococcal neuraminidases enhance catalysis by similar yet distinct sialic acid–binding strategiesInfluenza A viruses and the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococci) both express neuraminidases that catalyze release of sialic acid residues from oligosaccharides and glycoproteins. Although these respiratory pathogen neuraminidases function in a similar environment, it remains unclear if these enzymes use similar mechanisms for sialic acid cleavage. Here, we compared the enzymatic properties of neuraminidases from two influenza A subtypes (N1 and N2) and the pneumococcal strain TIGR4 (NanA, NanB, and NanC).
Natural and synthetic 2-oxoglutarate derivatives are substrates for oncogenic variants of human isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 and 2Variants of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) 1 and 2 (IDH1/2) alter metabolism in cancer cells by catalyzing the NADPH-dependent reduction of 2-oxoglutarate (2OG) to (2R)-hydroxyglutarate. However, it is unclear how derivatives of 2OG can affect cancer cell metabolism. Here, we used synthetic C3- and C4-alkylated 2OG derivatives to investigate the substrate selectivities of the most common cancer-associated IDH1 variant (R132H IDH1), of two cancer-associated IDH2 variants (R172K IDH2, R140Q IDH2), and of WT IDH1/2.
The inhibitor of κB kinase β (IKKβ) phosphorylates IκBα twice in a single binding event through a sequential mechanismPhosphorylation of Inhibitor of κB (IκB) proteins by IκB Kinase β (IKKβ) leads to IκB degradation and subsequent activation of nuclear factor κB transcription factors. Of particular interest is the IKKβ-catalyzed phosphorylation of IκBα residues Ser32 and Ser36 within a conserved destruction box motif. To investigate the catalytic mechanism of IKKβ, we performed pre–steady-state kinetic analysis of the phosphorylation of IκBα protein substrates catalyzed by constitutively active, human IKKβ. Phosphorylation of full-length IκBα catalyzed by IKKβ was characterized by a fast exponential phase followed by a slower linear phase.
Conformational interdomain flexibility in a bacterial α-isopropylmalate synthase is necessary for leucine biosynthesisα-Isopropylmalate synthase (IPMS) catalyzes the first step in leucine (Leu) biosynthesis and is allosterically regulated by the pathway end product, Leu. IPMS is a dimeric enzyme with each chain consisting of catalytic, accessory, and regulatory domains, with the accessory and regulatory domains of each chain sitting adjacent to the catalytic domain of the other chain. The IPMS crystal structure shows significant asymmetry because of different relative domain conformations in each chain. Owing to the challenges posed by the dynamic and asymmetric structures of IPMS enzymes, the molecular details of their catalytic and allosteric mechanisms are not fully understood.
pH profiles of 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro) from SARS-CoV-2 elucidate its catalytic mechanism and a histidine residue critical for activity3-Chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro) is a promising drug target for coronavirus disease 2019 and related coronavirus diseases because of the essential role of this protease in processing viral polyproteins after infection. Understanding the detailed catalytic mechanism of 3CLpro is essential for designing effective inhibitors of infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Molecular dynamics studies have suggested pH-dependent conformational changes of 3CLpro, but experimental pH profiles of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro and analyses of the conserved active-site histidine residues have not been reported.
A broad specificity β-propeller enzyme from Rhodopseudomonas palustris that hydrolyzes many lactones including γ-valerolactoneLactones are prevalent in biological and industrial settings, yet there is a lack of information regarding enzymes used to metabolize these compounds. One compound, γ-valerolactone (GVL), is used as a solvent to dissolve plant cell walls into sugars and aromatic molecules for subsequent microbial conversion to fuels and chemicals. Despite the promise of GVL as a renewable solvent for biomass deconstruction, residual GVL can be toxic to microbial fermentation. Here, we identified a Ca2+-dependent enzyme from Rhodopseudomonas palustris (Rpa3624) and showed that it can hydrolyze aliphatic and aromatic lactones and esters, including GVL.
Kinetics of DNA strand transfer between polymerase and proofreading exonuclease active sites regulates error correction during high-fidelity replicationWe show that T7 DNA polymerase (pol) and exonuclease (exo) domains contribute to selective error correction during DNA replication by regulating bidirectional strand transfer between the two active sites. To explore the kinetic basis for selective removal of mismatches, we used a fluorescent cytosine analog (1,3-diaza-2-oxophenoxazine) to monitor the kinetics of DNA transfer between the exo and pol sites. We globally fit stopped-flow fluorescence and base excision kinetic data and compared results obtained with ssDNA versus duplex DNA to resolve how DNA transfer governs exo specificity.
The bacteriophage lambda integrase catalytic domain can be modified to act with the regulatory domain as a recombination-competent binary recombinaseSite-specific recombinase Int mediates integration of the bacteriophage λ genome into the Escherichia coli chromosome. Integration occurs once the Int tetramer, assisted by the integration host factor IHF, forms the intasome, a higher order structure, within which Int, a heterobivalent protein, interacts with two nonhomologous DNA sequences: the core recombination sites and the accessory arm sites. The binding to these sites is mediated by the catalytic C-terminal domain (CTD) and the regulatory N-terminal domain (NTD) of Int, respectively.
Functional divergence of the sarcomeric myosin, MYH7b, supports species-specific biological rolesMyosin heavy chain 7b (MYH7b) is an evolutionarily ancient member of the sarcomeric myosin family, which typically supports striated muscle function. However, in mammals, alternative splicing prevents MYH7b protein production in cardiac and most skeletal muscles and limits expression to a subset of specialized muscles and certain nonmuscle environments. In contrast, MYH7b protein is abundant in python cardiac and skeletal muscles. Although the MYH7b expression pattern diverges in mammals versus reptiles, MYH7b shares high sequence identity across species.
Transmembrane serine protease TMPRSS2 implicated in SARS-CoV-2 infection is autoactivated intracellularly and requires N-glycosylation for regulationTransmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) is a membrane-bound protease expressed in many human epithelial tissues, including the airway and lung. TMPRSS2-mediated cleavage of viral spike protein is a key mechanism in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 activation and host cell entry. To date, the cellular mechanisms that regulate TMPRSS2 activity and cell surface expression are not fully characterized. In this study, we examined two major post-translational events, zymogen activation and N-glycosylation, in human TMPRSS2.
Mechanism of chorismate dehydratase MqnA, the first enzyme of the futalosine pathway, proceeds via substrate-assisted catalysisMqnA, the only chorismate dehydratase known so far, catalyzes the initial step in the biosynthesis of menaquinone via the futalosine pathway. Details of the MqnA reaction mechanism remain unclear. Here, we present crystal structures of Streptomyces coelicolor MqnA and its active site mutants in complex with chorismate and the product 3-enolpyruvyl-benzoate, produced during heterologous expression in Escherichia coli. Together with activity studies, our data are in line with dehydration proceeding via substrate assisted catalysis, with the enol pyruvyl group of chorismate acting as catalytic base.
Oxidative stress–induced autonomous activation of the calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II involves disulfide formation in the regulatory domainCalcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II δ (CaMKIIδ) has a pivotal role in cardiac signaling. Constitutive and deleterious CaMKII “autonomous” activation is induced by oxidative stress, and the previously reported mechanism involves oxidation of methionine residues in the regulatory domain. Here, we demonstrate that covalent oxidation leads to a disulfide bond with Cys273 in the regulatory domain causing autonomous activity. Autonomous activation was induced by treating CaMKII with diamide or histamine chloramine, two thiol-oxidizing agents.
Elucidation of the substrate of tRNA-modifying enzymes MnmEG leads to in vitro reconstitution of an evolutionarily conserved uridine hypermodificationThe evolutionarily conserved bacterial proteins MnmE and MnmG collectively install a carboxymethylaminomethyl (cmnm) group at the fifth position of wobble uridines of several tRNA species. While the reaction catalyzed by MnmEG is one of the central steps in the biosynthesis of the methylaminomethyl (mnm) posttranscriptional tRNA modification, details of the reaction remain elusive. Glycine is known to be the source of the carboxy methylamino moiety of cmnm, and a tetrahydrofolate (THF) analog is thought to supply the one carbon that is appended to the fifth position of U.
MqsR is a noncanonical microbial RNase toxin that is inhibited by antitoxin MqsA via steric blockage of substrate bindingThe MqsRA toxin-antitoxin system is a component of the Escherichia coli stress response. Free MqsR, a ribonuclease, cleaves mRNAs containing a 5′-GC-3′ sequence causing a global shutdown of translation and the cell to enter a state of dormancy. Despite a general understanding of MqsR function, the molecular mechanism(s) by which MqsR binds and cleaves RNA and how one or more of these activities is inhibited by its cognate antitoxin MqsA is still poorly understood. Here, we used NMR spectroscopy coupled with mRNA cleavage assays to identify the molecular mechanism of MqsR substrate recognition and the MqsR residues that are essential for its catalytic activity.
Ancestral archaea expanded the genetic code with pyrrolysineThe pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase (PylRS) facilitates the cotranslational installation of the 22nd amino acid pyrrolysine. Owing to its tolerance for diverse amino acid substrates, and its orthogonality in multiple organisms, PylRS has emerged as a major route to install noncanonical amino acids into proteins in living cells. Recently, a novel class of PylRS enzymes was identified in a subset of methanogenic archaea. Enzymes within this class (ΔPylSn) lack the N-terminal tRNA-binding domain that is widely conserved amongst PylRS enzymes, yet remain active and orthogonal in bacteria and eukaryotes.
The ChaC family of γ-glutamyl cyclotransferases is required for Leishmania to switch to a slow growth state and for long-term survival of the parasiteThe ChaC family of γ-glutamyl cyclotransferases is conserved throughout all Kingdoms and catalyzes the degradation of GSH. So far, the ChaC family proteins in trypanosomal parasites are missing in the literature. Here, we report two members of the ChaC family of γ-glutamyl cyclotransferases (LmChaC2a and LmChaC2b) in the unicellular pathogen Leishmania. Activity measurements suggest that these proteins catalyze degradation of GSH but no other γ-glutamyl peptides. Recombinant LmChaC2a protein shows ∼17-fold lower catalytic efficiency (kcat ∼ 0.9 s−1) than LmChaC2b (kcat ∼ 15 s−1), although they showed comparable Km values (∼1.75 mM for LmChaC2a and ∼2.0 mM for LmChaC2b) toward GSH.
Hepatitis C virus nonstructural protein NS3 unfolds viral G-quadruplex RNA structuresHepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of liver-related diseases and hepatocellular carcinoma. The helicase domain of one of the nonstructural proteins of HCV, NS3 (nonstructural protein 3), is essential for viral replication; however, its specific biological role is still under investigation. Here, we set out to determine the interaction between a purified recombinant full length NS3 and synthetic guanine-rich substrates that represent the conserved G-quadruplex (G4)-forming sequences in the HCV-positive and HCV-negative strands.
The iron–sulfur cluster assembly (ISC) protein Iba57 executes a tetrahydrofolate-independent function in mitochondrial [4Fe–4S] protein maturationMitochondria harbor the bacteria-inherited iron–sulfur cluster assembly (ISC) machinery to generate [2Fe–2S; iron–sulfur (Fe–S)] and [4Fe–4S] proteins. In yeast, assembly of [4Fe–4S] proteins specifically involves the ISC proteins Isa1, Isa2, Iba57, Bol3, and Nfu1. Functional defects in their human equivalents cause the multiple mitochondrial dysfunction syndromes, severe disorders with a broad clinical spectrum. The bacterial Iba57 ancestor YgfZ was described to require tetrahydrofolate (THF) for its function in the maturation of selected [4Fe–4S] proteins.