Protein Structure and Folding
- Corynebacterium diphtheriae is a human pathogen that causes diphtheria. In response to immune system-induced oxidative stress, C. diphtheriae expresses antioxidant enzymes, among which are methionine sulfoxide reductase (Msr) enzymes, which are critical for bacterial survival in the face of oxidative stress. Although some aspects of the catalytic mechanism of the Msr enzymes have been reported, several details still await full elucidation. Here, we solved the solution structure of C. diphtheriae MsrB (Cd-MsrB) and unraveled its catalytic and oxidation-protection mechanisms.
- Thioredoxins (Trxs) are antioxidant proteins that are conserved among all species. These proteins have been extensively studied and perform reducing reactions on a broad range of substrates. Here, we identified Caulobacter crescentus Trx1 (CCNA_03653; CcTrx1) as an oxidoreductase that is involved in the cell cycle progression of this model bacterium and is required to sustain life. Intriguingly, the abundance of CcTrx1 varies throughout the C. crescentus cell cycle: although the expression of CcTrx1 is induced in stalked cells, right before DNA replication initiation, CcTrx1 is actively degraded by the ClpXP protease in predivisional cells.
- The Obg protein family belongs to the TRAFAC (translation factor) class of P-loop GTPases and is conserved from bacteria to eukaryotes. Essential roles in many different cellular processes have been suggested for the Obg protein from Escherichia coli (ObgE), and we recently showed that it is a central regulator of bacterial persistence. Here, we report the first crystal structure of ObgE at 1.85-Å resolution in the GDP-bound state, showing the characteristic N-terminal domain and a central G domain that are common to all Obg proteins.
- Exposure of bacteria to NO results in the nitrosylation of cysteine thiols in proteins and low molecular weight thiols such as GSH. The cells possess enzymatic systems that catalyze the denitrosylation of these modified sulfurs. An important player in these systems is thioredoxin (Trx), a ubiquitous, cytoplasmic oxidoreductase that can denitrosylate proteins in vivo and S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) in vitro. However, a periplasmic or extracellular denitrosylase has not been identified, raising the question of how extracytoplasmic proteins are repaired after nitrosative damage.
- Methionine sulfoxide reductases are conserved enzymes that reduce oxidized methionines in proteins and play a pivotal role in cellular redox signaling. We have unraveled the redox relay mechanisms of methionine sulfoxide reductase A of the pathogen Corynebacterium diphtheriae (Cd-MsrA) and shown that this enzyme is coupled to two independent redox relay pathways. Steady-state kinetics combined with mass spectrometry of Cd-MsrA mutants give a view of the essential cysteine residues for catalysis.