• The mycolyltransferase 85A, a putative drug target of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: development of a novel assay and quantification of glycolipid-status of the mycobacterial cell wall.

      Elamin, Ayssar A; Stehr, Matthias; Oehlmann, Wulf; Singh, Mahavir; Department of Genome Analysis, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2009-12)
      The enzymes of the antigen 85 complex (Ag85A, B, and C) possess mycolyltransferase activity and catalyze the synthesis of the most abundant glycolipid of the mycobacterial cell wall, the cord factor. The cord factor (trehalose 6,6'-dimycolate, TDM) is essential for the integrity of the mycobacterial cell wall and pathogenesis of the bacillus. Thus, TDM biosynthesis is regarded as a potential drug target for control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections. Trehalose 6,6'-dimycolate (TDM) is synthesized from two molecules of trehalose-6'-monomycolate (TMM) by antigen 85A. We report here a novel enzyme assay using the natural substrate TMM. The novel colorimetric assay is based on the quantification of glucose from the degradation of trehalose, which is the product from catalytic activity of antigen 85A. Using the new assay, K(m) and K(cat) were determined with values of 129.6+/-8.1 microM and 65.4+/-4.1 min(-1), respectively. This novel assay is also suitable for robust high-throughput screening (HTS) for compound library screening against mycolyltransferase (antigen 85A). The assay is significantly faster and more convenient to use than all assays currently in use. The assay has a very low coefficient of variance (0.04) in 96-well plates and shows a Z' factor of 0.67-0.73, indicating the robustness of the assay. In addition, this new assay is highly suitable for the quantification of total TMM of the mycobacterial cell envelope.
    • Structural insights into catalysis and inhibition of O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Crystal structures of the enzyme alpha-aminoacrylate intermediate and an enzyme-inhibitor complex.

      Schnell, Robert; Oehlmann, Wulf; Singh, Mahavir; Schneider, Gunter; Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. (2007-08-10)
      Cysteine biosynthetic genes are up-regulated in the persistent phase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the corresponding enzymes are therefore of interest as potential targets for novel antibacterial agents. cysK1 is one of these genes and has been annotated as coding for an O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase. Recombinant CysK1 is a pyridoxal phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of O-acetylserine to cysteine. The crystal structure of the enzyme was determined to 1.8A resolution. CysK1 belongs to the family of fold type II PLP enzymes and is similar in structure to other O-acetylserine sulfhydrylases. We were able to trap the alpha-aminoacrylate reaction intermediate and determine its structure by cryocrystallography. Formation of the aminoacrylate complex is accompanied by a domain rotation resulting in active site closure. The aminoacrylate moiety is bound in the active site via the covalent linkage to the PLP cofactor and by hydrogen bonds of its carboxyl group to several enzyme residues. The catalytic lysine residue is positioned such that it can protonate the Calpha-carbon atom of the aminoacrylate only from the si-face, resulting in the formation of L-cysteine. CysK1 is competitively inhibited by a four-residue peptide derived from the C-terminal of serine acetyl transferase. The crystallographic analysis reveals that the peptide binds to the enzyme active site, suggesting that CysK1 forms an bi-enzyme complex with serine acetyl transferase, in a similar manner to other bacterial and plant O-acetylserine sulfhydrylases. The structure of the enzyme-peptide complex provides a framework for the design of strong binding inhibitors.
    • Three-dimensional structures of apo- and holo-L-alanine dehydrogenase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis reveal conformational changes upon coenzyme binding.

      Agren, Daniel; Stehr, Matthias; Berthold, Catrine L; Kapoor, Shobhna; Oehlmann, Wulf; Singh, Mahavir; Schneider, Gunter; Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. (2008-04-04)
      L-alanine dehydrogenase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis catalyzes the NADH-dependent reversible conversion of pyruvate and ammonia to L-alanine. Expression of the gene coding for this enzyme is up-regulated in the persistent phase of the organism, and alanine dehydrogenase is therefore a potential target for pathogen control by antibacterial compounds. We have determined the crystal structures of the apo- and holo-forms of the enzyme to 2.3 and 2.0 A resolution, respectively. The enzyme forms a hexamer of identical subunits, with the NAD-binding domains building up the core of the molecule and the substrate-binding domains located at the apical positions of the hexamer. Coenzyme binding stabilizes a closed conformation where the substrate-binding domains are rotated by about 16 degrees toward the dinucleotide-binding domains, compared to the open structure of the apo-enzyme. In the structure of the abortive ternary complex with NAD+ and pyruvate, the substrates are suitably positioned for hydride transfer between the nicotinamide ring and the C2 carbon atom of the substrate. The approach of the nucleophiles water and ammonia to pyruvate or the reaction intermediate iminopyruvate, respectively, is, however, only possible through conformational changes that make the substrate binding site more accessible. The crystal structures identified the conserved active-site residues His96 and Asp270 as potential acid/base catalysts in the reaction. Amino acid replacements of these residues by site-directed mutagenesis led to inactive mutants, further emphasizing their essential roles in the enzymatic reaction mechanism.