• Crystal structure of the heme d1 biosynthesis enzyme NirE in complex with its substrate reveals new insights into the catalytic mechanism of S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent uroporphyrinogen III methyltransferases.

      Storbeck, Sonja; Saha, Sayantan; Krausze, Joern; Klink, Björn U; Heinz, Dirk W; Layer, Gunhild; Institute of Microbiology, Technische Universität Braunschweig, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany. (2011-07-29)
      During the biosynthesis of heme d(1), the essential cofactor of cytochrome cd(1) nitrite reductase, the NirE protein catalyzes the methylation of uroporphyrinogen III to precorrin-2 using S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) as the methyl group donor. The crystal structure of Pseudomonas aeruginosa NirE in complex with its substrate uroporphyrinogen III and the reaction by-product S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (SAH) was solved to 2.0 Å resolution. This represents the first enzyme-substrate complex structure for a SAM-dependent uroporphyrinogen III methyltransferase. The large substrate binds on top of the SAH in a "puckered" conformation in which the two pyrrole rings facing each other point into the same direction either upward or downward. Three arginine residues, a histidine, and a methionine are involved in the coordination of uroporphyrinogen III. Through site-directed mutagenesis of the nirE gene and biochemical characterization of the corresponding NirE variants the amino acid residues Arg-111, Glu-114, and Arg-149 were identified to be involved in NirE catalysis. Based on our structural and biochemical findings, we propose a potential catalytic mechanism for NirE in which the methyl transfer reaction is initiated by an arginine catalyzed proton abstraction from the C-20 position of the substrate.
    • Recombinant production of Yersinia enterocolitica pyruvate kinase isoenzymes PykA and PykF.

      Hofmann, Julia; Heider, Christine; Li, Wei; Krausze, Joern; Roessle, Manfred; Wilharm, Gottfried; Robert Koch-Institute, Wernigerode Branch, Burgstr. 37, D-38855 Wernigerode, Germany. (2013-04)
      The glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase (PK) generates ATP from ADP through substrate-level phosphorylation powered by the conversion of phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate. In contrast to other bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, such as pathogenic yersiniae, harbour two pyruvate kinases encoded by pykA and pykF. The individual roles of these isoenzymes are poorly understood. In an attempt to make the Yersinia enterocolitica pyruvate kinases PykA and PykF amenable to structural and functional characterisation, we produced them untagged in Escherichia coli and purified them to near homogeneity through a combination of ion exchange and size exclusion chromatography, yielding more than 180 mg per litre of batch culture. The solution structure of PykA and PykF was analysed through small angle X-ray scattering which revealed the formation of PykA and PykF tetramers and confirmed the binding of the allosteric effector fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP) to PykF but not to PykA.
    • A Structural Basis for BRD2/4-Mediated Host Chromatin Interaction and Oligomer Assembly of Kaposi Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus and Murine Gammaherpesvirus LANA Proteins.

      Hellert, Jan; Weidner-Glunde, Magdalena; Krausze, Joern; Richter, Ulrike; Adler, Heiko; Fedorov, Roman; Pietrek, Marcel; Rückert, Jessica; Ritter, Christiane; Schulz, Thomas F; et al. (2013-10)
      Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) establishes a lifelong latent infection and causes several malignancies in humans. Murine herpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) is a related γ2-herpesvirus frequently used as a model to study the biology of γ-herpesviruses in vivo. The KSHV latency-associated nuclear antigen (kLANA) and the MHV68 mLANA (orf73) protein are required for latent viral replication and persistence. Latent episomal KSHV genomes and kLANA form nuclear microdomains, termed 'LANA speckles', which also contain cellular chromatin proteins, including BRD2 and BRD4, members of the BRD/BET family of chromatin modulators. We solved the X-ray crystal structure of the C-terminal DNA binding domains (CTD) of kLANA and MHV-68 mLANA. While these structures share the overall fold with the EBNA1 protein of Epstein-Barr virus, they differ substantially in their surface characteristics. Opposite to the DNA binding site, both kLANA and mLANA CTD contain a characteristic lysine-rich positively charged surface patch, which appears to be a unique feature of γ2-herpesviral LANA proteins. Importantly, kLANA and mLANA CTD dimers undergo higher order oligomerization. Using NMR spectroscopy we identified a specific binding site for the ET domains of BRD2/4 on kLANA. Functional studies employing multiple kLANA mutants indicate that the oligomerization of native kLANA CTD dimers, the characteristic basic patch and the ET binding site on the kLANA surface are required for the formation of kLANA 'nuclear speckles' and latent replication. Similarly, the basic patch on mLANA contributes to the establishment of MHV-68 latency in spleen cells in vivo. In summary, our data provide a structural basis for the formation of higher order LANA oligomers, which is required for nuclear speckle formation, latent replication and viral persistence.
    • Structures of two bacterial resistance factors mediating tRNA-dependent aminoacylation of phosphatidylglycerol with lysine or alanine.

      Hebecker, Stefanie; Krausze, Joern; Hasenkampf, Tatjana; Schneider, Julia; Groenewold, Maike; Reichelt, Joachim; Jahn, Dieter; Heinz, Dirk W; Moser, Jürgen; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2015-08-25)
      The cytoplasmic membrane is probably the most important physical barrier between microbes and the surrounding habitat. Aminoacylation of the polar head group of the phospholipid phosphatidylglycerol (PG) catalyzed by Ala-tRNA(Ala)-dependent alanyl-phosphatidylglycerol synthase (A-PGS) or by Lys-tRNA(Lys)-dependent lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol synthase (L-PGS) enables bacteria to cope with cationic peptides that are harmful to the integrity of the cell membrane. Accordingly, these synthases also have been designated as multiple peptide resistance factors (MprF). They consist of a separable C-terminal catalytic domain and an N-terminal transmembrane flippase domain. Here we present the X-ray crystallographic structure of the catalytic domain of A-PGS from the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In parallel, the structure of the related lysyl-phosphatidylglycerol-specific L-PGS domain from Bacillus licheniformis in complex with the substrate analog L-lysine amide is presented. Both proteins reveal a continuous tunnel that allows the hydrophobic lipid substrate PG and the polar aminoacyl-tRNA substrate to access the catalytic site from opposite directions. Substrate recognition of A-PGS versus L-PGS was investigated using misacylated tRNA variants. The structural work presented here in combination with biochemical experiments using artificial tRNA or artificial lipid substrates reveals the tRNA acceptor stem, the aminoacyl moiety, and the polar head group of PG as the main determinants for substrate recognition. A mutagenesis approach yielded the complementary amino acid determinants of tRNA interaction. These results have broad implications for the design of L-PGS and A-PGS inhibitors that could render microbial pathogens more susceptible to antimicrobial compounds.