• Biomacromolecular interactions, assemblies and machines: a structural view.

      Heinz, Dirk W; Weiss, Manfred S; Wendt, K Ulrich (Wiley and Sons, 2006-01-01)
    • Crystal structure of a non-discriminating glutamyl-tRNA synthetase.

      Schulze, Jörg O; Masoumi, Ava; Nickel, Daniel; Jahn, Martina; Jahn, Dieter; Schubert, Wolf-Dieter; Heinz, Dirk W; Division of Structural Biology, German Research Centre for Biotechnology (GBF), Mascheroder Weg 1, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2006-09-01)
      Error-free protein biosynthesis is dependent on the reliable charging of each tRNA with its cognate amino acid. Many bacteria, however, lack a glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase. In these organisms, tRNA(Gln) is initially mischarged with glutamate by a non-discriminating glutamyl-tRNA synthetase (ND-GluRS). This enzyme thus charges both tRNA(Glu) and tRNA(Gln) with glutamate. Discriminating GluRS (D-GluRS), found in some bacteria and all eukaryotes, exclusively generates Glu-tRNA(Glu). Here we present the first crystal structure of a non-discriminating GluRS from Thermosynechococcus elongatus (ND-GluRS(Tel)) in complex with glutamate at a resolution of 2.45 A. Structurally, the enzyme shares the overall architecture of the discriminating GluRS from Thermus thermophilus (D-GluRS(Tth)). We confirm experimentally that GluRS(Tel) is non-discriminating and present kinetic parameters for synthesis of Glu-tRNA(Glu) and of Glu-tRNA(Gln). Anticodons of tRNA(Glu) (34C/UUC36) and tRNA(Gln) (34C/UUG36) differ only in base 36. The pyrimidine base of C36 is specifically recognized in D-GluRS(Tth) by the residue Arg358. In ND-GluRS(Tel) this arginine residue is replaced by glycine (Gly366) presumably allowing both cytosine and the bulkier purine base G36 of tRNA(Gln) to be tolerated. Most other ND-GluRS share this structural feature, leading to relaxed substrate specificity.
    • Crystal structure of the electron transfer complex rubredoxin rubredoxin reductase of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

      Hagelueken, Gregor; Wiehlmann, Lutz; Adams, Thorsten M; Kolmar, Harald; Heinz, Dirk W; Tümmler, Burkhard; Schubert, Wolf-Dieter; Molecular Host-Pathogen Interactions, Division of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-07-24)
      Crude oil spills represent a major ecological threat because of the chemical inertness of the constituent n-alkanes. The Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the few bacterial species able to metabolize such compounds. Three chromosomal genes, rubB, rubA1, and rubA2 coding for an NAD(P)H:rubredoxin reductase (RdxR) and two rubredoxins (Rdxs) are indispensable for this ability. They constitute an electron transport (ET) pathway that shuttles reducing equivalents from carbon metabolism to the membrane-bound alkane hydroxylases AlkB1 and AlkB2. The RdxR-Rdx system also is crucial as part of the oxidative stress response in archaea or anaerobic bacteria. The redox couple has been analyzed in detail as a model system for ET processes. We have solved the structure of RdxR of P. aeruginosa both alone and in complex with Rdx, without the need for cross-linking, and both structures were refined at 2.40- and 2.45-A resolution, respectively. RdxR consists of two cofactor-binding domains and a C-terminal domain essential for the specific recognition of Rdx. Only a small number of direct interactions govern mutual recognition of RdxR and Rdx, corroborating the transient nature of the complex. The shortest distance between the redox centers is observed to be 6.2 A.
    • 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.
    • Evolutionary relationship between initial enzymes of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis.

      Schulze, Jörg O; Schubert, Wolf-Dieter; Moser, Jürgen; Jahn, Dieter; Heinz, Dirk W (2006-05-19)
      Glutamate-1-semialdehyde 2,1-aminomutase (GSAM) is the second enzyme in the C(5) pathway of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis found in most bacteria, in archaea and in plants. It catalyzes the transamination of glutamate-1-semialdehyde to 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) in a pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent manner. We present the crystal structure of GSAM from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus (GSAM(Tel)) in its PLP-bound form at 2.85A resolution. GSAM(Tel) is a symmetric homodimer, whereas GSAM from Synechococcus (GSAM(Syn)) has been described as asymmetric. The symmetry of GSAM(Tel) thus challenges the previously proposed negative cooperativity between monomers of this enzyme. Furthermore, GSAM(Tel) reveals an extensive flexible region at the interface of the proposed complex of GSAM with glutamyl-tRNA reductase (GluTR), the preceding enzyme in tetrapyrrole biosynthesis. Compared to GSAM(Syn), the monomers of GSAM(Tel) are rotated away from each other along the dimerization interface by 10 degrees . The associated flexibility of GSAM may be essential for complex formation with GluTR to occur. Unexpectedly, we find that GSAM is structurally related to 5-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS), the ALA-producing enzyme in the Shemin pathway of alpha-proteobacteria and non-plant eukaryotes. This structural relationship applies also to the corresponding subfamilies of PLP-dependent enzymes. We thus propose that the CoA-subfamily (including ALAS) and the aminotransferase subfamily II (including GSAM) are evolutionarily closely related and that ALAS may thus have evolved from GSAM.
    • Glutamate recognition and hydride transfer by Escherichia coli glutamyl-tRNA reductase.

      Lüer, Corinna; Schauer, Stefan; Virus, Simone; Schubert, Wolf-Dieter; Heinz, Dirk W; Moser, Jürgen; Jahn, Dieter; Institute of Microbiology, Technical University Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-09)
      The initial step of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis in Escherichia coli involves the NADPH-dependent reduction by glutamyl-tRNA reductase (GluTR) of tRNA-bound glutamate to glutamate-1-semialdehyde. We evaluated the contribution of the glutamate moiety of glutamyl-tRNA to substrate specificity in vitro using a range of substrates and enzyme variants. Unexpectedly, we found that tRNA(Glu) mischarged with glutamine was a substrate for purified recombinant GluTR. Similarly unexpectedly, the substitution of amino acid residues involved in glutamate side chain binding (S109A, T49V, R52K) or in stabilizing the arginine 52 glutamate interaction (glutamate 54 and histidine 99) did not abrogate enzyme activity. Replacing glutamine 116 and glutamate 114, involved in glutamate-enzyme interaction near the aminoacyl bond to tRNA(Glu), by leucine and lysine, respectively, however, did abolish reductase activity. We thus propose that the ester bond between glutamate and tRNA(Glu) represents the crucial determinant for substrate recognition by GluTR, whereas the necessity for product release by a 'back door' exit allows for a degree of structural variability in the recognition of the amino acid moiety. Analyzing the esterase activity, which occured in the absence of NADPH, of GluTR variants using the substrate 4-nitrophenyl acetate confirmed the crucial role of cysteine 50 for thioester formation. Finally, the GluTR variant Q116L was observed to lack reductase activity whereas esterase activity was retained. Structure-based molecular modeling indicated that glutamine 116 may be crucial in positioning the nicotinamide group of NADPH to allow for productive hydride transfer to the substrate. Our data thus provide new information about the distinct function of active site residues of GluTR from E. coli.
    • Ligand-mediated dimerization of the Met Receptor tyrosine kinase by the bacterial invasion protein InlB.

      Ferraris, Davide M; Gherardi, Ermanno; Di, Ying; Heinz, Dirk W; Niemann, Hartmut H; Division of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Inhoffenstrasse 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. yyoshiki@riken.jp (2010-01-22)
      The Listeria monocytogenes surface protein InlB mediates bacterial invasion into host cells by activating the human receptor tyrosine kinase Met. So far, it is unknown how InlB or the physiological Met ligand hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor causes Met dimerization, which is considered a prerequisite for receptor activation. We determined two new structures of InlB, revealing a recurring, antiparallel, dimeric arrangement, in which the two protomers interact through the convex face of the leucine-rich repeat domain. The same contact is found in one structure of the InlB-Met complex. Mutations disrupting the interprotomeric contact of InlB reduced its ability to activate Met and downstream signaling. Conversely, stabilization of this crystal contact by two intermolecular disulfide bonds generates a constitutively dimeric InlB variant with exceptionally high signaling activity, which can stimulate cell motility and cell division. These data demonstrate that the signaling-competent InlB-Met complex assembles with 2:2 stoichiometry around a back-to-back InlB dimer, enabling the direct contact between the stalk region of two Met molecules.
    • Polysaccharide synthesis of the levansucrase SacB from Bacillus megaterium is controlled by distinct surface motifs.

      Strube, Christian P; Homann, Arne; Gamer, Martin; Jahn, Dieter; Seibel, Jürgen; Heinz, Dirk W; Department of Molecular Structural Biology, Helmholtz-Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7B, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2011-05-20)
      Despite the widespread biological function of carbohydrates, the polysaccharide synthesis mechanisms of glycosyltransferases remain largely unexplored. Bacterial levansucrases (glycoside hydrolase family 68) synthesize high molecular weight, β-(2,6)-linked levan from sucrose by transfer of fructosyl units. The kinetic and biochemical characterization of Bacillus megaterium levansucrase SacB variants Y247A, Y247W, N252A, D257A, and K373A reveal novel surface motifs remote from the sucrose binding site with distinct influence on the polysaccharide product spectrum. The wild type activity (k(cat)) and substrate affinity (K(m)) are maintained. The structures of the SacB variants reveal clearly distinguishable subsites for polysaccharide synthesis as well as an intact active site architecture. These results lead to a new understanding of polysaccharide synthesis mechanisms. The identified surface motifs are discussed in the context of related glycosyltransferases.
    • Streamlining homogeneous glycoprotein production for biophysical and structural applications by targeted cell line development.

      Wilke, Sonja; Groebe, Lothar; Maffenbeier, Vitali; Jäger, Volker; Gossen, Manfred; Josewski, Jörn; Duda, Agathe; Polle, Lilia; Owens, Raymond J; Wirth, Dagmar; et al. (2011)
      Studying the biophysical characteristics of glycosylated proteins and solving their three-dimensional structures requires homogeneous recombinant protein of high quality.We introduce here a new approach to produce glycoproteins in homogenous form with the well-established, glycosylation mutant CHO Lec3.2.8.1 cells. Using preparative cell sorting, stable, high-expressing GFP 'master' cell lines were generated that can be converted fast and reliably by targeted integration via Flp recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) to produce any glycoprotein. Small-scale transient transfection of HEK293 cells was used to identify genetically engineered constructs suitable for constructing stable cell lines. Stable cell lines expressing 10 different proteins were established. The system was validated by expression, purification, deglycosylation and crystallization of the heavily glycosylated luminal domains of lysosome-associated membrane proteins (LAMP).
    • Structural basis for complex formation between human IRSp53 and the translocated intimin receptor Tir of enterohemorrhagic E. coli.

      de Groot, Jens C; Schlüter, Kai; Carius, Yvonne; Quedenau, Claudia; Vingadassalom, Didier; Faix, Jan; Weiss, Stefanie M; Reichelt, Joachim; Standfuss-Gabisch, Christine; Lesser, Cammie F; et al. (2011-09-07)
      Actin assembly beneath enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) attached to its host cell is triggered by the intracellular interaction of its translocated effector proteins Tir and EspF(U) with human IRSp53 family proteins and N-WASP. Here, we report the structure of the N-terminal I-BAR domain of IRSp53 in complex with a Tir-derived peptide, in which the homodimeric I-BAR domain binds two Tir molecules aligned in parallel. This arrangement provides a protein scaffold linking the bacterium to the host cell's actin polymerization machinery. The structure uncovers a specific peptide-binding site on the I-BAR surface, conserved between IRSp53 and IRTKS. The Tir Asn-Pro-Tyr (NPY) motif, essential for pedestal formation, is specifically recognized by this binding site. The site was confirmed by mutagenesis and in vivo-binding assays. It is possible that IRSp53 utilizes the NPY-binding site for additional interactions with as yet unknown partners within the host cell.
    • Structural characterization of Spinacia oleracea trypsin inhibitor III (SOTI-III).

      Glotzbach, Bernhard; Schmelz, Stefan; Reinwarth, Michael; Christmann, Andreas; Heinz, Dirk W; Kolmar, Harald; Institute for Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany. (2013-01)
      In recent decades, several canonical serine protease inhibitor families have been classified and characterized. In contrast to most trypsin inhibitors, those from garden four o'clock (Mirabilis jalapa) and spinach (Spinacia oleracea) do not share sequence similarity and have been proposed to form the new Mirabilis serine protease inhibitor family. These 30-40-amino-acid inhibitors possess a defined disulfide-bridge topology and belong to the cystine-knot miniproteins (knottins). To date, no atomic structure of this inhibitor family has been solved. Here, the first structure of S. oleracea trypsin inhibitor III (SOTI-III), in complex with bovine pancreatic trypsin, is reported. The inhibitor was synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis on a multi-milligram scale and was assayed to test its inhibitory activity and binding properties. The structure confirmed the proposed cystine-bridge topology. The structural features of SOTI-III suggest that it belongs to a new canonical serine protease inhibitor family with promising properties for use in protein-engineering and medical applications.
    • Structure of Shigella IpgB2 in complex with human RhoA: implications for the mechanism of bacterial guanine nucleotide exchange factor mimicry.

      Klink, Björn U; Barden, Stephan; Heidler, Thomas V; Borchers, Christina; Ladwein, Markus; Stradal, Theresia E B; Rottner, Klemens; Heinz, Dirk W; Division of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2010-05-28)
      A common theme in bacterial pathogenesis is the manipulation of eukaryotic cells by targeting the cytoskeleton. This is in most cases achieved either by modifying actin, or indirectly via activation of key regulators controlling actin dynamics such as Rho-GTPases. A novel group of bacterial virulence factors termed the WXXXE family has emerged as guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for these GTPases. The precise mechanism of nucleotide exchange, however, has remained unclear. Here we report the structure of the WXXXE-protein IpgB2 from Shigella flexneri and its complex with human RhoA. We unambiguously identify IpgB2 as a bacterial RhoA-GEF and dissect the molecular mechanism of GDP release, an essential prerequisite for GTP binding. Our observations uncover that IpgB2 induces conformational changes on RhoA mimicking DbI- but not DOCK family GEFs. We also show that dissociation of the GDP.Mg(2+) complex is preceded by the displacement of the metal ion to the alpha-phosphate of the nucleotide, diminishing its affinity to the GTPase. These data refine our understanding of the mode of action not only of WXXXE GEFs but also of mammalian GEFs of the DH/PH family.
    • Structure of Shigella IpgB2 in complex with human RhoA: implications for the mechanism of bacterial guanine nucleotide exchange factor mimicry.

      Klink, Björn U; Barden, Stephan; Heidler, Thomas V; Borchers, Christina; Ladwein, Markus; Stradal, Theresia E B; Rottner, Klemens; Heinz, Dirk W; Division of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2010-05-28)
      A common theme in bacterial pathogenesis is the manipulation of eukaryotic cells by targeting the cytoskeleton. This is in most cases achieved either by modifying actin, or indirectly via activation of key regulators controlling actin dynamics such as Rho-GTPases. A novel group of bacterial virulence factors termed the WXXXE family has emerged as guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for these GTPases. The precise mechanism of nucleotide exchange, however, has remained unclear. Here we report the structure of the WXXXE-protein IpgB2 from Shigella flexneri and its complex with human RhoA. We unambiguously identify IpgB2 as a bacterial RhoA-GEF and dissect the molecular mechanism of GDP release, an essential prerequisite for GTP binding. Our observations uncover that IpgB2 induces conformational changes on RhoA mimicking DbI- but not DOCK family GEFs. We also show that dissociation of the GDP.Mg(2+) complex is preceded by the displacement of the metal ion to the alpha-phosphate of the nucleotide, diminishing its affinity to the GTPase. These data refine our understanding of the mode of action not only of WXXXE GEFs but also of mammalian GEFs of the DH/PH family.
    • Structure of the effector-binding domain of the LysR-type transcription factor RovM from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

      Quade, Nick; Dieckmann, Marieke; Haffke, Matthias; Heroven, Ann Kathrin; Dersch, Petra; Heinz, Dirk W; Department of Molecular Structural Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2011-02)
      In enteropathogenic Yersinia, the expression of several early-phase virulence factors such as invasin is tightly regulated in response to environmental cues. The responsible regulatory network is complex, involving several regulatory RNAs and proteins such as the LysR-type transcription regulator (LTTR) RovM. In this study, the crystal structure of the effector-binding domain (EBD) of RovM, the first LTTR protein described as being involved in virulence regulation, was determined at a resolution of 2.4 Å. Size-exclusion chromatography and comparison with structures of full-length LTTRs show that RovM is most likely to adopt a tetrameric arrangement with two distant DNA-binding domains (DBDs), causing the DNA to bend around it. Additionally, a cavity was detected in RovM which could bind small inducer molecules.
    • Structure of the human receptor tyrosine kinase met in complex with the Listeria invasion protein InlB.

      Niemann, Hartmut H; Jäger, Volker; Butler, P Jonathan G; van den Heuvel, Joop; Schmidt, Sabine; Ferraris, Davide; Gherardi, Ermanno; Heinz, Dirk W; Division of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-07-27)
      The tyrosine kinase Met, the product of the c-met proto-oncogene and the receptor for hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF), mediates signals critical for cell survival and migration. The human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes exploits Met signaling for invasion of host cells via its surface protein InlB. We present the crystal structure of the complex between a large fragment of the human Met ectodomain and the Met-binding domain of InlB. The concave face of the InlB leucine-rich repeat region interacts tightly with the first immunoglobulin-like domain of the Met stalk, a domain which does not bind HGF/SF. A second contact between InlB and the Met Sema domain locks the otherwise flexible receptor in a rigid, signaling competent conformation. Full Met activation requires the additional C-terminal domains of InlB which induce heparin-mediated receptor clustering and potent signaling. Thus, although it elicits a similar cellular response, InlB is not a structural mimic of HGF/SF.
    • Structure of the type III secretion recognition protein YscU from Yersinia enterocolitica.

      Wiesand, Ulrich; Sorg, Isabel; Amstutz, Marlise; Wagner, Stefanie; van den Heuvel, Joop; Lührs, Thorsten; Cornelis, Guy R; Heinz, Dirk W; Division of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Inhoffenstrasse 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2009-01-23)
      The inner-membrane protein YscU has an important role during the assembly of the Yersinia enterocolitica type III secretion injectisome. Its cytoplasmic domain (YscU(C)) recognizes translocators as individual substrates in the export hierarchy. Activation of YscU entails autocleavage at a conserved NPTH motif. Modification of this motif markedly changes the properties of YscU, including translocator export cessation and production of longer injectisome needles. We determined the crystal structures of the uncleaved variants N263A and N263D of YscU(C) at 2.05 A and 1.55 A resolution, respectively. The globular domain is found to consist of a central, mixed beta-sheet surrounded by alpha-helices. The NPTH motif forms a type II beta-turn connecting two beta-strands. NMR analysis of cleaved and uncleaved YscU(C) indicates that the global structure of the protein is retained in cleaved YscU(C). The structure of YscU(C) variant N263D reveals that wild type YscU(C) is poised for cleavage due to an optimal reaction geometry for nucleophilic attack of the scissile bond by the side chain of Asn263. In vivo analysis of N263Q and H266A/R314A YscU variants showed a phenotype that combines the absence of translocator secretion with normal needle-length control. Comparing the structure of YscU to those of related proteins reveals that the linker domain between the N-terminal transmembrane domain and the autocleavage domain can switch from an extended to a largely alpha-helical conformation, allowing for optimal positioning of the autocleavage domain during injectisome assembly.
    • Structure of the Yersinia enterocolitica type III secretion translocator chaperone SycD.

      Büttner, Carina R; Sorg, Isabel; Cornelis, Guy R; Heinz, Dirk W; Niemann, Hartmut H; Division of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Inhoffenstrasse 7, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2008-01-25)
      Many Gram-negative bacteria use a type III secretion (T3S) system to directly inject effector molecules into eucaryotic cells in order to establish a symbiotic or pathogenic relationship with their host. The translocation of many T3S proteins requires specialized chaperones from the bacterial cytosol. SycD belongs to a class of T3S chaperones that assists the secretion of pore-forming translocators and, specifically chaperones the translocators YopB and YopD from enteropathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica. In addition, SycD is involved in the regulation of virulence factor biosynthesis and secretion. In this study, we present two crystal structures of Y. enterocolitica SycD at 1.95 and 2.6 A resolution, the first experimental structures of a T3S class II chaperone specific for translocators. The fold of SycD is entirely alpha-helical and reveals three tetratricopeptide repeat-like motifs that had been predicted from amino acid sequence. In both structures, SycD forms dimers utilizing residues from the first tetratricopeptide repeat motif. Using site-directed mutagenesis and size exclusion chromatography, we verified that SycD forms head-to-head homodimers in solution. Although in both structures, dimerization largely depends on the same residues, the two assemblies represent alternative dimers that exhibit different monomer orientations and overall shape. In these two distinct head-to-head dimers, both the concave and the convex surface of each monomer are accessible for interactions with the SycD binding partners YopB and YopD. A SycD variant carrying two point mutations in the dimerization interface is properly folded but defective in dimerization. Expression of this stable SycD monomer in Yersinia does not rescue the phenotype of a sycD null mutant, suggesting a physiological relevance of the dimerization interface.
    • Structures and diseases.

      Wendt, K Ulrich; Weiss, Manfred S; Cramer, Patrick; Heinz, Dirk W; Department of Chemical and Analytical Sciences at Sanofi-Aventis, D-65926 Frankfurt, Germany. (2008-02)
    • Structures of the nucleotide-binding domain of the human ABCB6 transporter and its complexes with nucleotides.

      Haffke, Matthias; Menzel, Anja; Carius, Yvonne; Jahn, Dieter; Heinz, Dirk W; Helmholtz Zentrum für Infektionsforschung, Braunschweig, Germany. (2010-09)
      The human ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter ABCB6 is involved in haem-precursor transport across the mitochondrial membrane. The crystal structure of its nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) has been determined in the apo form and in complexes with ADP, with ADP and Mg(2+) and with ATP at high resolution. The overall structure is L-shaped and consists of two lobes, consistent with other reported NBD structures. Nucleotide binding is mediated by the highly conserved Tyr599 and the Walker A motif, and induces notable structural changes. Structural comparison with other structurally characterized NBDs and full-length ABC transporters gives the first insight into the possible catalytic mechanism of ABCB6 and the role of the N-terminal helix alpha(1) in full-length ABCB6.
    • 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.