• Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of phosphoglycerate kinase from Streptococcus pneumoniae.

      Bernardo-García, Noelia; Bartual, Sergio G; Fulde, Marcus; Bergmann, Simone; Hermoso, Juan A; Department of Crystallography and Structural Biology, Instituto de Química-Física Rocasolano, CSIC, Serrano 119, 28006 Madrid, Spain. (2011-10-01)
      Phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) is a widespread two-domain enzyme that plays a critical role in the glycolytic pathway. Several glycolytic enzymes from streptococci have been identified as surface-exposed proteins that are involved in streptococcal virulence by their ability to bind host proteins. This binding allows pneumococcal cells to disseminate through the epithelial and endothelial layers. Crystallization of PGK from Streptococcus pneumoniae yielded orthorhombic crystals (space group I222, unit-cell parameters a = 62.73, b = 75.38, c = 83.63 Å). However, the unit cell of these crystals was not compatible with the presence of full-length PGK. Various analytical methods showed that only the N-terminal domain of PGK was present in the I222 crystals. The ternary complex of PGK with adenylyl imidodiphosphate (AMP-PNP) and 3-phospho-D-glycerate (3PGA) produced monoclinic crystals (space group P2(1), unit-cell parameters a = 40.35, b = 78.23, c = 59.03 Å, β = 96.34°). Molecular replacement showed that this new crystal form contained full-length PGK, thereby indicating the relevance of including substrates in order to avoid proteolysis during the crystallization process.
    • Impact of glutamine transporters on pneumococcal fitness under infection-related conditions.

      Härtel, Tobias; Klein, Matthias; Koedel, Uwe; Rohde, Manfred; Petruschka, Lothar; Hammerschmidt, Sven; Department of Genetics of Microorganisms, Interfaculty Institute for Genetics and Functional Genomics, Ernst Moritz Arndt Universität Greifswald, Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Str. 15a, D-17487 Greifswald, Germany. (2011-01)
      The genomic analysis of Streptococcus pneumoniae predicted six putative glutamine uptake systems, which are expressed under in vitro conditions, as shown here by reverse transcription-PCR. Four of these operons consist of glnHPQ, while two lack glnH, which encodes a soluble glutamine-binding protein. Here, we studied the impact of two of these glutamine ATP-binding cassette transporters on S. pneumoniae D39 virulence and phagocytosis, which consist of GlnQ and a translationally fused protein of GlnH and GlnP. Mice infected intranasally with D39Δgln0411/0412 showed significantly increased survival times and a significant delay in the development of pneumococcal pneumonia compared to those infected with D39, as observed in real time using bioluminescent pneumococci. In a mouse sepsis model, the mutant D39Δgln0411/0412 showed only moderate but significant attenuation. In contrast, the D39Δgln1098/1099 knockout strain was massively attenuated in the pneumonia and septicemia mouse infection model. To cause pneumonia or sepsis with D39Δgln1098/1099, infection doses 100- to 10,000-fold higher than those used for wild-type strain D39 were required. In an experimental mouse meningitis model, D39Δgln1098/1099 produced decreased levels of white blood cells in cerebrospinal fluid and showed decreased numbers of bacteria in the bloodstream compared to D39 and D39Δgln0411/0412. Phagocytosis experiments revealed significantly decreased intracellular survival rates of mutants D39Δgln1098/1099 and D39Δgln0411/0412 compared to wild-type D39, suggesting that the deficiency of Gln uptake systems impairs resistance to oxidative stress. Taken together, our results demonstrate that both glutamine uptake systems are required for full virulence of pneumococci but exhibit different impacts on the pathogenesis of pneumococci under in vivo conditions.