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(1/34326) Prodigious substrate specificity of AAC(6')-APH(2"), an aminoglycoside antibiotic resistance determinant in enterococci and staphylococci.

BACKGROUND: High-level gentamicin resistance in enterococci and staphylococci is conferred by AAC(6')-APH(2"), an enzyme with 6'-N-acetyltransferase and 2"-O-phosphotransferase activities. The presence of this enzyme in pathogenic gram-positive bacteria prevents the successful use of gentamicin C and most other aminoglycosides as therapeutic agents. RESULTS: In an effort to understand the mechanism of aminoglycoside modification, we expressed AAC(6')-APH(2") in Bacillus subtilis. The purified enzyme is monomeric with a molecular mass of 57 kDa and displays both the expected aminoglycoside N-acetyltransferase and O-phosphotransferase activities. Structure-function analysis with various aminoglycosides substrates reveals an enzyme with broad specificity in both enzymatic activities, accounting for AAC(6')-APH(2")'s dramatic negative impact on clinical aminoglycoside therapy. Both lividomycin A and paromomycin, aminoglycosides lacking a 6'-amino group, were acetylated by AAC(6')-APH(2"). The infrared spectrum of the product of paromomycin acetylation yielded a signal consistent with O-acetylation. Mass spectral and nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of the products of neomycin phosphorylation indicated that phosphoryl transfer occurred primarily at the 3'-OH of the 6-aminohexose ring A, and that some diphosphorylated material was also present with phosphates at the 3'-OH and the 3"'-OH of ring D, both unprecedented observations for this enzyme. Furthermore, the phosphorylation site of lividomycin A was determined to be the 5"-OH of the pentose ring C. CONCLUSIONS: The bifunctional AAC(6')-APH(2") has the capacity to inactivate virtually all clinically important aminoglycosides through N- and O-acetylation and phosphorylation of hydroxyl groups. The extremely broad substrate specificity of this enzyme will impact on future development of aminoglycosides and presents a significant challenge for antibiotic design.  (+info)

(2/34326) Mechanism and specificity of the terminal thioesterase domain from the erythromycin polyketide synthase.

BACKGROUND: Polyketides are important compounds with antibiotic and anticancer activities. Several modular polyketide synthases (PKSs) contain a terminal thioesterase (TE) domain probably responsible for the release and concomitant cyclization of the fully processed polyketide chain. Because the TE domain influences qualitative aspects of product formation by engineered PKSs, its mechanism and specificity are of considerable interest. RESULTS: The TE domain of the 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase was overexpressed in Escherichia coli. When tested against a set of N-acetyl cysteamine thioesters the TE domain did not act as a cyclase, but showed significant hydrolytic specificity towards substrates that mimic important features of its natural substrate. Also the overall rate of polyketide chain release was strongly enhanced by a covalent connection between the TE domain and the terminal PKS module (by as much as 100-fold compared with separate TE and PKS 'domains'). CONCLUSIONS: The inability of the TE domain alone to catalyze cyclization suggests that macrocycle formation results from the combined action of the TE domain and a PKS module. The chain-length and stereochemical preferences of the TE domain might be relevant in the design and engineered biosynthesis of certain novel polyketides. Our results also suggest that the TE domain might loop back to catalyze the release of polyketide chains from both terminal and pre-terminal modules, which may explain the ability of certain naturally occurring PKSs, such as the picromycin synthase, to generate both 12-membered and 14-membered macrolide antibiotics.  (+info)

(3/34326) A genetic model of substrate deprivation therapy for a glycosphingolipid storage disorder.

Inherited defects in the degradation of glycosphingolipids (GSLs) cause a group of severe diseases known as GSL storage disorders. There are currently no effective treatments for the majority of these disorders. We have explored a new treatment paradigm, substrate deprivation therapy, by constructing a genetic model in mice. Sandhoff's disease mice, which abnormally accumulate GSLs, were bred with mice that were blocked in their synthesis of GSLs. The mice with simultaneous defects in GSL synthesis and degradation no longer accumulated GSLs, had improved neurologic function, and had a much longer life span. However, these mice eventually developed a late-onset neurologic disease because of accumulation of another class of substrate, oligosaccharides. The results support the validity of the substrate deprivation therapy and also highlight some limitations.  (+info)

(4/34326) Activation of Src in human breast tumor cell lines: elevated levels of phosphotyrosine phosphatase activity that preferentially recognizes the Src carboxy terminal negative regulatory tyrosine 530.

Elevated levels of Src kinase activity have been reported in a number of human cancers, including colon and breast cancer. We have analysed four human breast tumor cell lines that exhibit high levels of Src kinase activity, and have determined that these cell lines also exhibit a high level of a phosphotyrosine phosphatase activity that recognizes the Src carboxy-terminal P-Tyr530 negative regulatory site. Total Src kinase activity in these cell lines is elevated as much as 30-fold over activity in normal control cells and specific activity is elevated as much as 5.6-fold. When the breast tumor cells were grown in the presence of the tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor vanadate, Src kinase activity was reduced in all four breast tumor cell lines, suggesting that Src was being activated by a phosphatase which could recognize the Tyr530 negative regulatory site. In fractionated cell extracts from the breast tumor cells, we found elevated levels of a membrane associated tyrosine phosphatase activity that preferentially dephosphorylated a Src family carboxy-terminal phosphopeptide containing the regulatory tyrosine 530 site. Src was hypophosphorylated in vivo at tyrosine 530 in at least two of the tumor cell lines, further suggesting that Src was being activated by a phosphatase in these cells. In preliminary immunoprecipitation and antibody depletion experiments, we were unable to correlate the major portion of this phosphatase activity with several known phosphatases.  (+info)

(5/34326) Crystal structure of MHC class II-associated p41 Ii fragment bound to cathepsin L reveals the structural basis for differentiation between cathepsins L and S.

The lysosomal cysteine proteases cathepsins S and L play crucial roles in the degradation of the invariant chain during maturation of MHC class II molecules and antigen processing. The p41 form of the invariant chain includes a fragment which specifically inhibits cathepsin L but not S. The crystal structure of the p41 fragment, a homologue of the thyroglobulin type-1 domains, has been determined at 2.0 A resolution in complex with cathepsin L. The structure of the p41 fragment demonstrates a novel fold, consisting of two subdomains, each stabilized by disulfide bridges. The first subdomain is an alpha-helix-beta-strand arrangement, whereas the second subdomain has a predominantly beta-strand arrangement. The wedge shape and three-loop arrangement of the p41 fragment bound to the active site cleft of cathepsin L are reminiscent of the inhibitory edge of cystatins, thus demonstrating the first example of convergent evolution observed in cysteine protease inhibitors. However, the different fold of the p41 fragment results in additional contacts with the top of the R-domain of the enzymes, which defines the specificity-determining S2 and S1' substrate-binding sites. This enables inhibitors based on the thyroglobulin type-1 domain fold, in contrast to the rather non-selective cystatins, to exhibit specificity for their target enzymes.  (+info)

(6/34326) Substrate specificities of SR proteins in constitutive splicing are determined by their RNA recognition motifs and composite pre-mRNA exonic elements.

We report striking differences in the substrate specificities of two human SR proteins, SF2/ASF and SC35, in constitutive splicing. beta-Globin pre-mRNA (exons 1 and 2) is spliced indiscriminately with either SR protein. Human immunodeficiency virus tat pre-mRNA (exons 2 and 3) and immunoglobulin mu-chain (IgM) pre-mRNA (exons C3 and C4) are preferentially spliced with SF2/ASF and SC35, respectively. Using in vitro splicing with mutated or chimeric derivatives of the tat and IgM pre-mRNAs, we defined specific combinations of segments in the downstream exons, which mediate either positive or negative effects to confer SR protein specificity. A series of recombinant chimeric proteins consisting of domains of SF2/ASF and SC35 in various combinations was used to localize trans-acting domains responsible for substrate specificity. The RS domains of SF2/ASF and SC35 can be exchanged without effect on substrate specificity. The RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) of SF2/ASF are active only in the context of a two-RRM structure, and RRM2 has a dominant role in substrate specificity. In contrast, the single RRM of SC35 can function alone, but its substrate specificity can be influenced by the presence of an additional RRM. The RRMs behave as modules that, when present in different combinations, can have positive, neutral, or negative effects on splicing, depending upon the specific substrate. We conclude that SR protein-specific recognition of specific positive and negative pre-mRNA exonic elements via one or more RRMs is a crucial determinant of the substrate specificity of SR proteins in constitutive splicing.  (+info)

(7/34326) Pseudouridine mapping in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae spliceosomal U small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) reveals that pseudouridine synthase pus1p exhibits a dual substrate specificity for U2 snRNA and tRNA.

Pseudouridine (Psi) residues were localized in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae spliceosomal U small nuclear RNAs (UsnRNAs) by using the chemical mapping method. In contrast to vertebrate UsnRNAs, S. cerevisiae UsnRNAs contain only a few Psi residues, which are located in segments involved in intermolecular RNA-RNA or RNA-protein interactions. At these positions, UsnRNAs are universally modified. When yeast mutants disrupted for one of the several pseudouridine synthase genes (PUS1, PUS2, PUS3, and PUS4) or depleted in rRNA-pseudouridine synthase Cbf5p were tested for UsnRNA Psi content, only the loss of the Pus1p activity was found to affect Psi formation in spliceosomal UsnRNAs. Indeed, Psi44 formation in U2 snRNA was abolished. By using purified Pus1p enzyme and in vitro-produced U2 snRNA, Pus1p is shown here to catalyze Psi44 formation in the S. cerevisiae U2 snRNA. Thus, Pus1p is the first UsnRNA pseudouridine synthase characterized so far which exhibits a dual substrate specificity, acting on both tRNAs and U2 snRNA. As depletion of rRNA-pseudouridine synthase Cbf5p had no effect on UsnRNA Psi content, formation of Psi residues in S. cerevisiae UsnRNAs is not dependent on the Cbf5p-snoRNA guided mechanism.  (+info)

(8/34326) The human F box protein beta-Trcp associates with the Cul1/Skp1 complex and regulates the stability of beta-catenin.

Ubiquitin-conjugation targets numerous cellular regulators for proteasome-mediated degradation. Thus, the identification of ubiquitin ligases and their physiological substrates is crucially important, especially for those cases in which aberrant levels of regulatory proteins (e.g., beta-catenin, p27) result from a deregulated ubiquitination pathway. In yeast, the proteolysis of several G1 regulators is controlled by ubiquitin ligases (or SCFs) formed by three subunits: Skp1, Cul A (Cdc53), and one of many F-box proteins. Specific F-box proteins (Fbps) recruit different substrates to the SCF. Although many Fbps have been identified in mammals, their specific substrates and the existence of multiple SCFs have not yet been reported. We have found that one human Fbp, beta-Trcp (beta-Transducin repeat containing protein), does indeed form a novel SCF with human Skp1 and Cul1. Consistent with recent reports indicating that Xenopus and Drosophila beta-Trcp homologs act as negative regulators of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, we report here that human beta-Trcp interacts with beta-catenin in vivo. Furthermore, beta-catenin is specifically stabilized in vivo by the expression of a dominant negative beta-Trcp. These results indicate that the Cul1/Skp1/beta-Trcp complex forms a ubiquitin ligase that mediates the degradation of beta-catenin.  (+info)