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1.  Bifunctional CTP:Inositol-1-Phosphate Cytidylyltransferase/CDP-Inositol:Inositol-1-Phosphate Transferase, the Key Enzyme for Di-myo-Inositol-Phosphate Synthesis in Several (Hyper)thermophiles▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(15):5405-5412.
The pathway for the synthesis of di-myo-inositol-phosphate (DIP) was recently elucidated on the basis of the detection of the relevant activities in cell extracts of Archaeoglobus fulgidus and structural characterization of products by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) (N. Borges, L. G. Gonçalves, M. V. Rodrigues, F. Siopa, R. Ventura, C. Maycock, P. Lamosa, and H. Santos, J. Bacteriol. 188:8128-8135, 2006). Here, a genomic approach was used to identify the genes involved in the synthesis of DIP. Cloning and expression in Escherichia coli of the putative genes for CTP:l-myo-inositol-1-phosphate cytidylyltransferase and DIPP (di-myo-inositol-1,3′-phosphate-1′-phosphate, a phosphorylated form of DIP) synthase from several (hyper)thermophiles (A. fulgidus, Pyrococcus furiosus, Thermococcus kodakaraensis, Aquifex aeolicus, and Rubrobacter xylanophilus) confirmed the presence of those activities in the gene products. The DIPP synthase activity was part of a bifunctional enzyme that catalyzed the condensation of CTP and l-myo-inositol-1-phosphate into CDP-l-myo-inositol, as well as the synthesis of DIPP from CDP-l-myo-inositol and l-myo-inositol-1-phosphate. The cytidylyltransferase was absolutely specific for CTP and l-myo-inositol-1-P; the DIPP synthase domain used only l-myo-inositol-1-phosphate as an alcohol acceptor, but CDP-glycerol, as well as CDP-l-myo-inositol and CDP-d-myo-inositol, were recognized as alcohol donors. Genome analysis showed homologous genes in all organisms known to accumulate DIP and for which genome sequences were available. In most cases, the two activities (l-myo-inositol-1-P cytidylyltransferase and DIPP synthase) were fused in a single gene product, but separate genes were predicted in Aeropyrum pernix, Thermotoga maritima, and Hyperthermus butylicus. Additionally, using l-myo-inositol-1-phosphate labeled on C-1 with carbon 13, the stereochemical configuration of all the metabolites involved in DIP synthesis was established by NMR analysis. The two inositol moieties in DIP had different stereochemical configurations, in contradiction of previous reports. The use of the designation di-myo-inositol-1,3′-phosphate is recommended to facilitate tracing individual carbon atoms through metabolic pathways.
PMCID: PMC1951816  PMID: 17526717
2.  Production, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of CTP:inositol-1-phosphate cytidylyltransferase from Archaeoglobus fulgidus  
The expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of CTP:inositol-1-phosphate cytidylyltransferase from A. fulgidus is described.
Archaeoglobus fulgidus, a hyperthermophilic archaeon, accumulates di-myo-inositol phosphate (DIP) in response to heat stress. Recently, the pathway for biosynthesis of DIP has been elucidated in this organism and involves a bifunctional enzyme that contains two domains: CTP:inositol-1-phosphate cytidylyltransferase (IPCT) as a soluble domain and di-myo-inositol-1,3′-phosphate-1-phosphate synthase (DIPPS) as a membrane domain. Here, the expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the IPCT domain from A. fulgidus in the apo form are reported. The crystals diffracted to 2.4 Å resolution using a synchrotron source and belonged to the orthorhombic space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 154.7, b = 83.9, c = 127.7 Å.
PMCID: PMC3001648  PMID: 21045295
CTP:inositol-1-phosphate cytidylyltransferase; Archaeoglobus fulgidus; compatible solutes; CDP-inositol; di-myo-inositol phosphate
3.  Biosynthetic Pathways of Inositol and Glycerol Phosphodiesters Used by the Hyperthermophile Archaeoglobus fulgidus in Stress Adaptation▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(23):8128-8135.
Archaeoglobus fulgidus accumulates di-myo-inositol phosphate (DIP) and diglycerol phosphate (DGP) in response to heat and osmotic stresses, respectively, and the level of glycero-phospho-myo-inositol (GPI) increases primarily when the two stresses are combined. In this work, the pathways for the biosynthesis of these three compatible solutes were established based on the detection of the relevant enzymatic activities and characterization of the intermediate metabolites by nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. The synthesis of DIP proceeds from glucose-6-phosphate via four steps: (i) glucose-6-phosphate was converted into l-myo-inositol 1-phosphate by l-myo-inositol 1-phosphate synthase; (ii) l-myo-inositol 1-phosphate was activated to CDP-inositol at the expense of CTP; this is the first demonstration of CDP-inositol synthesis in a biological system; (iii) CDP-inositol was coupled with l-myo-inositol 1-phosphate to yield a phosphorylated intermediate, 1,1′-di-myo-inosityl phosphate 3-phosphate (DIPP); (iv) finally, DIPP was dephosphorylated into DIP by the action of a phosphatase. The synthesis of the two other polyol-phosphodiesters, DGP and GPI, proceeds via the condensation of CDP-glycerol with the respective phosphorylated polyol, glycerol 3-phosphate for DGP and l-myo-inositol 1-phosphate for GPI, yielding the respective phosphorylated intermediates, 1X,1′X-diglyceryl phosphate 3-phosphate (DGPP) and 1-(1X-glyceryl) myo-inosityl phosphate 3-phosphate (GPIP), which are subsequently dephosphorylated to form the final products. The results disclosed here represent an important step toward the elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the differential accumulation of these compounds in response to heat and osmotic stresses.
PMCID: PMC1698214  PMID: 17028285
4.  Thermococcus kodakarensis Mutants Deficient in Di-myo-Inositol Phosphate Use Aspartate To Cope with Heat Stress▿§  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;192(1):191-197.
Many of the marine microorganisms which are adapted to grow at temperatures above 80°C accumulate di-myo-inositol phosphate (DIP) in response to heat stress. This led to the hypothesis that the solute plays a role in thermoprotection, but there is a lack of definitive experimental evidence. Mutant strains of Thermococcus kodakarensis (formerly Thermococcus kodakaraensis), manipulated in their ability to synthesize DIP, were constructed and used to investigate the involvement of DIP in thermoadaptation of this archaeon. The solute pool of the parental strain comprised DIP, aspartate, and α-glutamate. Under heat stress the level of DIP increased 20-fold compared to optimal conditions, whereas the pool of aspartate increased 4.3-fold in response to osmotic stress. Deleting the gene encoding the key enzyme in DIP synthesis, CTP:inositol-1-phosphate cytidylyltransferase/CDP-inositol:inositol-1-phosphate transferase, abolished DIP synthesis. Conversely, overexpression of the same gene resulted in a mutant with restored ability to synthesize DIP. Despite the absence of DIP in the deletion mutant, this strain exhibited growth parameters similar to those of the parental strain, both at optimal (85°C) and supraoptimal (93.7°C) temperatures for growth. Analysis of the respective solute pools showed that DIP was replaced by aspartate. We conclude that DIP is part of the strategy used by T. kodakarensis to cope with heat stress, and aspartate can be used as an alternative solute of similar efficacy. This is the first study using mutants to demonstrate the involvement of compatible solutes in the thermoadaptation of (hyper)thermophilic organisms.
PMCID: PMC2798264  PMID: 19880594
5.  Biosynthesis of Di-myo-Inositol-1,1′-Phosphate, a Novel Osmolyte in Hyperthermophilic Archaea 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(15):3785-3792.
Biosynthesis of di-myo-inositol-1,1′-phosphate (DIP) is proposed to occur with myo-inositol and myo-inositol 1-phosphate (I-1-P) used as precursors. Activation of the I-1-P with CTP and condensation of the resultant CDP-inositol (CDP-I) with myo-inositol then generates DIP. The sole known biosynthetic pathway of inositol in all organisms is the conversion of d-glucose-6-phosphate to myo-inositol. This conversion requires two key enzymes: l-I-1-P synthase and I-1-P phosphatase. Enzymatic assays using 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as well as a colorimetric assay for inorganic phosphate have confirmed the occurrence of l-I-1-P synthase and a moderately specific I-1-P phosphatase. The enzymatic reaction that couples CDP-I with myo-inositol to generate DIP has also been detected in Methanococcus igneus. 13C labeling studies with [2,3-13C]pyruvate and [3-13C]pyruvate were used to examine this pathway in M. igneus. Label distribution in DIP was consistent with inositol units formed from glucose-6-phosphate, but the label in the glucose moiety was scrambled via transketolase and transaldolase activities of the pentose phosphate pathway.
PMCID: PMC107359  PMID: 9683472
6.  A Unique β-1,2-Mannosyltransferase of Thermotoga maritima That Uses Di-myo-Inositol Phosphate as the Mannosyl Acceptor▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;191(19):6105-6115.
In addition to di-myo-inositol-1,3′-phosphate (DIP), a compatible solute widespread in hyperthermophiles, the organic solute pool of Thermotoga maritima comprises 2-(O-β-d-mannosyl)-di-myo-inositol-1,3′-phosphate (MDIP) and 2-(O-β-d-mannosyl-1,2-O-β-d-mannosyl)-di-myo-inositol-1,3′-phosphate (MMDIP), two newly identified β-1,2-mannosides. In cells grown under heat stress, MDIP was the major solute, accounting for 43% of the total pool; MMDIP and DIP accumulated to similar levels, each corresponding to 11.5% of the total pool. The synthesis of MDIP involved the transfer of the mannosyl group from GDP-mannose to DIP in a single-step reaction catalyzed by MDIP synthase. This enzyme used MDIP as an acceptor of a second mannose residue, yielding the di-mannosylated compound. Minor amounts of the tri-mannosylated form were also detected. With a genomic approach, putative genes for MDIP synthase were identified in the genome of T. maritima, and the assignment was confirmed by functional expression in Escherichia coli. Genes with significant sequence identity were found only in the genomes of Thermotoga spp., Aquifex aeolicus, and Archaeoglobus profundus. MDIP synthase of T. maritima had maximal activity at 95°C and apparent Km values of 16 mM and 0.7 mM for DIP and GDP-mannose, respectively. The stereochemistry of MDIP was characterized by isotopic labeling and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR): DIP selectively labeled with carbon 13 at position C1 of the l-inositol moiety was synthesized and used as a substrate for MDIP synthase. This β-1,2-mannosyltransferase is unrelated to known glycosyltransferases, and within the domain Bacteria, it is restricted to members of the two deepest lineages, i.e., the Thermotogales and the Aquificales. To our knowledge, this is the first β-1,2-mannosyltransferase characterized thus far.
PMCID: PMC2747880  PMID: 19648237
7.  Occurrence of 1-Glyceryl-1-myo-Inosityl Phosphate in Hyperthermophiles 
The accumulation of compatible solutes was studied in the hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex pyrophilus as a function of the temperature and the NaCl concentration of the growth medium. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of cell extracts revealed the presence of α- and β-glutamate, di-mannosyl-di-myo-inositol phosphate, di-myo-inositol phosphate, and an additional compound here identified as 1-glyceryl-1-myo-inosityl phosphate. All solutes accumulated by A. pyrophilus are negatively charged at physiological pH. The intracellular levels of di-myo-inositol phosphate increased in response to supraoptimal growth temperature, while α- and β-glutamate accumulated in response to osmotic stress, especially at growth temperatures below the optimum. The newly discovered compound, 1-glyceryl-1-myo-inosityl phosphate, appears to play a double role in osmo- and thermoprotection, since its intracellular pool increased primarily in response to a combination of osmotic and heat stresses. This work also uncovered the nature of the unknown compound, previously detected in Archaeoglobus fulgidus (L. O. Martins et al., Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 63:896-902, 1997). The curious structural relationship between diglycerol phosphate (found only in Archaeoglobus species), di-myo-inositol phosphate (a canonical solute of hyperthermophiles), and the newly identified solute is highlighted. This is the first report on the occurrence of 1-glyceryl-1-myo-inosityl phosphate in living systems.
PMCID: PMC1563613  PMID: 16957243
8.  NADP(H) Phosphatase Activities of Archaeal Inositol Monophosphatase and Eubacterial 3′-Phosphoadenosine 5′-Phosphate Phosphatase▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2007;73(17):5447-5452.
NADP(H) phosphatase has not been identified in eubacteria and eukaryotes. In archaea, MJ0917 of hyperthermophilic Methanococcus jannaschii is a fusion protein comprising NAD kinase and an inositol monophosphatase homologue that exhibits high NADP(H) phosphatase activity (S. Kawai, C. Fukuda, T. Mukai, and K. Murata, J. Biol. Chem. 280:39200-39207, 2005). In this study, we showed that the other archaeal inositol monophosphatases, MJ0109 of M. jannaschii and AF2372 of hyperthermophilic Archaeoglobus fulgidus, exhibit NADP(H) phosphatase activity in addition to the already-known inositol monophosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase activities. Kinetic values for NADP+ and NADPH of MJ0109 and AF2372 were comparable to those for inositol monophosphate and fructose-1,6-bisphosphate. This implies that the physiological role of the two enzymes is that of an NADP(H) phosphatase. Further, the two enzymes showed inositol polyphosphate 1-phosphatase activity but not 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphate phosphatase activity. The inositol polyphosphate 1-phosphatase activity of archaeal inositol monophosphatase was considered to be compatible with the similar tertiary structures of inositol monophosphatase, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, inositol polyphosphate 1-phosphatase, and 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphate phosphatase. Based on this fact, we found that 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphate phosphatase (CysQ) of Escherichia coli exhibited NADP(H) phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase activities, although inositol monophosphatase (SuhB) and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (Fbp) of E. coli did not exhibit any NADP(H) phosphatase activity. However, the kinetic values of CysQ and the known phenotype of the cysQ mutant indicated that CysQ functions physiologically as 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphate phosphatase rather than as NADP(H) phosphatase.
PMCID: PMC2042097  PMID: 17616624
9.  Coordinate regulation of phospholipid biosynthesis by serine in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1987;169(7):3276-3280.
The addition of L-serine to inositol-containing growth medium repressed membrane-associated CDPdiacylglycerol synthase (CTP:phosphatidate cytidylyltransferase, EC and phosphatidylserine synthase (CDPdiacylglycerol:L-serine O-phosphatidyltransferase, EC activities and subunit levels in wild-type Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Enzyme activities and subunit levels were not repressed when inositol was absent from the growth medium. The addition of L-serine to the growth medium did not affect the phospholipid composition of wild-type cells. CDPdiacylglycerol synthase and phosphatidylserine synthase were not regulated in the S. cerevisiae inositol biosynthesis ino2, ino4, and opi1 regulatory mutants, suggesting that regulation by inositol plus L-serine is coupled to inositol synthesis. Inositol and L-serine did not affect the activities of purified CDPdiacylglycerol synthase and phosphatidylserine synthase. The addition of compounds structurally related to L-serine to the growth medium of wild-type cells also resulted in a repression of CDPdiacylglycerol synthase and phosphatidylserine synthase but only in the presence of inositol. Phosphatidylinositol synthase (CDPdiacylglycerol:myo-inositol 3-phosphatidyltransferase, EC was not regulated by inositol plus L-serine.
PMCID: PMC212380  PMID: 3036783
10.  Characterization of the inositol monophosphatase gene family in Arabidopsis 
Synthesis of myo-inositol is crucial in multicellular eukaryotes for production of phosphatidylinositol and inositol phosphate signaling molecules. The myo-inositol monophosphatase (IMP) enzyme is required for the synthesis of myo-inositol, breakdown of inositol (1,4,5)-trisphosphate, a second messenger involved in Ca2+ signaling, and synthesis of L-galactose, a precursor of ascorbic acid. Two myo-inositol monophosphatase -like (IMPL) genes in Arabidopsis encode chloroplast proteins with homology to the prokaryotic IMPs and one of these, IMPL2, can complement a bacterial histidinol 1-phosphate phosphatase mutant defective in histidine synthesis, indicating an important role for IMPL2 in amino acid synthesis. To delineate how this small gene family functions in inositol synthesis and metabolism, we sought to compare recombinant enzyme activities, expression patterns, and impact of genetic loss-of-function mutations for each. Our data show that purified IMPL2 protein is an active histidinol-phosphate phosphatase enzyme in contrast to the IMPL1 enzyme, which has the ability to hydrolyze D-galactose 1-phosphate, and D-myo-inositol 1-phosphate, a breakdown product of D-inositol (1,4,5) trisphosphate. Expression studies indicated that all three genes are expressed in multiple tissues, however, IMPL1 expression is restricted to above-ground tissues only. Identification and characterization of impl1 and impl2 mutants revealed no viable mutants for IMPL1, while two different impl2 mutants were identified and shown to be severely compromised in growth, which can be rescued by histidine. Analyses of metabolite levels in impl2 and complemented mutants reveals impl2 mutant growth is impacted by alterations in the histidine biosynthesis pathway, but does not impact myo-inositol synthesis. Together, these data indicate that IMPL2 functions in the histidine biosynthetic pathway, while IMP and IMPL1 catalyze the hydrolysis of inositol- and galactose-phosphates in the plant cell.
PMCID: PMC4288329  PMID: 25620968
histidine; inositol; histidinol phosphatase; inositol monophosphatase; IMPL2
11.  Preparation of Quality Inositol Pyrophosphates 
Myo-inositol is present in nature either unmodified or in more complex phosphorylated derivates. Of the latest, the two most abundant in eukaryotic cells are inositol pentakisphosphate (IP5) and inositol hexakisphosphate (phytic acid or IP6). IP5 and IP6 are the precursors of inositol pyrophosphate molecules that contain one or more pyrophosphate bonds1. Phosphorylation of IP6 generates diphoshoinositolpentakisphosphate (IP7 or PP-IP5) and bisdiphoshoinositoltetrakisphosphate (IP8 or (PP)2-IP4). Inositol pyrophosphates have been isolated from all eukaryotic organisms so far studied. In addition, the two distinct classes of enzymes responsible for inositol pyrophosphate synthesis are highly conserved throughout evolution2-4.
The IP6 kinases (IP6Ks) posses an enormous catalytic flexibility, converting IP5 and IP6 to PP-IP4 and IP7 respectively and subsequently, by using these products as substrates, promote the generation of more complex molecules5,6. Recently, a second class of pyrophosphate generating enzymes was identified in the form of the yeast protein VIP1 (also referred as PP-IP5K), which is able to convert IP6 to IP7 and IP87,8.
Inositol pyrophosphates regulate many disparate cellular processes such as insulin secretion9, telomere length10,11, chemotaxis12, vesicular trafficking13, phosphate homeostasis14 and HIV-1 gag release15. Two mechanisms of actions have been proposed for this class of molecules. They can affect cellular function by allosterically interacting with specific proteins like AKT16. Alternatively, the pyrophosphate group can donate a phosphate to pre-phosphorylated proteins17. The enormous potential of this research field is hampered by the absence of a commercial source of inositol pyrophosphates, which is preventing many scientists from studying these molecules and this new post-translational modification. The methods currently available to isolate inositol pyrophosphates require sophisticated chromatographic apparatus18,19. These procedures use acidic conditions that might lead to inositol pyrophosphate degradation20 and thus to poor recovery. Furthermore, the cumbersome post-column desalting procedures restrict their use to specialized laboratories.
In this study we describe an undemanding method for the generation, isolation and purification of the products of the IP6-kinase and PP-IP5-kinases reactions. This method was possible by the ability of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) to resolve highly phosphorylated inositol polyphosphates20. Following IP6K1 and PP-IP5K enzymatic reactions using IP6 as the substrate, PAGE was used to separate the generated inositol pyrophosphates that were subsequently eluted in water.
PMCID: PMC3217249  PMID: 21912370
12.  Comparative Genomics of Pneumocystis Species Suggests the Absence of Genes for myo-Inositol Synthesis and Reliance on Inositol Transport and Metabolism 
mBio  2014;5(6):e01834-14.
In the context of deciphering the metabolic strategies of the obligate pathogenic fungi in the genus Pneumocystis, the genomes of three species (P. carinii, P. murina, and P. jirovecii) were compared among themselves and with the free-living, phylogenetically related fission yeast (Schizosaccharomyces pombe). The underrepresentation of amino acid metabolism pathways compared to those in S. pombe, as well as the incomplete steroid biosynthesis pathway, were confirmed for P. carinii and P. jirovecii and extended to P. murina. All three Pneumocystis species showed overrepresentation of the inositol phosphate metabolism pathway compared to that in the fission yeast. In addition to those known in S. pombe, four genes, encoding inositol-polyphosphate multikinase (EC, inositol-pentakisphosphate 2-kinase (EC, phosphoinositide 5-phosphatase (EC, and inositol-1,4-bisphosphate 1-phosphatase (EC, were identified in the two rodent Pneumocystis genomes, P. carinii and P. murina. The P. jirovecii genome appeared to contain three of these genes but lacked phosphoinositide 5-phosphatase. Notably, two genes encoding enzymes essential for myo-inositol synthesis, inositol-1-phosphate synthase (INO1) and inositol monophosphatase (INM1), were absent from all three genomes, suggesting that Pneumocystis species are inositol auxotrophs. In keeping with the need to acquire exogenous inositol, two genes with products homologous to fungal inositol transporters, ITR1 and ITR2, were identified in P. carinii and P. murina, while P. jirovecii contained only the ITR1 homolog. The ITR and inositol metabolism genes in P. murina and P. carinii were expressed during fulminant infection as determined by reverse transcriptase real-time PCR of cDNA from infected lung tissue. Supplementation of in vitro culture with inositol yielded significant improvement of the viability of P. carinii for days 7 through 14.
Microbes in the genus Pneumocystis are obligate pathogenic fungi that reside in mammalian lungs and cause Pneumocystis pneumonia in hosts with weakened immune systems. These fungal infections are not responsive to standard antifungal therapy. A long-term in vitro culture system is not available for these fungi, impeding the study of their biology and genetics and new drug development. Given that all genomes of the Pneumocystis species analyzed lack the genes for inositol synthesis and contain inositol transporters, Pneumocystis fungi, like S. pombe, appear to be inositol auxotrophs. Inositol is important for the pathogenesis, virulence, and mating processes in Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans, suggesting similar importance within the Pneumocystis species as well. This is the first report to (i) characterize genes in the inositol phosphate metabolism and transport pathways in Pneumocystis species and (ii) identify inositol as a supplement that improved the viability of P. carinii in in vitro culture.
PMCID: PMC4222102  PMID: 25370490
13.  Organic Solutes in Hyperthermophilic Archaea 
We examined the accumulation of organic solutes under optimum growth conditions in 12 species of thermophilic and hyperthermophilic Archaea belonging to the Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. Pyrobaculum aerophilum, Thermoproteus tenax, Thermoplasma acidophilum, and members of the order Sulfolobales accumulated trehalose. Pyrococcus furiosus accumulated di-myo-inositol-1,1(prm1)(3,3(prm1))-phosphate and (beta)-mannosylglycerate, Methanothermus fervidus accumulated cyclic-2,3-bisphosphoglycerate and (beta)-mannosylglycerate, while the only solute detected in Pyrodictium occultum was di-myo-inositol-1,1(prm1)(3,3(prm1))-phosphate. Methanopyrus kandleri accumulated large concentrations of cyclic-2,3-bisphosphoglycerate. On the other hand, Archaeoglobus fulgidus accumulated three phosphorylated solutes; prominent among them was a compound identified as di-glycerol-phosphate. This solute increased in concentration as the salinity of the medium and the growth temperature were raised, suggesting that this compound serves as a general stress solute. Di-myo-inositol-1,1(prm1)(3,3(prm1))-phosphate accumulated at supraoptimal temperature only. The relationship between the accumulation of unusual solutes and high temperatures is also discussed.
PMCID: PMC1389121  PMID: 16535556
14.  Dimerization of inositol monophosphatase Mycobacterium tuberculosis SuhB is not constitutive, but induced by binding of the activator Mg2+ 
The cell wall of Mycobacterium tuberculosis contains a wide range of phosphatidyl inositol-based glycolipids that play critical structural roles and, in part, govern pathogen-host interactions. Synthesis of phosphatidyl inositol is dependent on free myo-inositol, generated through dephosphorylation of myo-inositol-1-phosphate by inositol monophosphatase (IMPase). Human IMPase, the putative target of lithium therapy, has been studied extensively, but the function of four IMPase-like genes in M. tuberculosis is unclear.
We determined the crystal structure, to 2.6 Å resolution, of the IMPase M. tuberculosis SuhB in the apo form, and analysed self-assembly by analytical ultracentrifugation. Contrary to the paradigm of constitutive dimerization of IMPases, SuhB is predominantly monomeric in the absence of the physiological activator Mg2+, in spite of a conserved fold and apparent dimerization in the crystal. However, Mg2+ concentrations that result in enzymatic activation of SuhB decisively promote dimerization, with the inhibitor Li+ amplifying the effect of Mg2+, but failing to induce dimerization on its own.
The correlation of Mg2+-driven enzymatic activity with dimerization suggests that catalytic activity is linked to the dimer form. Current models of lithium inhibition of IMPases posit that Li+ competes for one of three catalytic Mg2+ sites in the active site, stabilized by a mobile loop at the dimer interface. Our data suggest that Mg2+/Li+-induced ordering of this loop may promote dimerization by expanding the dimer interface of SuhB. The dynamic nature of the monomer-dimer equilibrium may also explain the extended concentration range over which Mg2+ maintains SuhB activity.
PMCID: PMC2080633  PMID: 17725819
15.  Cloning and Expression of the Inositol Monophosphatase Gene from Methanococcus jannaschii and Characterization of the Enzyme 
Inositol monophosphatase (EC plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of di-myo-inositol-1,1′-phosphate, an osmolyte found in hyperthermophilic archaea. Given the sequence homology between the MJ109 gene product of Methanococcus jannaschii and human inositol monophosphatase, the MJ109 gene was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli and examined for inositol monophosphatase activity. The purified MJ109 gene product showed inositol monophosphatase activity with kinetic parameters (Km = 0.091 ± 0.016 mM; Vmax = 9.3 ± 0.45 μmol of Pi min−1 mg of protein−1) comparable to those of mammalian and E. coli enzymes. Its substrate specificity, Mg2+ requirement, Li+ inhibition, subunit association (dimerization), and heat stability were studied and compared to those of other inositol monophosphatases. The lack of inhibition by low concentrations of Li+ and high concentrations of Mg2+ and the high rates of hydrolysis of glucose-1-phosphate and p-nitrophenylphosphate are the most pronounced differences between the archaeal inositol monophosphatase and those from other sources. The possible causes of these kinetic differences are discussed, based on the active site sequence alignment between M. jannaschii and human inositol monophosphatase and the crystal structure of the mammalian enzyme.
PMCID: PMC106433  PMID: 9647837
16.  Control of inositol biosynthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: properties of a repressible enzyme system in extracts of wild-type (Ino+) cells. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1976;126(1):232-242.
Inositol biosynthesis was studied in soluble, cell extracts of a wild-type (Ino) strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Two reactions were detected: (i) conversion of D-glucose-6-phosphate to a phosphorylated form of inositol, presumably inositol-1-phosphate (IP synthethase, EC5.5.1.4), and (ii) conversion of phosphorylated inositol to inositol (IP phosphatase, EC3.1.3.25). The in vitro rate of conversion of glucose-6-phosphate to inositol was proportional to incubaion time and enzyme concentration. The pH optimum was 7.0. The synthesis of inositol required oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and was stimulated byNH4C1 and MgC12. NADP substituted poorly for NAD, and NADH inhibitedthe reaction. Phosphorylated inositol accumulated in the absence of MgC12, suggesting that inositol-phosphate is an intermediate in the pathway and that Mg ions stimulate the dephosphorylation of inositol-phosphate. IP synthetase was inhibited approximately 20% in the presence of inositol in the reaction mixture at concentrations exceeding 1 mM. The enzyme was repressed approximately 50-fold when inositol was present in the growth medium at concentrations exceeding 50 muM. IP synthetase reached the fully repressed level approximately 10 h after the addition of inositol to logarithmic cultures grown in the absence of inositol. The specific activity of the enzyme increased with time in logarithmically growing cultures lacking inositol andapproached the fully depressed level as the cells entered stationary phase.
PMCID: PMC233280  PMID: 4423
17.  Structural basis for catalysis in a CDP-alcohol phosphotransferase 
Nature communications  2014;5:4068.
The CDP-alcohol phosphotransferase (CDP-AP) family of integral membrane enzymes catalyzes the transfer of a substituted phosphate group from a CDP-linked donor to an alcohol-acceptor. This is an essential reaction for phospholipid biosynthesis across all kingdoms of life, and it is catalyzed solely by CDP-APs. Here we report the 2.0 Å resolution crystal structure of a representative CDP-AP from Archaeoglobus fulgidus. The enzyme (AF2299) is a homodimer, with each protomer consisting of six transmembrane helices and an N-terminal cytosolic domain. A polar cavity within the membrane accommodates the active site, lined with the residues from an absolutely conserved CDP-AP signature motif (D1xxD2G1xxAR…G2xxxD3xxxD4). Structures in the apo, CMP-bound, CDP-bound and CDP-glycerol-bound states define functional roles for each of these eight conserved residues and allow us to propose a sequential, base-catalyzed mechanism universal for CDP-APs, in which the fourth aspartate (D4) acts as the catalytic base.
PMCID: PMC4098843  PMID: 24923293
18.  Degradation of Phytate by the 6-Phytase from Hafnia alvei: A Combined Structural and Solution Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e65062.
Phytases hydrolyse phytate (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate), the principal form of phosphate stored in plant seeds to produce phosphate and lower phosphorylated myo-inositols. They are used extensively in the feed industry, and have been characterised biochemically and structurally with a number of structures in the PDB. They are divided into four distinct families: histidine acid phosphatases (HAP), β-propeller phytases, cysteine phosphatases and purple acid phosphatases and also split into three enzyme classes, the 3-, 5- and 6-phytases, depending on the position of the first phosphate in the inositol ring to be removed. We report identification, cloning, purification and 3D structures of 6-phytases from two bacteria, Hafnia alvei and Yersinia kristensenii, together with their pH optima, thermal stability, and degradation profiles for phytate. An important result is the structure of the H. alvei enzyme in complex with the substrate analogue myo-inositol hexakissulphate. In contrast to the only previous structure of a ligand-bound 6-phytase, where the 3-phosphate was unexpectedly in the catalytic site, in the H. alvei complex the expected scissile 6-phosphate (sulphate in the inhibitor) is placed in the catalytic site.
PMCID: PMC3669009  PMID: 23741456
19.  Molecular Cloning of a Novel Glucuronokinase/Putative Pyrophosphorylase from Zebrafish Acting in an UDP-Glucuronic Acid Salvage Pathway 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89690.
In animals, the main precursor for glycosaminoglycan and furthermore proteoglycan biosynthesis, like hyaluronic acid, is UDP-glucuronic acid, which is synthesized via the nucleotide sugar oxidation pathway. Mutations in this pathway cause severe developmental defects (deficiency in the initiation of heart valve formation). In plants, UDP-glucuronic acid is synthesized via two independent pathways. Beside the nucleotide sugar oxidation pathway, a second minor route to UDP-glucuronic acid exist termed the myo-inositol oxygenation pathway. Within this myo-inositol is ring cleaved into glucuronic acid, which is subsequently converted to UDP-glucuronic acid by glucuronokinase and UDP-sugar pyrophosphorylase. Here we report on a similar, but bifunctional enzyme from zebrafish (Danio rerio) which has glucuronokinase/putative pyrophosphorylase activity. The enzyme can convert glucuronic acid into UDP-glucuronic acid, required for completion of the alternative pathway to UDP-glucuronic acid via myo-inositol and thus establishes a so far unknown second route to UDP-glucuronic acid in animals. Glucuronokinase from zebrafish is a member of the GHMP-kinase superfamily having unique substrate specificity for glucuronic acid with a Km of 31±8 µM and accepting ATP as the only phosphate donor (Km: 59±9 µM). UDP-glucuronic acid pyrophosphorylase from zebrafish has homology to bacterial nucleotidyltransferases and requires UTP as nucleosid diphosphate donor. Genes for bifunctional glucuronokinase and putative UDP-glucuronic acid pyrophosphorylase are conserved among some groups of lower animals, including fishes, frogs, tunicates, and polychaeta, but are absent from mammals. The existence of a second pathway for UDP-glucuronic acid biosynthesis in zebrafish likely explains some previous contradictory finding in jekyll/ugdh zebrafish developmental mutants, which showed residual glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans in knockout mutants of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase.
PMCID: PMC3938481  PMID: 24586965
20.  Structural analysis of the carboxy terminal PH domain of pleckstrin bound to D-myo-inositol 1,2,3,5,6-pentakisphosphate 
Pleckstrin homology (PH) domains are one of the most prevalent domains in the human proteome and represent the major phosphoinositide-binding module. These domains are often found in signaling proteins and function predominately by targeting their host proteins to the cell membrane. Inositol phosphates, which are structurally similar to phosphoinositides, are not only known to play a role as signaling molecules but are also capable of being bound by PH domains.
In the work presented here it is shown that the addition of commercial myo-inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6) inhibited the binding of the carboxy terminal PH domain of pleckstrin (C-PH) to phosphatidylinositol 3,4-bisphosphate with an IC50 of 7.5 μM. In an attempt to characterize this binding structurally, C-PH was crystallized in the presence of IP6 and the structure was determined to 1.35 Å. Examination of the resulting electron density unexpectedly revealed the bound ligand to be D-myo-inositol 1,2,3,5,6-pentakisphosphate.
The discovery of D-myo-inositol 1,2,3,5,6-pentakisphosphate in the crystal structure suggests that the inhibitory effects observed in the binding studies may be due to this ligand rather than IP6. Analysis of the protein-ligand interaction demonstrated that this myo-inositol pentakisphosphate isomer interacts specifically with protein residues known to be involved in phosphoinositide binding. In addition to this, a structural alignment of other PH domains bound to inositol phosphates containing either four or five phosphate groups revealed that the majority of phosphate groups occupy conserved locations in the binding pockets of PH domains. These findings, taken together with other recently reported studies suggest that myo-inositol pentakisphosphates could act to regulate PH domain-phosphoinositide interactions by directly competing for binding, thus playing an important role as signaling molecules.
PMCID: PMC2200656  PMID: 18034889
21.  Biochemical Characterization of the CDP-d-Arabinitol Biosynthetic Pathway in Streptococcus pneumoniae 17F 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(8):1868-1874.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major human pathogen associated with many diseases worldwide. Capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) are the major virulence factor. The biosynthetic pathway of d-arabinitol, which is present in the CPSs of several S. pneumoniae serotypes, has never been identified. In this study, the genes abpA (previously known as abp1) and abpB (previously known as abp2), which have previously been reported to be responsible for nucleoside diphosphate (NDP)-d-arabinitol (the nucleotide-activated form of d-arabinitol) synthesis, were cloned. The enzyme products were overexpressed, purified, and analyzed for their respective activities. Novel products produced by AbpA- and AbpB-catalyzing reactions were detected by capillary electrophoresis, and the structures of the products were elucidated using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. As a result, abpA was identified to be a d-xylulose-5-phosphate cytidylyltransferase-encoding gene, responsible for the transfer of CTP to d-xylulose-5-phosphate (d-Xlu-5-P) to form CDP-d-xylulose, and abpB was characterized to be a CDP-d-xylulose reductase-encoding gene, responsible for the conversion of CDP-d-xylulose to CDP-d-arabinitol as the final product. The kinetic parameters of AbpA for the substrates d-Xlu-5-P and CTP and those of AbpB for the substrate CDP-d-xylulose and the cofactors NADH or NADPH were measured, and the effects of temperature, pH, and cations on the two enzymes were analyzed. This study confirmed the involvement of the genes abpA and abpB and their products in the biosynthetic pathway of CDP-d-arabinitol.
PMCID: PMC3318453  PMID: 22328666
22.  acs1 of Haemophilus influenzae Type a Capsulation Locus Region II Encodes a Bifunctional Ribulose 5-Phosphate Reductase– CDP-Ribitol Pyrophosphorylase 
Journal of Bacteriology  1999;181(7):2001-2007.
The serotype-specific, 5.9-kb region II of the Haemophilus influenzae type a capsulation locus was sequenced and found to contain four open reading frames termed acs1 to acs4. Acs1 was 96% identical to H. influenzae type b Orf1, previously shown to have CDP-ribitol pyrophosphorylase activity (J. Van Eldere, L. Brophy, B. Loynds, P. Celis, I. Hancock, S. Carman, J. S. Kroll, and E. R. Moxon, Mol. Microbiol. 15:107–118, 1995). Low but significant homology to other pyrophosphorylases was only detected in the N-terminal part of Acs1, whereas the C-terminal part was homologous to several short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases, suggesting that Acs1 might be a bifunctional enzyme. To test this hypothesis, acs1 was cloned in an expression vector and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Cells expressing this protein displayed both ribitol 5-phosphate dehydrogenase and CDP-ribitol pyrophosphorylase activities, whereas these activities were not detectable in control cells. Acs1 was purified to near homogeneity and found to copurify with ribitol 5-phosphate dehydrogenase and CDP-ribitol pyrophosphorylase activities. These had superimposable elution profiles from DEAE-Sepharose and Blue-Sepharose columns. The dehydrogenase activity was specific for ribulose 5-phosphate and NADPH in one direction and for ribitol 5-phosphate and NADP+ in the other direction and was markedly stimulated by CTP. The pyrophosphorylase showed activity with CTP and ribitol 5-phosphate or arabitol 5-phosphate. We conclude that acs1 encodes a bifunctional enzyme that converts ribulose 5-phosphate into ribitol 5-phosphate and further into CDP-ribitol, which is the activated precursor form for incorporation of ribitol 5-phosphate into the H. influenzae type a capsular polysaccharide.
PMCID: PMC93610  PMID: 10094675
23.  Strategies for acquiring the phospholipid metabolite inositol in pathogenic bacteria, fungi and protozoa: making it and taking it 
Microbiology  2009;155(Pt 5):1386-1396.
myo-Inositol (inositol) is an essential nutrient that is used for building phosphatidylinositol and its derivatives in eukaryotes and even in some eubacteria such as the mycobacteria. As a consequence, fungal, protozoan and mycobacterial pathogens must be able to acquire inositol in order to proliferate and cause infection in their hosts. There are two primary mechanisms for acquiring inositol. One is to synthesize inositol from glucose 6-phosphate using two sequentially acting enzymes: inositol-3-phosphate synthase (Ino1p) converts glucose 6-phosphate to inositol 3-phosphate, and then inositol monophosphatase (IMPase) dephosphorylates inositol 3-phosphate to generate inositol. The other mechanism is to import inositol from the environment via inositol transporters. Inositol is readily abundant in the bloodstream of mammalian hosts, providing a source from which many pathogens could potentially import inositol. However, despite this abundance of inositol in the host, some pathogens such as the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the protist parasite Trypanosoma brucei must be able to make inositol de novo in order to cause disease (M. tuberculosis) or even grow (T. brucei). Other pathogens such as the fungus Candida albicans are equally adept at causing disease by importing inositol or by making it de novo. The role of inositol acquisition in the biology and pathogenesis of the parasite Leishmania and the fungus Cryptococcus are being explored as well. The specific strategies used by these pathogens to acquire inositol while in the host are discussed in relation to each pathogen's unique metabolic requirements.
PMCID: PMC2889408  PMID: 19383710
24.  Regulation of CDP-diacylglycerol synthesis and utilization by inositol and choline in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(17):5711-5718.
CDP-diacylglycerol (CDP-DG) is an important branchpoint intermediate in eucaryotic phospholipid biosynthesis and could be a key regulatory site in phospholipid metabolism. Therefore, we examined the effects of growth phase, phospholipid precursors, and the disruption of phosphatidylcholine (PC) synthesis on the membrane-associated phospholipid biosynthetic enzymes CDP-DG synthase, phosphatidylglycerolphosphate (PGP) synthase, phosphatidylinositol (PI) synthase, and phosphatidylserine (PS) synthase in cell extracts of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. In complete synthetic medium containing inositol, maximal expression of CDP-DG synthase, PGP synthase, PI synthase, and PS synthase in wild-type cells occurred in the exponential phase of growth and decreased two- to fourfold in the stationary phase of growth. In cells starved for inositol, this decrease in PGP synthase, PI synthase, and PS synthase expression was not observed. Starvation for inositol resulted in a twofold derepression of PGP synthase and PS synthase expression, while PI synthase expression decreased initially and then remained constant. Upon the addition of inositol to inositol-starved cells, there was a rapid and continued increase in PI synthase expression. We examined expression of these enzymes in cho2 and cho1 mutants, which are blocked in the methylation pathway for synthesis of PC. Choline starvation resulted in a decrease in PS synthase and CDP-DG synthase expression in cho1 but not cho2 cells. Expression of PGP synthase and PI synthase was not affected by choline starvation. Inositol starvation resulted in a 1.7-fold derepression of PGP synthase expression in cho2 but not cho1 cells when PC was synthesized. PS synthase expression was not depressed, while CDP-DG synthase and PI synthase expression decreased in cho2 and cho1 cells in the absence of inositol. These results demonstrate that (i) CDP-DG synthase, PGP synthase, PI synthase, and PS synthase are similarly regulated by growth phase; (ii) inositol affects the expression of PGP synthase, PI synthase, and PS synthase; (iii) disruption of the methylation pathway results in aberrant patterns of regulation of growth phase and phospholipid precursors. Important differences between S. pombe and Saccharomyces cerevisiae with regard to regulation of these enzymes are discussed.
PMCID: PMC206519  PMID: 1324908
25.  Effects of glucose on sorbitol pathway activation, cellular redox, and metabolism of myo-inositol, phosphoinositide, and diacylglycerol in cultured human retinal pigment epithelial cells. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1994;93(6):2718-2724.
Sorbitol (aldose reductase) pathway flux in diabetes perturbs intracellular metabolism by two putative mechanisms: reciprocal osmoregulatory depletion of other organic osmolytes e.g., myo-inositol, and alterations in NADPH/NADP+ and/or NADH/NAD+. The "osmolyte" and "redox" hypotheses predict secondary elevations in CDP-diglyceride, the rate-limiting precursor for phosphatidylinositol synthesis, but through different mechanisms: the "osmolyte" hypothesis via depletion of intracellular myo-inositol (the cosubstrate for phosphatidylinositol-synthase) and the "redox" hypothesis through enhanced de novo synthesis from triose phosphates. The osmolyte hypothesis predicts diminished phosphoinositide-derived arachidonyl-diacylglycerol, while the redox hypothesis predicts increased total diacylglycerol and phosphatidic acid. In high aldose reductase expressing retinal pigment epithelial cells, glucose-induced, aldose reductase inhibitor-sensitive CDP-diglyceride accumulation and inhibition of 32P-incorporation into phosphatidylinositol paralleled myo-inositol depletion (but not cytoplasmic redox, that was unaffected by glucose) and depletion of arachidonyl-diacylglycerol. 3 mM pyruvate added to the culture medium left cellular redox unaltered, but stimulated Na(+)-dependent myo-inositol uptake, accumulation, and incorporation into phosphatidylinositol. These results favor myo-inositol depletion rather than altered redox as the primary cause of glucose-induced aldose reductase-related defects in phospholipid metabolism in cultured retinal pigment epithelial cells.
PMCID: PMC294524  PMID: 8201009

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