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1.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of Streptococcus mutans dextran glucosidase 
Dextran glucosidase from S. mutans was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals diffracted to 2.2 Å resolution.
Dextran glucosidase from Streptococcus mutans is an exo-hydrolase that acts on the nonreducing terminal α-1,6-glucosidic linkage of oligosaccharides and dextran with a high degree of transglucosylation. Based on amino-acid sequence similarity, this enzyme is classified into glycoside hydrolase family 13. Recombinant dextran glucosidase was purified and crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion technique using polyethylene glycol 6000 as a precipitant. The crystals belong to the orthorhombic space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 72.72, b = 86.47, c = 104.30 Å. A native data set was collected to 2.2 Å resolution from a single crystal.
doi:10.1107/S174430910703936X
PMCID: PMC2376310  PMID: 17768352
dextran glucosidase; Streptococcus mutans; α-amylase family
2.  Structure of the α-1,6/α-1,4-specific glucansucrase GTFA from Lactobacillus reuteri 121 
A 118 kDa fragment, comprising the catalytic domain and four other domains, of the glucansucrase GTFA from L. reuteri 121, which synthesizes α-glucans with both α-1,6- and α-1,4-glycosidic linkages, was crystallized. The weakly diffracting crystals, which contained 85% solvent, were used to determine the structure at 3.6 Å resolution.
The reuteransucrase GTFA from Lactobacillus reuteri 121, which belongs to glycosyl hydrolase family GH70, synthesizes branched α-glucans with both α-­1,6- and α-1,4-glycosidic linkages (reuteran) from sucrose. The crystal structure of GTFA-ΔN, a 118 kDa fragment of GTFA comprising residues 745–1763 and including the catalytic domain, was determined at 3.6 Å resolution by molecular replacement. The crystals have large solvent channels and an unusually high solvent content of 85%. GTFA-ΔN has the same domain arrangement and domain topologies as observed in previously determined GH70 glucansucrase structures. The architecture of the GTFA-ΔN active site and binding pocket confirms that glucansucrases have a conserved substrate specificity for sucrose. However, this first crystal structure of an α-1,6/α-1,4-specific glucansucrase shows that residues from conserved sequence motif IV (1128–1136 in GTFA-ΔN) contribute to the acceptor-binding subsites and that they display differences compared with other structurally characterized glucansucrases. In particular, the structure clarifies the importance of residues following the transition-state stabilizer for product specificity, and especially residue Asn1134, which is in a position to interact with sugar units in acceptor subsite +2.
doi:10.1107/S1744309112044168
PMCID: PMC3509963  PMID: 23192022
lactic acid bacteria; glucansucrase; reuteransucrase
3.  Protein preparation, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of SMU.961 protein from the caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans  
The SMU.961 protein from S. mutans was crystallized and preliminary characterization of the crystals, which diffracted to 2.9 Å resolution, shows them to belong to space group C2.
The smu.961 gene encodes a putative protein of 183 residues in Streptococcus mutans, a major pathogen in human dental caries. The gene was cloned into expression vector pET28a and expressed in a substantial quantity in Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3) with a His tag at its N-terminus. The recombinant protein SMU.961 was purified to homogeneity in a two-step procedure consisting of Ni2+-chelating and size-exclusion chromatography. Crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method and diffracted to 2.9 Å resolution at beamline I911-3, MAX-II-lab, Sweden. The crystal belonged to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 98.62, b = 73.73, c = 184.73 Å, β = 98.82°.
doi:10.1107/S1744309107043242
PMCID: PMC2339730  PMID: 17909295
SMU.961; Streptococcus mutans
4.  Preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of SMU.2055 protein from the caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans  
The SMU.2055 gene from the major caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans was cloned and native and SeMet-labelled SMU.2055 proteins were expressed at a high level. Diffraction-quality crystals of SeMet-labelled SMU.2055 were obtained using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method and diffracted to a resolution of 2.5 Å.
The SMU.2055 gene from the major caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans is annotated as a putative acetyltransferase with 163 amino-acid residues. In order to identify its function via structural studies, the SMU.2055 gene was cloned into the expression vector pET28a. Native and SeMet-labelled SMU.2055 proteins with a His6 tag at the N-terminus were expressed at a high level in Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3) and purified to homogeneity by Ni2+-chelating affinity chromatography. Diffraction-quality crystals of SeMet-labelled SMU.2055 were obtained using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method and diffracted to a resolution of 2.5 Å on beamline BL17A at the Photon Factory, Tsukuba, Japan. The crystals belong to the orthorhombic space group C2221, with unit-cell parameters a = 92.0, b = 95.0, c = 192.2 Å. The asymmetric unit contained four molecules, with a solvent content of 57.1%.
doi:10.1107/S1744309110010365
PMCID: PMC2864685  PMID: 20445252
SMU.2055; Streptococcus mutans; acetyltransferases
5.  Hydroxy decenoic acid down regulates gtfB and gtfC expression and prevents Streptococcus mutans adherence to the cell surfaces 
Background
10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid is the most active and unique component to the royal jelly that has antimicrobial properties. Streptococcus mutans is associated with pathogenesis of oral cavity, gingivoperiodontal diseases and bacteremia following dental manipulations. In the oral cavity, S. mutans colonize the soft tissues including tongue, palate, and buccal mucosa. When considering the role of supragingival dental plaque in caries, the proportion of acid producing bacteria (particularly S. mutans), has direct relevance to the pathogenicity of the plaque. The genes that encode glucosyltransferases (gtfs) especially gtfB and gtfC are important in S. mutans colonization and pathogenesis. This study investigated the hydroxy-decenoic acid (HDA) effects on gtfB and gtfC expression and S. mutans adherence to cells surfaces.
Methods
Streptococcus mutans was treated by different concentrations of HPLC purified HDA supplied by Iran Beekeeping and Veterinary Association. Real time RT-PCR and western blot assays were conducted to evaluate gtfB and gtfC genes transcription and translation before and after HDA treatment. The bacterial attachment to the cell surfaces was evaluated microscopically.
Results
500 μg ml-1 of HDA inhibited gtfB and gtfC mRNA transcription and its expression. The same concentration of HDA decreased 60% the adherence of S. mutans to the surface of P19 cells.
Conclusion
Hydroxy-decenoic acid prevents gtfB and gtfC expression efficiently in the bactericide sub-concentrations and it could effectively reduce S. mutans adherence to the cell surfaces. In the future, therapeutic approaches to affecting S. mutans could be selective and it’s not necessary to put down the oral flora completely.
doi:10.1186/1476-0711-11-21
PMCID: PMC3495742  PMID: 22839724
Biofilm; Caries; Glucosyltransferase; Streptococcus
6.  The Exiguobacterium sibiricum 255-15 GtfC Enzyme Represents a Novel Glycoside Hydrolase 70 Subfamily of 4,6-α-Glucanotransferase Enzymes 
The glycoside hydrolase 70 (GH70) family originally was established for glucansucrase enzymes found solely in lactic acid bacteria synthesizing α-glucan polysaccharides from sucrose (e.g., GtfA). In recent years, we have characterized GtfB and related Lactobacillus enzymes as 4,6-α-glucanotransferase enzymes. These GtfB-type enzymes constitute the first GH70 subfamily of enzymes that are unable to act on sucrose as a substrate but are active with maltodextrins and starch, cleave α1→4 linkages, and synthesize linear α1→6-glucan chains. The GtfB disproportionating type of activity results in the conversion of malto-oligosaccharides into isomalto/malto-polysaccharides with a relatively high percentage of α1→6 linkages. This paper reports the identification of the members of a second GH70 subfamily (designated GtfC enzymes) and the characterization of the Exiguobacterium sibiricum 255-15 GtfC enzyme, which is also inactive with sucrose and displays 4,6-α-glucanotransferase activity with malto-oligosaccharides. GtfC differs from GtfB in synthesizing isomalto/malto-oligosaccharides. Biochemically, the GtfB- and GtfC-type enzymes are related, but phylogenetically, they clearly constitute different GH70 subfamilies, displaying only 30% sequence identity. Whereas the GtfB-type enzyme largely has the same domain order as glucansucrases (with α-amylase domains A, B, and C plus domains IV and V), this GtfC-type enzyme differs in the order of these domains and completely lacks domain V. In GtfC, the sequence of conserved regions I to IV of clan GH-H is identical to that in GH13 (I-II-III-IV) but different from that in GH70 (II-III-IV-I because of a circular permutation of the (β/α)8 barrel. The GtfC 4,6-α-glucanotransferase enzymes thus represent structurally and functionally very interesting evolutionary intermediates between α-amylase and glucansucrase enzymes.
doi:10.1128/AEM.03420-15
PMCID: PMC4711130  PMID: 26590275
7.  Oral passive immunization against dental caries in rats by use of hen egg yolk antibodies specific for cell-associated glucosyltransferase of Streptococcus mutans. 
Infection and Immunity  1991;59(11):4161-4167.
The effect of polyclonal egg yolk immunoglobulin G antibodies (yIgG) raised against whole cells, cell-free (CF) glucosyltransferase (GTase), or cell-associated (CA) GTase of serotype c Streptococcus mutans was examined in terms of in vitro inhibition of virulence-related factors of S. mutans and protection of S. mutans-infected rats against the development of dental caries. Hens (18 weeks old) were immunized with formalin-treated whole cells, purified CF-GTase, or CA-GTase together with Freund's complete adjuvant. In addition, yIgG to surface protein antigen was used in some in vitro experiments for comparison with other antibodies. yIgG was purified by ammonium sulfate precipitation followed by DEAE-Sephacel column chromatography or fractional precipitation with ethanol. Purified yIgG was found to be a 220-kDa protein, which was dissociated into heavy and light chains upon addition of 2-mercaptoethanol. yIgG to whole cells and surface protein antigen gave a heavy aggregation of S. mutans organisms, while yIgG to CF- and CA-GTase specifically inhibited the enzymatic activity of the respective GTase. yIgG to CA-GTase and whole cells was found to clearly suppress the adherence of S. mutans cells to a glass surface. Specific-pathogen-free Sprague-Dawley rats that had been infected heavily and repeatedly with S. mutans and fed diet no. 2000 developed severe dental caries, while rats fed diet 2000 containing greater than or equal to 0.1% yIgG to CA-GTase showed a statistically significant reduction in dental plaque accumulation and caries development. Administration of yIgG to CF-GTase and whole cells failed to protect against caries. These results clearly suggest that yIgG to S. mutants CA-GTase specifically inhibited a virulence factor of this organism, i.e., insoluble glucan-synthesizing CA-GTase, resulting in a significant reduction in the development of dental caries.
Images
PMCID: PMC259011  PMID: 1834573
8.  Antigenic characterization of fimbria preparations from Streptococcus mutans isolates from caries-free and caries-susceptible subjects. 
The adhesion of pathogenic bacteria to the host surface is an essential step in the development of numerous infections, including dental caries. Attachment of Streptococcus mutans, the main etiological agent of human dental caries, to the tooth surface may be mediated by glucan synthesized by glucosyltransferase (GTF) and by cell surface proteins, such as P1, which bind to salivary receptors. Fimbriae on the surfaces of many microorganisms are known to function in bacterial adhesion. Previous studies in this laboratory have initially characterized the fibrillar surface of S. mutans. The purpose of this investigation was the comparison of the antigenic properties of fimbria preparations of S. mutans isolates from five caries-resistant (CR) and six caries-susceptible (CS) subjects. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of S. mutans fimbrial preparations revealed five major protein bands at 200, 175, 157, 86, and 66 kDa in preparations from CR and CS subjects. Immunoblot analysis indicated the presence of the same major bands recognized by anti-S. mutans fimbria antisera. Furthermore, the 175- and 157-kDa bands were recognized by antibodies to P1 and GTF, respectively. Immunoblot analysis with antisera to the fimbria preparation, to P1, or to GTF indicated that the levels of fimbria-reactive components and P1 and GTF antigens were higher in S. mutans fimbria preparations from CS subjects than in those from CR individuals. For example, four of six fimbria preparations from CS patients had demonstrable P1, and all had GTF. In contrast, only two of five CR fimbrial preparations exhibited P1 and GTF. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay demonstrated similar results for levels of GTF antigen in the fimbrial preparations from CR and CS subjects. The results suggest that differences between the compositions of S. mutans fimbriae in CR and CS individuals may play an important role in the virulence of this microorganism in dental caries.
PMCID: PMC170521  PMID: 9144366
9.  Expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the Met244Ala variant of catalase–peroxidase (KatG) from the haloarchaeon Haloarcula marismortui  
The Met244Ala variant of the H. marismortui KatG enzyme was expressed in haloarchaeal host cells and purified to homogeneity. The variant was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with ammonium sulfate and NaCl as precipitants. The reddish-brown rod-shaped crystals obtained belong to the monoclinic space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 315.24, b = 81.04, c = 74.77 Å, β = 99.81°.
The covalent modification of the side chains of Trp95, Tyr218 and Met244 within the active site of Haloarcula marismortui catalase–peroxidase (KatG) appears to be common to all KatGs and has been demonstrated to be particularly significant for its bifunctionality [Smulevich et al. (2006 ▶), J. Inorg. Biochem. 100, 568–585; Jakopitsch, Kolarich et al. (2003 ▶), FEBS Lett. 552, 135–140; Jakopitsch, Auer et al. (2003 ▶), J. Biol. Chem. 278, 20185–20191; Jakopitsch et al. (2004 ▶), J. Biol. Chem. 279, 46082–46095; Regelsberger et al. (2001 ▶), Biochem. Soc. Trans. 29, 99–105; Ghiladi, Knudsen et al. (2005 ▶), J. Biol. Chem. 280, 22651–22663; Ghiladi, Medzihradzky et al. (2005 ▶), Biochemistry, 44, 15093–15105]. The Met244Ala variant of the H. marismortui KatG enzyme was expressed in haloarchaeal host cells and purified to homogeneity. The variant showed a complete loss of catalase activity, whereas the peroxidase activity of this mutant was highly enhanced owing to an increase in its affinity for the peroxidatic substrate. The variant was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with ammonium sulfate and NaCl as precipitants. The reddish-brown rod-shaped crystals obtained belong to the monoclinic space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 315.24, b = 81.04, c = 74.77 Å, β = 99.81°. A crystal frozen using lithium sulfate as the cryoprotectant diffracted to beyond 2.0 Å resolution. Preliminary X-ray analysis suggests the presence of a dimer in the asymmetric unit.
doi:10.1107/S1744309107046489
PMCID: PMC2339759  PMID: 18007045
catalase–peroxidase; covalent modification; bifunctionality; tert-butylperoxide; o-dianisidine
10.  A Feasible Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay System Using Monoclonal and Polyclonal Antibodies Against Glucosyltransferase-B from Streptococcus mutans 
Hybridoma  2012;31(3):176-179.
Streptococcus mutans
has been considered the principal etiological agent of dental caries in humans. S. mutans can secrete three kinds of glucosyltransferases (GTFs). One of these, GTF-B, which synthesizes water-insoluble glucans from sucrose, has been considered to be one of the most important factors of cariogenic dental plaque formation. Therefore, determination of whether GTF-B is present in plaque and saliva samples may contribute to the evaluation of individual virulence potential (caries risk). The aim of this study was to develop a feasible enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the routine quantification of GTF-B in plaque-derived cultures and clinical samples, and to apply this assay to an epidemiological study. To determine the presence of GTF-B in plaque samples, a sandwich-ELISA was devised, consisting of mouse monoclonal and rabbit polyclonal antibodies against GTF-B and a horseradish peroxidase-conjugated anti-rabbit antibody. The developed ELISA allowed for quantification of the amounts of purified GTF-B with satisfactory sensitivity and specificity; this method was not affected by other components such as plaque and saliva. Plaque samples from healthy volunteers were examined using this ELISA method and microbial analysis to apply the assay to an epidemiological study. A correlation was observed between the amount of extracted GTF-B and S. mutans levels as determined by ELISA and cultivated with Mitis Salivarius Bacitracin agar plates derived from plaque samples, although there were some exceptions. In this regard, this ELISA system has the advantage of estimating both the individual numbers of S. mutans and the productivity of GTF-B, namely, the cariogenic potential of S. mutans simultaneously. These results indicate that this ELISA method is a useful tool for the diagnosis of caries risk.
doi:10.1089/hyb.2011.0114
PMCID: PMC3385998  PMID: 22741581
11.  Molecule Targeting Glucosyltransferase Inhibits Streptococcus mutans Biofilm Formation and Virulence 
Dental plaque biofilms are responsible for numerous chronic oral infections and cause a severe health burden. Many of these infections cannot be eliminated, as the bacteria in the biofilms are resistant to the host's immune defenses and antibiotics. There is a critical need to develop new strategies to control biofilm-based infections. Biofilm formation in Streptococcus mutans is promoted by major virulence factors known as glucosyltransferases (Gtfs), which synthesize adhesive extracellular polysaccharides (EPS). The current study was designed to identify novel molecules that target Gtfs, thereby inhibiting S. mutans biofilm formation and having the potential to prevent dental caries. Structure-based virtual screening of approximately 150,000 commercially available compounds against the crystal structure of the glucosyltransferase domain of the GtfC protein from S. mutans resulted in the identification of a quinoxaline derivative, 2-(4-methoxyphenyl)-N-(3-{[2-(4-methoxyphenyl)ethyl]imino}-1,4-dihydro-2-quinoxalinylidene)ethanamine, as a potential Gtf inhibitor. In vitro assays showed that the compound was capable of inhibiting EPS synthesis and biofilm formation in S. mutans by selectively antagonizing Gtfs instead of by killing the bacteria directly. Moreover, the in vivo anti-caries efficacy of the compound was evaluated in a rat model. We found that the compound significantly reduced the incidence and severity of smooth and sulcal-surface caries in vivo with a concomitant reduction in the percentage of S. mutans in the animals' dental plaque (P < 0.05). Taken together, these results represent the first description of a compound that targets Gtfs and that has the capacity to inhibit biofilm formation and the cariogenicity of S. mutans.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00919-15
PMCID: PMC4704189  PMID: 26482298
12.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of SMU.412c protein from the caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans  
Crystallization of SMU.412c protein from the caries pathogen Streptococcus mutans can easily appear in the condition 2.8 M sodium acetate pH 7.0 and its crystal belongs to space group P41212.
The smu.412c gene encodes a putative histidine triad-like protein (SMU.412c) with 139 residues that is involved in cell-cycle regulation in Streptococcus mutans. The gene was cloned into the expression vector pET28a and subsequently expressed in Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3) to give a substantially soluble form of SMU.412c with a His6 tag at its N-terminus. The recombinant protein was purified to homogeneity in a two-step procedure involving Ni2+-chelating and size-exclusion chromatography. Crystals suitable for X-ray diffraction were obtained using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method and diffracted to 1.8 Å resolution on beamline BL6A at Photon Factory, Tsukuba, Japan. The crystal belonged to space group P41212, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 53.5, c = 141.1 Å.
doi:10.1107/S1744309109009464
PMCID: PMC2664769  PMID: 19342789
SMU.412c; dental caries; Streptococcus mutans; histidine triad-like proteins
13.  Expression, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the phosphoribosylglycinamide formyltransferase from Streptococcus mutans  
Phosphoribosylglycinamide formyltransferase (PurN) from Streptococcus mutans was expressed in E. coli, purified and studied crystallographically.
Phosphoribosylglycinamide formyltransferase (PurN) from Streptococcus mutans was recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli. An effective purification protocol was established. The purified protein, which had a purity of >95%, was identified by SDS–PAGE and MALDI–TOF MS. The protein was crystallized using the vapour-diffusion method in hanging-drop mode with PEG 3350 as the primary precipitant. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 2.1 Å resolution. Preliminary X-ray analysis indicated that the crystal belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 52.25, b = 63.29, c = 131.81 Å.
doi:10.1107/S1744309110053170
PMCID: PMC3034630  PMID: 21301108
Streptococcus mutans; PurN; phosphoribosylglycinamide formyltransferases
14.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of S-­ribosylhomocysteinase from Streptococcus mutans  
S-Ribosylhomocysteinase (LuxS) encoded by the LuxS gene from Streptococcus mutans was solubly expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized. Diffraction by the crystal extended to 2.4 Å resolution.
S-Ribosylhomocysteinase (LuxS) encoded by the luxS gene from Streptococcus mutans plays a crucial role in the quorum-sensing system. LuxS was solubly expressed in Escherichia coli with high yield. The purity of the purified target protein, which was identified by SDS–PAGE and MALDI–TOF MS analysis, was >95%. The protein was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with PEG 3350 as the primary precipitant. X-ray diffraction data were collected at Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility (BSRF). Diffraction by the crystal extended to 2.4 Å resolution and the crystal belonged to space group C2221, with unit-cell parameters a = 55.3, b = 148.7, c = 82.8 Å.
doi:10.1107/S1744309111054212
PMCID: PMC3274403  PMID: 22297999
Streptococcus mutans; LuxS
15.  Phylogenetic Analysis of Glucosyltransferases and Implications for the Coevolution of Mutans Streptococci with Their Mammalian Hosts 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56305.
Glucosyltransferases (Gtfs) catalyze the synthesis of glucans from sucrose and are produced by several species of lactic-acid bacteria. The oral bacterium Streptococcus mutans produces large amounts of glucans through the action of three Gtfs. GtfD produces water-soluble glucan (WSG), GtfB synthesizes water-insoluble glucans (WIG) and GtfC produces mainly WIG but also WSG. These enzymes, especially those synthesizing WIG, are of particular interest because of their role in the formation of dental plaque, an environment where S. mutans can thrive and produce lactic acid, promoting the formation of dental caries. We sequenced the gtfB, gtfC and gtfD genes from several mutans streptococcal strains isolated from the oral cavity of humans and searched for their homologues in strains isolated from chimpanzees and macaque monkeys. The sequence data were analyzed in conjunction with the available Gtf sequences from other bacteria in the genera Streptococcus, Lactobacillus and Leuconostoc to gain insights into the evolutionary history of this family of enzymes, with a particular emphasis on S. mutans Gtfs. Our analyses indicate that streptococcal Gtfs arose from a common ancestral progenitor gene, and that they expanded to form two clades according to the type of glucan they synthesize. We also show that the clade of streptococcal Gtfs synthesizing WIG appeared shortly after the divergence of viviparous, dentate mammals, which potentially contributed to the formation of dental plaque and the establishment of several streptococci in the oral cavity. The two S. mutans Gtfs capable of WIG synthesis, GtfB and GtfC, are likely the product of a gene duplication event. We dated this event to coincide with the divergence of the genomes of ancestral early primates. Thus, the acquisition and diversification of S. mutans Gtfs predates modern humans and is unrelated to the increase in dietary sucrose consumption.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056305
PMCID: PMC3572963  PMID: 23457545
16.  Protein preparation and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of a putative glucosamine 6-phosphate deaminase from Streptococcus mutants  
A glucosamine 6-phosphate deaminase homologue from S. mutans was expressed, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data have been collected to 2.4 Å resolution.
The SMU.636 protein from Streptococcus mutans is a putative glucosamine 6-­phosphate deaminase with 233 residues. The smu.636 gene was PCR-amplified from S. mutans genomic DNA and cloned into the expression vector pET-28a(+). The resultant His-tagged fusion protein was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity in two steps. Crystals of the fusion protein were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals diffracted to 2.4 Å resolution and belong to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 53.83, b = 82.13, c = 134.70 Å.
doi:10.1107/S1744309107040304
PMCID: PMC2376312  PMID: 17768362
SMU.636; Streptococcus mutans;  glucosamine 6-­phosphate deaminase
17.  Use of a novel microtitration protocol to obtain diffraction-quality crystals of 4-hydroxy-2-oxoglutarate aldolase from Bos taurus  
A novel vapour-diffusion crystallization approach was utilized to produce crystals of the enzyme 4-hydroxy-2-oxoglutarate aldolase. This ‘microtitration’ method incorporated ammonium sulfate titration, a miniaturization of the working volume (<10 µl) and a controlled rate of evaporation by utilizing a large reservoir, and yielded crystals with favourable diffraction parameters compared with crystals obtained using the conventional hanging-drop method.
The enzyme 4-hydroxy-2-oxoglutarate aldolase (HOGA) catalyses the retro-aldol degradation of 4-hydroxy-2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and glyoxylate as part of the hydroxyproline catabolic pathway in mammals. Mutations in the coding region of the human HOGA gene are associated with primary hyperoxaluria type 3, a disease characterized by excessive oxalate production and ultimately stone deposition. Native HOGA was purified from bovine kidney using an improved and streamlined purification protocol from which two crystal forms were obtained using two different approaches. Vapour diffusion using PEG 3350 as a precipitant produced monoclinic crystals that belonged to space group C2 and diffracted to 3.5 Å resolution. By comparison, orthorhombic crystals belonging to space group I222 or I212121 and diffracting to beyond 2.25 Å resolution were obtained using a novel microtitration protocol with ammonium sulfate. The latter crystal form displayed superior diffraction quality and was suitable for structural determination by X-ray crystallography.
doi:10.1107/S2053230X14021463
PMCID: PMC4231863  PMID: 25372828
primary hyperoxaluria; DHDPSL; 4-hydroxy-2-oxoglutarate aldolase; Bos taurus
18.  Biology of Streptococcus mutans-Derived Glucosyltransferases: Role in Extracellular Matrix Formation of Cariogenic Biofilms 
Caries Research  2011;45(1):69-86.
The importance of Streptococcus mutans in the etiology and pathogenesis of dental caries is certainly controversial, in part because excessive attention is paid to the numbers of S. mutans and acid production while the matrix within dental plaque has been neglected. S. mutans does not always dominate within plaque; many organisms are equally acidogenic and aciduric. It is also recognized that glucosyltransferases from S. mutans (Gtfs) play critical roles in the development of virulent dental plaque. Gtfs adsorb to enamel synthesizing glucans in situ, providing sites for avid colonization by microorganisms and an insoluble matrix for plaque. Gtfs also adsorb to surfaces of other oral microorganisms converting them to glucan producers. S. mutans expresses 3 genetically distinct Gtfs; each appears to play a different but overlapping role in the formation of virulent plaque. GtfC is adsorbed to enamel within pellicle whereas GtfB binds avidly to bacteria promoting tight cell clustering, and enhancing cohesion of plaque. GtfD forms a soluble, readily metabolizable polysaccharide and acts as a primer for GtfB. The behavior of soluble Gtfs does not mirror that observed with surface-adsorbed enzymes. Furthermore, the structure of polysaccharide matrix changes over time as a result of the action of mutanases and dextranases within plaque. Gtfs at distinct loci offer chemotherapeutic targets to prevent caries. Nevertheless, agents that inhibit Gtfs in solution frequently have a reduced or no effect on adsorbed enzymes. Clearly, conformational changes and reactions of Gtfs on surfaces are complex and modulate the pathogenesis of dental caries in situ, deserving further investigation.
doi:10.1159/000324598
PMCID: PMC3068567  PMID: 21346355
Biofilms; Dental caries; Extracellular matrix; Glucosyltransferases; Polysaccharides; Streptococcus mutans
19.  Isolation, purification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic studies of amaryllin, a plant pathogenesis-related protein from Amaryllis belladonna  
A novel 15 kDa antifungal protein amaryllin has been crystallized using 30% PEG 8000 as the precipitating agent. The crystals belong to orthorhombic space group I or I212121 with cell dimensions, a = 48.6, b = 61.9 and c = 79.6–Å.
A novel antifungal protein, amaryllin, has been isolated from the underground bulbs of Amaryllis belladonna, purified to homogeneity and crystallized. The protein was extracted using ammonium sulfate fractionation. The purified protein samples indicated a molecular weight of 15 kDa on SDS–PAGE. The protein showed antifungal activity against Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium oxysporum. The N-terminal sequence of the first 15 amino-acid residues was determined using Edman degradation and did not show significant sequence identity to any known protein. The protein was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with 30% PEG 8000 as precipitating agent. The crystals diffracted to 2.7 Å resolution and belonged to the orthorhombic space group I222 or I212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 48.6, b = 61.9, c = 79.6 Å. The complete sequence and structure determination of amaryllin are in progress.
doi:10.1107/S174430910901745X
PMCID: PMC2688430  PMID: 19478451
antifungal activity; pathogenesis-related proteins; N-terminal sequence and structure analysis
20.  Expression, purification and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the catalytic module of a β-­agarase from the flavobacterium Zobellia galactanivorans  
A novel family GH16 β-agarase from the marine bacterium Zobellia galactanivorans was expressed, purified and crystallized. Hexagonal crystals belonging to space group P3121 diffracted to 2.2 Å resolution, whereas orthorhombic crystals belonging to space group P212121 diffracted to 1.5–Å resolution.
Marine bacteria secrete specific glycoside hydrolases such as agarases to access polysaccharides from algal cell walls as a carbon and energy source. In an attempt to identify agarases with variable degradation patterns, a novel family GH16 β-agarase from the marine bacterium Zobellia galactanivorans was expressed, purified and crystallized. The purified enzyme crystallized in two distinct forms that were grown by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using polyethylene glycol as a precipitant. Hexagonal crystals belonging to space group P3121 diffracted to 2.2 Å resolution, whereas orthorhombic crystals belonging to space group P212121 diffracted to 1.5 Å resolution.
doi:10.1107/S174430911000429X
PMCID: PMC2852333  PMID: 20383011
β-agarases; glycoside hydrolases; heterologous expression; Zobellia galactanivorans
21.  Conserved Repeat Motifs and Glucan Binding by Glucansucrases of Oral Streptococci and Leuconostoc mesenteroides 
Journal of Bacteriology  2004;186(24):8301-8308.
Glucansucrases of oral streptococci and Leuconostoc mesenteroides have a common pattern of structural organization and characteristically contain a domain with a series of tandem amino acid repeats in which certain residues are highly conserved, particularly aromatic amino acids and glycine. In some glucosyltransferases (GTFs) the repeat region has been identified as a glucan binding domain (GBD). Such GBDs are also found in several glucan binding proteins (GBP) of oral streptococci that do not have glucansucrase activity. Alignment of the amino acid sequences of 20 glucansucrases and GBP showed the widespread conservation of the 33-residue A repeat first identified in GtfI of Streptococcus downei. Site-directed mutagenesis of individual highly conserved residues in recombinant GBD of GtfI demonstrated the importance of the first tryptophan and the tyrosine-phenylalanine pair in the binding of dextran, as well as the essential contribution of a basic residue (arginine or lysine). A microplate binding assay was developed to measure the binding affinity of recombinant GBDs. GBD of GtfI was shown to be capable of binding glucans with predominantly α-1,3 or α-1,6 links, as well as alternating α-1,3 and α-1,6 links (alternan). Western blot experiments using biotinylated dextran or alternan as probes demonstrated a difference between the binding of streptococcal GTF and GBP and that of Leuconostoc glucansucrases. Experimental data and bioinformatics analysis showed that the A repeat motif is distinct from the 20-residue CW motif, which also has conserved aromatic amino acids and glycine and which occurs in the choline-binding proteins of Streptococcus pneumoniae and other organisms.
doi:10.1128/JB.186.24.8301-8308.2004
PMCID: PMC532428  PMID: 15576779
22.  Expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of Aeromonas hydrophilia metallo-β-lactamase 
Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the CphA metallo-β-lactamase from A. hydrophilia are described. The crystals belonged to space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 40.75, b = 42.05, c = 128.88 Å, and diffract to 1.8 Å.
The CphA metallo-β-lactamase from Aeromonas hydrophilia has been expressed, purified and crystallized by the hanging-drop vapor-diffusion method using ammonium sulfate as the precipitant. The crystals exhibit orthorhombic symmetry (P21212), with unit-cell parameters a = 40.75, b = 42.05, c = 128.88 Å. There is one monomer in the asymmetric unit and the solvent content is estimated to be 44% by volume. A data set extending to 1.8 Å has been measured.
doi:10.1107/S1744309104033512
PMCID: PMC1952252  PMID: 16510987
metallo-β-lactamases; Aeromonas hydrophilia
23.  Interaction of Salivary alpha-Amylase and Amylase-Binding-Protein A (AbpA) of Streptococcus gordonii with Glucosyltransferase of S. gordonii and Streptococcus mutans 
BMC Microbiology  2007;7:60.
Background
Glucosyltransferases (Gtfs), enzymes that produce extracellular glucans from dietary sucrose, contribute to dental plaque formation by Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus mutans. The alpha-amylase-binding protein A (AbpA) of S. gordonii, an early colonizing bacterium in dental plaque, interacts with salivary amylase and may influence dental plaque formation by this organism. We examined the interaction of amylase and recombinant AbpA (rAbpA), together with Gtfs of S. gordonii and S. mutans.
Results
The addition of salivary alpha-amylase to culture supernatants of S. gordonii precipitated a protein complex containing amylase, AbpA, amylase-binding protein B (AbpB), and the glucosyltransferase produced by S. gordonii (Gtf-G). rAbpA was expressed from an inducible plasmid, purified from Escherichia coli and characterized. Purified rAbpA, along with purified amylase, interacted with and precipitated Gtfs from culture supernatants of both S. gordonii and S. mutans. The presence of amylase and/or rAbpA increased both the sucrase and transferase component activities of S. mutans Gtf-B. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using anti-Gtf-B antibody verified the interaction of rAbpA and amylase with Gtf-B. A S. gordonii abpA-deficient mutant showed greater biofilm growth under static conditions than wild-type in the presence of sucrose. Interestingly, biofilm formation by every strain was inhibited in the presence of saliva.
Conclusion
The results suggest that an extracellular protein network of AbpA-amylase-Gtf may influence the ecology of oral biofilms, likely during initial phases of colonization.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-7-60
PMCID: PMC3225810  PMID: 17593303
24.  Preparation, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the methionine synthase (MetE) from Streptococcus mutans  
Methionine synthase (MetE) from S. mutans was expressed, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data have been collected to 2.2 Å resolution.
The Streptococcus mutans metE gene encodes methionine synthase (MetE), which catalyzes the direct transfer of a methyl group from methyltetrahydrofolate to homocysteine in the last step of methionine synthesis. metE was cloned into pET28a and the gene product was expressed at high levels in the Escherichia coli strain BL21 (DE3). MetE was purified to homogeneity using Ni2+-chelating chromatography followed by size-exclusion chromatography. Crystals of the protein were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method and diffracted to 2.2 Å resolution. The crystal belongs to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 52.85, b = 99.48, c = 77.88 Å, β = 94.55°.
doi:10.1107/S1744309106035640
PMCID: PMC2225190  PMID: 17012790
methionine synthase; Streptococcus mutans
25.  4,6-α-Glucanotransferase, a Novel Enzyme That Structurally and Functionally Provides an Evolutionary Link between Glycoside Hydrolase Enzyme Families 13 and 70▿ 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2011;77(22):8154-8163.
Lactobacillus reuteri 121 uses the glucosyltransferase A (GTFA) enzyme to convert sucrose into large amounts of the α-d-glucan reuteran, an exopolysaccharide. Upstream of gtfA lies another putative glucansucrase gene, designated gtfB. Previously, we have shown that the purified recombinant GTFB protein/enzyme is inactive with sucrose. Various homologs of gtfB are present in other Lactobacillus strains, including the L. reuteri type strain, DSM 20016, the genome sequence of which is available. Here we report that GTFB is a novel α-glucanotransferase enzyme with disproportionating (cleaving α1→4 and synthesizing α1→6 and α1→4 glycosidic linkages) and α1→6 polymerizing types of activity on maltotetraose and larger maltooligosaccharide substrates (in short, it is a 4,6-α-glucanotransferase). Characterization of the types of compounds synthesized from maltoheptaose by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), methylation analysis, and 1-dimensional 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy revealed that only linear products were made and that with increasing degrees of polymerization (DP), more α1→6 glycosidic linkages were introduced into the final products, ranging from 18% in the incubation mixture to 33% in an enriched fraction. In view of its primary structure, GTFB clearly is a member of the glycoside hydrolase 70 (GH70) family, comprising enzymes with a permuted (β/α)8 barrel that use sucrose to synthesize α-d-glucan polymers. The GTFB enzyme reaction and product specificities, however, are novel for the GH70 family, resembling those of the GH13 α-amylase type of enzymes in using maltooligosaccharides as substrates but differing in introducing a series of α1→6 glycosidic linkages into linear oligosaccharide products. We conclude that GTFB represents a novel evolutionary intermediate between the GH13 and GH70 enzyme families, and we speculate about its origin.
doi:10.1128/AEM.05735-11
PMCID: PMC3209003  PMID: 21948833

Results 1-25 (335763)