Ecotin is a potent inhibitor of family S1A serine peptidases, enzymes lacking in the protozoan parasite Leishmania major. Nevertheless, L. major has three ecotin-like genes, termed inhibitor of serine peptidase (ISP). ISP1 is expressed in vector-borne procyclic and metacyclic promastigotes, whereas ISP2 is also expressed in the mammalian amastigote stage. Recombinant ISP2 inhibited neutrophil elastase, trypsin and chymotrypsin with Kis between 7.7 and 83 nM. L. major ISP2–ISP3 double null mutants (Δisp2/3) were created. These grew normally as promastigotes, but were internalized by macrophages more efficiently than wild-type parasites due to the upregulation of phagocytosis by a mechanism dependent on serine peptidase activity. Δisp2/3 promastigotes transformed to amastigotes, but failed to divide for 48 h. Intracellular multiplication of Δisp2/3 was similar to wild-type parasites when serine peptidase inhibitors were present, suggesting that defective intracellular growth results from the lack of serine peptidase inhibition during promastigote uptake. Δisp2/3 mutants were more infective than wild-type parasites to BALB/c mice at the early stages of infection, but became equivalent as the infection progressed. These data support the hypothesis that ISPs of L. major target host serine peptidases and influence the early stages of infection of the mammalian host.
Leishmania major is a protozoan parasite that causes skin ulcerations in cutaneous leishmaniasis. In the mammalian host, the parasite resides in professional phagocytes and has evolved to avoid killing by macrophages. We identified L. major genes encoding inhibitors of serine peptidases, ISPs, which are orthologues of bacterial ecotins and found that ISP2 inhibits trypsin-fold S1A family peptidases. Here we show that L. major mutants deficient in ISP2 and ISP3 (Δisp2/3) trigger higher phagocytosis by macrophages through a combined action of the complement type-3 receptor (CR3), toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and unregulated activity of neutrophil elastase (NE), leading to parasite killing. While all three components are required to mediate enhanced parasite uptake, only TLR4 and NE are necessary to promote parasite killing after infection. We found that the production of superoxide by macrophages in the absence of ISP2 is the main mechanism controlling the intracellular infection. Furthermore, we show that NE modulates macrophage infection in vivo, and that the lack of ISP leads to reduced parasite burdens at later stages of the infection. Our findings support the hypothesis that ISPs function to prevent the activation of TLR4 by NE during the Leishmania-macrophage interaction in order to promote parasite survival and growth.
Implantation S1 family serine proteinases (ISPs) are tryptases involved in embryo hatching and uterine implantation in the mouse. The two different ISP proteins (ISP1 and ISP2) have been detected in both pre- and post-implantation embryo tissue. To date, native ISP obtained from uterus and blastocyst tissues has been isolated only as an active hetero-dimer that exhibits trypsin-like substrate specificity. We hypothesised that in isolation, ISP1 might have a unique substrate specificity that could relate to its role when expressed alone in individual tissues. Thus, we isolated recombinant ISP1 expressed in Pichia pastoris and evaluated its substrate specificity. Using several chromogenic substrates and serine proteinase inhibitors, we demonstrate that ISP1 exhibits trypsin-like substrate specificity, having a preference for lysine over arginine at the P1 position. Phage display peptide mimetics revealed an expanded but mixed substrate specificity of ISP1, including chymotryptic and elastase activity. Based upon targets observed using phage display, we hypothesised that ISP1 might signal to cells by cleaving and activating proteinase-activated receptors (PARs) and therefore assessed PARs 1, 2 and 4 as potential ISP1 targets. We observed that ISP1 silenced enzyme-triggered PAR signaling by receptor-disarming. This PAR-disarming action of ISP1 may be important for embryo development and implantation.
We have recently reported the expression of murine Implantation Serine Proteinase genes in pre-implantation embryos (ISP1) and uterus (ISP1 and ISP2). These proteinases belong to the S1 proteinase family and are similar to mast cell tryptases, which function as multimers.
Here, we report the purification and initial characterization of ISP1 and 2 with respect to their physico-chemical properties and physiological function. In addition to being co-expressed in uterus, we show that ISP1 and ISP2 are also co-expressed in the pre-implantation embryo. Together, they form a heterodimer with an approximate molecular weight of 63 kD. This complex is the active form of the enzyme, which we have further characterized as being trypsin-like, based on substrate and inhibitor specificities. In addition to having a role in embryo hatching and outgrowth, we demonstrate that ISP enzyme is localized to the site of embryo invasion during implantation and that its activity is important for successful implantation in vivo.
On the basis of similarities in structural, chemical, and functional properties, we suggest that this ISP enzyme complex represents the classical hatching enzyme, strypsin. Our results demonstrate a critical role for ISP in embryo hatching and implantation.
Several lines of evidence indicate that platelets protect against endovascular infections such as infective endocarditis (IE). It is highly likely that a principal mechanism of this platelet host defense role is the release of platelet microbicidal proteins (PMPs) in response to agonists generated at sites of endovascular infection. We studied the ability of platelets to limit the colonization and proliferation of Staphylococcus aureus in an in vitro model of IE. Three isogenic S. aureus strains, differing in their in vitro susceptibility to thrombin-induced platelet microbicidal protein-1 (tPMP), were used: ISP479C (parental strain; highly susceptible to tPMP [tPMPs]); ISP479R (transposon mutant derived from ISP479; tPMP resistant [tPMPr]); or 757-5 (tPMPr transductant of the ISP479R genotype in the ISP479 parental background). Time-kill assays and in vitro IE models were used to examine the temporal relationship between thrombin-induced platelet activation and S. aureus killing. In time-kill studies, early platelet activation (30 min prior to bacterial exposure) correlated with a significant bactericidal effect against tPMPs ISP479C (r2 > 0.90, P < 0.02) but not against tPMPr strains, ISP479R or 757-5. In the IE model, thrombin activation significantly inhibited proliferation of ISP479C within simulated vegetations compared to strains ISP479R or 757-5 (P < 0.05). The latter differences were observed despite there being no detectable differences among the three S. aureus strains in initial colonization of simulated vegetations. Collectively, these data indicate that platelets limit intravegetation proliferation of tPMPs but not tPMPr S. aureus. These findings underscore the likelihood that platelets play an important antimicrobial host defense role in preventing and/or limiting endovascular infections due to tPMPs pathogens.
CDP-ME kinase (IspE) contributes to the non-mevalonate or deoxy-xylulose phosphate (DOXP) pathway for isoprenoid precursor biosynthesis found in many species of bacteria and apicomplexan parasites. IspE has been shown to be essential by genetic methods and since it is absent from humans it constitutes a promising target for antimicrobial drug development. Using in silico screening directed against the substrate binding site and in vitro high-throughput screening directed against both, the substrate and co-factor binding sites, non-substrate-like IspE inhibitors have been discovered and structure-activity relationships were derived. The best inhibitors in each series have high ligand efficiencies and favourable physico-chemical properties rendering them promising starting points for drug discovery. Putative binding modes of the ligands were suggested which are consistent with established structure-activity relationships. The applied screening methods were complementary in discovering hit compounds, and a comparison of both approaches highlights their strengths and weaknesses. It is noteworthy that compounds identified by virtual screening methods provided the controls for the biochemical screens.
Apicomplexan parasites utilize a peripheral membrane system called the inner membrane complex (IMC) to facilitate host cell invasion and parasite replication. We recently identified a novel family of Toxoplasma IMC Sub-compartment Proteins (ISP1/2/3) that localize to sub-domains of the IMC using a targeting mechanism that is dependent on coordinated myristoylation and palmitoylation of a series of residues in the N-terminus of the protein. While the precise functions of the ISPs are unknown, deletion of ISP2 results in replication defects, suggesting that this family of proteins plays a role in daughter cell formation. Here we have characterized a fourth ISP family member (ISP4) and discovered that this protein localizes to the central IMC sub-compartment, similar to ISP2. Like ISP1/3, ISP4 is dispensable for the tachyzoite lytic cycle as the disruption of ISP4 does not produce any gross replication or growth defects. Surprisingly, targeting of ISP4 to the IMC membranes is dependent on residues predicted for palmitoylation but not myristoylation, setting its trafficking apart from the other ISP proteins and demonstrating distinct mechanisms of protein localization to the IMC membranes, even within a family of highly-related proteins.
Toxoplasma; Inner Membrane Complex; ISP; palmitoylation; myristoylation; endodyogeny
The insulin signaling pathway (ISP) has a key role in major physiological events like carbohydrate metabolism and growth regulation. The ISP has been well described in vertebrates and in a few invertebrate model organisms but remains largely unexplored in non-model invertebrates. This study is the first detailed genomic study of this pathway in a crustacean species, Daphnia pulex.
The Daphnia pulex draft genome sequence assembly was scanned for major components of the ISP with a special attention to the insulin-like receptor. Twenty three putative genes are reported. The pathway appears to be generally well conserved as genes found in other invertebrates are present. Major findings include a lower number of insulin-like peptides in Daphnia as compared to other invertebrates and the presence of multiple insulin-like receptors (InR), with four genes as opposed to a single one in other invertebrates. Genes encoding for the Dappu_InR are likely the result of three duplication events and bear some unusual features. Dappu_InR-4 has undergone extensive evolutionary divergence and lacks the conserved site of the catalytic domain of the receptor tyrosine kinase. Dappu_InR-1 has a large insert and lacks the transmembranal domain in the β-subunit. This domain is also absent in Dappu_InR-3. Dappu_InR-2 is characterized by the absence of the cystein-rich region. Real-time q-PCR confirmed the expression of all four receptors. EST analyses of cDNA libraries revealed that the four receptors were differently expressed under various conditions.
Duplications of the insulin receptor genes might represent an important evolutionary innovation in Daphnia as they are known to exhibit extensive phenotypic plasticity in body size and in the size of defensive structures in response to predation.
ISP-1 is a new type of immunosuppressant, the structure of which is homologous to that of sphingosine. In a previous study, ISP-1 was found to inhibit mammalian serine palmitoyltransferase, the primary enzyme involved in sphingolipid biosynthesis, and to reduce the intracellular pool of sphingolipids. ISP-1 induces the apoptosis of cytotoxic T cells, which is triggered by decreases in the intracellular levels of sphingolipids. In this study, the inhibition of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) proliferation by ISP-1 was observed. This ISP-1-induced growth inhibition was also triggered by decreases in the intracellular levels of sphingolipids. In addition, DNA duplication without cytokinesis was detected in ISP-1-treated yeast cells on flow cytometry analysis. We have cloned multicopy suppressor genes of yeast which overcome the lethal sphingolipid depletion induced by ISP-1. One of these genes, SLI2, is synonymous with YPK1, which encodes a serine/threonine kinase. Kinase-dead mutants of YPK1 did not show any resistance to ISP-1, leading us to predict that the kinase activity of the Ypk1 protein should be essential for this resistance to ISP-1. Ypk1 protein overexpression had no effect on sphingolipid biosynthesis by the yeast. Furthermore, both the phosphorylation and intracellular localization of the Ypk1 protein were regulated by the intracellular sphingolipid levels. These data suggest that the Ypk1 protein is a downstream kinase in the sphingolipid-mediated signaling pathway of yeast. The Ypk1 protein was reported to be a functional homologue of the mammalian protein kinase SGK, which is a downstream kinase of 3-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1). PDK1 phosphotidylinositol (PI) is regulated by PI-3,4,5-triphosphate and PI-3,4-bisphosphate through the pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Overexpression of mammalian SGK also overcomes the sphingolipid depletion in yeast. Taking both the inability to produce PI-3,4,5-triphosphate and PI-3,4-bisphosphate and the lack of a PH domain in the yeast homologue of PDK1, the Pkh1 protein, into account, these findings further suggest that yeast may use sphingolipids instead of inositol phospholipids as lipid mediators.
Expression of the major intracellular serine protease (ISP-1) gene of Bacillus subtilis was studied by using a translational fusion plasmid in which the isp promoter region was fused to the lacZ gene. beta-Galactosidase activity, used to measure transcription from the isp promoter, was produced immediately after the end of exponential growth, whereas intracellular protease activity was not detected until 4 h later. These results are consistent with a previous suggestion that ISP-1 initially accumulates in the cell in an enzymatically inactive form. ISP-1 activity was detected in all of the sporulation-deficient strains examined, and the amount of protease activity always corresponded to the amount of beta-galactosidase activity. These results indicate that the activation of ISP-1 is not dependent on a sporulation-specific gene product. Expression of ISP-1 is regulated by a number of mutations known to affect the expression of extracellular enzymes. In sacU(h) and sacQ(h) mutants, the expression of ISP-1 was 10-fold higher than in the wild-type strain. In catA, hpr, and scoC strains, expression of ISP was stimulated two- to threefold, whereas in sacU mutants the expression of ISP-1 was reduced to less than 10% of the wild-type level. The temporal expression and activation of ISP-1 was not affected by any of these mutations. This is the first evidence that the expression of a native intracellular protein is affected by these hyperproduction mutations.
An intracellular serine protease (ISP-1) mutant of Bacillus subtilis was created by introducing a frameshift into the coding region of the cloned gene. Intracellular protease activity in the mutant was very low, yet sporulation in both nutrient broth and minimal medium was normal. The rate of bulk protein turnover in the mutant was slightly slower than that in the wild-type strain. These results suggest that the gene for ISP-1 is not essential and that ISP-1 is not the major enzyme involved in protein turnover during sporulation.
When Bacillus subtilis cells grew and sporulated on glucose-nutrient broth, ornithine transcarbamylase (OTCase) was synthesized in the early stationary phase and then inactivated. The loss of OTCase activity was much slower in a mutant that was deficient in a major intracellular serine protease (ISP). Immunochemical analysis showed that synthesis of OTCase decreased to a low, but detectable, level during its inactivation and that loss of activity was paralleled by loss of cross-reactive protein. Because the antibodies were capable of detecting denatured and fragmented forms of OTCase, we conclude that inactivation involved or was rapidly followed by degradation in vivo. Native OTCase was not degraded in crude extracts or when purified ISP and OTCase were incubated together under a variety of conditions. Synthesis of OTCase was not shut off normally in the ISP-deficient mutant. When the effects of continued synthesis were minimized, OTCase was degraded only slightly slower in the mutant than in its parent. Thus, the mutant had unanticipated pleiotropic characteristics, and it was unlikely that ISP played a major role in the degradation of OTCase in vivo.
The direct binding of platelets by bacteria is a postulated central mechanism in the pathogenesis of endocarditis. To address the role of binding more definitively, we employed Tn551 insertional mutagenesis of Staphylococcus aureus parental strain ISP479 to generate an isogenic variant (strain PS12) that bound platelets minimally. As compared with the binding of ISP479, the binding of PS12 to platelet monolayers was reduced by 67.2%. Similarly, the binding of PS12 to platelets in suspension was reduced by 71.3%, as measured by flow cytometry. The low-binding phenotype was transducible into both ISP479 and S. aureus Newman. Southern blotting indicated that a single copy of Tn551 was inserted within the chromosomes of PS12 and the transductants. When tested in a rabbit model, animals inoculated with PS12 were significantly less likely to develop endocarditis and had lower densities of organisms (CFU per gram) within vegetations and a decreased incidence of renal abscess formation, as compared with animals inoculated with the parental strain. The diminished virulence of PS12 was not attributable to a reduction in the initial attachment of organisms to the damaged endocardium, since 30 min after inoculation, PS12-infected animals had microbial densities on the valve surface comparable to those seen with the parental strain. These results indicate that the direct binding of Staphylococcus aureus to platelets is a major determinant of virulence in the pathogenesis of endocarditis. Staphylococcus-platelet binding appears to be critical for pathogenetic events occurring after the initial colonization of the valve surface, such as vegetation formation and septic embolization.
A Bacillus subtilis 2.7-kilobase DNA fragment containing an intracellular protease gene was cloned into Escherichia coli. The transformants produced an intracellular protease of approximately 35,000 Mr whose activity was inhibited by both phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride and EDTA. Introduction of the fragment on a multicopy vector, pUB110, into B. subtilis caused a marked increase in the level of the intracellular protease. The nucleotide sequence of the cloned fragment showed the presence of an open reading frame for a possible proenzyme of the major intracellular serine protease (ISP-I) of B. subtilis with an NH2-terminal 17- or 20-amino-acid extension. The total amino acid sequence of the protease deduced from the nucleotide sequence showed considerable homology with that of an extracellular serine protease, subtilisin. The transcriptional initiation site of the ISP-I gene was identified by nuclease S1 mapping. No typical conserved sequence for promoters was found upstream of the open reading frame. An ISP-I-negative mutant of B. subtilis was constructed by integration of artificially deleted gene into the chromosome. The mutant sporulated normally in a nutritionally rich medium but showed decreased sporulation in a synthetic medium. The chloramphenicol resistance determinant of a plasmid integrated at the ISP-I locus was mapped by PBS1 transduction and was found to be closely linked to metC (99.5%).
Protein domain movement of the Rieske iron-sulfur protein has been speculated to play an essential role in the bifurcated oxidation of ubiquinol catalyzed by the cytochrome bc1 complex. To better understand the electron transfer mechanism of the bifurcated ubiquinol oxidation at Qp site, we fixed the head domain of ISP at the cyt c1 position by creating an intersubunit disulfide bond between two genetically engineered cysteine residues: one at position 141 of ISP and the other at position 180 of the cyt c1 [S141C(ISP)/G180C(cyt c1)]. The formation of a disulfide bond between ISP and cyt c1 in this mutant complex is confirmed by SDS-PAGE and Western blot. In this mutant complex, the disulfide bond formation is concurrent with the loss of the electron transfer activity of the complex. When the disulfide bond is released by treatment with β-mercaptoethanol, the activity is restored. These results further support the hypothesis that the mobility of the head domain of ISP is functionally important in the cytochrome bc1 complex. Formation of the disulfide bond between ISP and cyt c1 shortens the distance between the [2Fe-2S] cluster and heme c1, hence the rate of intersubunit electron transfer between these two redox prosthetic groups induced by pH change is increased. The intersubunit disulfide bond formation also decreases the rate of stigmatellin induced reduction of ISP in the fully oxidized complex, suggesting that an endogenous electron donor comes from the vicinity of the b position in the cytochrome b.
bacterial cytochrome bc1 complex; formation of a disulfide bond between ISP and cyt c1; head domain of ISP; Rhodobacter sphaeroides
RPM2 is identified here as a high-copy suppressor of isp42-3, a temperature-sensitive mutant allele of the mitochondrial protein import channel component, Isp42p. RPM2 already has an established role as a protein component of yeast mitochondrial RNase P, a ribonucleoprotein enzyme required for the 5' processing of mitochondrial precursor tRNAs. A relationship between mitochondrial tRNA processing and protein import is not readily apparent, and, indeed, the two functions can be separated. Truncation mutants lacking detectable RNase P activity still suppress the isp42-3 growth defect. Moreover, RPM2 is required for normal fermentative yeast growth, even though mitochondrial RNase P activity is not. The portion of RPM2 required for normal growth and suppression of isp42-3 is the same. We conclude that RPM2 is a multifunctional gene. We find Rpm2p to be a soluble protein of the mitochondrial matrix and discuss models to explain its suppression of isp42-3.
Insects, like all heterotrophic organisms, acquire from their food the nutrients that are essential for anabolic processes that lead to growth (larval stages) or reproduction (adult stage). In adult females, this nutritional input is processed and results in a very specific output, i.e., the production of fully developed eggs ready for fertilization and deposition. An important role in this input-output transition is attributed to the insulin signaling pathway (ISP). The ISP is considered to act as a sensor of the organism's nutritional status and to stimulate the progression of anabolic events when the status is positive. In several insect species belonging to different orders, the ISP has been demonstrated to positively control vitellogenesis and oocyte growth. Whether or not ISP acts herein via a mediator action of lipophilic insect hormones (ecdysteroids and juvenile hormone) remains debatable and might be differently controlled in different insect orders. Most likely, insulin-related peptides, ecdysteroids and juvenile hormone are involved in a complex regulatory network, in which they mutually influence each other and in which the insect's nutritional status is a crucial determinant of the network's output. The current review will present an overview of the regulatory role of the ISP in female insect reproduction and its interaction with other pathways involving nutrients, lipophilic hormones and neuropeptides.
insulin signaling pathway; neuropeptides; lipophilic hormones; nutritional status; female insect reproduction
A number of chromogenic Streptomyces, producing diffusible melanoid pigment on complex organic media, fail to form melanin pigment on conventionally used synthetic tyrosine agar. By means of our new melanin formation test, almost all the chromogenic streptomyces can now be detected in chemically defined medium. In contrast to ordinary chromogenic streptomyces, two streptomyces species of the International Streptomyces Project, S. griseus ISP 5236 and S. ornatus ISP 5307, produce melanin pigment only on synthetic tyrosine agar, without showing chromogenicity on complex organic media. From the results obtained with S. griseus ISP 5236 and S. phaeochromogenes ISP 5073, it was revealed that melanin formation by Streptomyces, in general, is inhibited by L-cysteine present in organic nitrogen sources incorporated into natural media. Most chromogenic species of streptomyces produce a higher level of tyrosinase and rapidly utilize L-cysteine in the culture media which result in the manifestation of good chromogenicity on natural media. Peculiarity of chromogenicity of S. griseus and S. ornatus might be due to the lower ability to produce tyrosinase and to utilize L-cysteine in the culture medium.
The Escherichia coli ispB gene encoding octaprenyl diphosphate synthase is responsible for the synthesis of the side chain of isoprenoid quinones. We tried to construct an E. coli ispB-disrupted mutant but could not isolate the chromosomal ispB disrupted mutant unless the ispB gene or its homolog was supplied on a plasmid. The chromosomal ispB disruptants that harbored plasmids carrying the ispB homologs from Haemophilus influenzae and Synechocystis sp. strain PCC6803 produced mainly ubiquinone 7 and ubiquinone 9, respectively. Our results indicate that the function of the ispB gene is essential for normal growth and that this function can be substituted for by homologs of the ispB gene from other organisms that produce distinct forms of ubiquinone.
4-Diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol kinase (IspE) catalyses the ATP-dependent conversion of 4-diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol (CDPME) to 4-diphosphocytidyl-2C-methyl-d-erythritol 2-phosphate with the release of ADP. This reaction occurs in the non-mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid precursor biosynthesis and because it is essential in important microbial pathogens and absent from mammals it represents a potential target for anti-infective drugs. We set out to characterize the biochemical properties, determinants of molecular recognition and reactivity of IspE and report the cloning and purification of recombinant Aquifex aeolicus IspE (AaIspE), kinetic data, metal ion, temperature and pH dependence, crystallization and structure determination of the enzyme in complex with CDP, CDPME and ADP. In addition, 4-fluoro-3,5-dihydroxy-4-methylpent-1-enylphosphonic acid (compound 1) was designed to mimic a fragment of the substrate, a synthetic route to 1 was elucidated and the complex structure determined. Surprisingly, this ligand occupies the binding site for the ATP α-phosphate not the binding site for the methyl-d-erythritol moiety of CDPME. Gel filtration and analytical ultracentrifugation indicate that AaIspE is a monomer in solution. The enzyme displays the characteristic α/β galacto-homoserine-mevalonate-phosphomevalonate kinase fold, with the catalytic centre positioned in a deep cleft between the ATP- and CDPME-binding domains. Comparisons indicate a high degree of sequence conservation on the IspE active site across bacterial species, similarities in structure, specificity of substrate recognition and mechanism. The biochemical characterization, attainment of well-ordered and reproducible crystals and the models resulting from the analyses provide reagents and templates to support the structure-based design of broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents.
enzyme–ligand complex; GHMP kinase; isoprenoid biosynthesis; molecular recognition; non-mevalonate pathway
Oligopeptidase B is a clan SC, family S9 serine peptidase found in gram positive bacteria, plants and trypanosomatids. Evidence suggests it is a virulence factor and thus therapeutic target in both Trypanosoma cruzi and T. brucei, but little is known about its function in Leishmania. In this study L. major OPB-deficient mutants (Δopb) were created. These grew normally as promastigotes, had a small deficiency in their ability to undergo differentiation to metacyclic promastigotes, were significantly less able to infect and survive within macrophages in vitro, but were virulent to mice. These data suggest that L. major OPB itself is not an important virulence factor, indicating functional differences between trypanosomes and Leishmania in their interaction with the mammalian host. The possibility that an OPB-like enzyme (designated OPB2) in L. major might compensate for the loss of OPB in Δopb was investigated via by mapping its sequence onto the 1.6 Å structure of L. major OPB. This suggested that the residues involved in the S1 and S2 subsites of OPB2 are identical to OPB and hence the substrate specificity would be similar. Consequently there may be redundancy between the two enzymes.
The prevalence of tuberculosis, the prolonged and expensive treatment that this disease requires and an increase in drug resistance indicate an urgent need for new treatments. The 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate pathway of isoprenoid precursor biosynthesis is an attractive chemotherapeutic target because it occurs in many pathogens, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and is absent from humans. To underpin future drug development it is important to assess which enzymes in this biosynthetic pathway are essential in the actual pathogens and to characterize them.
The fifth enzyme of this pathway, encoded by ispF, is 2C-methyl-D-erythritol-2,4-cyclodiphosphate synthase (IspF). A two-step recombination strategy was used to construct ispF deletion mutants in M. tuberculosis but only wild-type double crossover strains were isolated. The chromosomal copy could be deleted when a second functional copy was provided on an integrating plasmid, demonstrating that ispF is an essential gene under the conditions tested thereby confirming its potential as a drug target. We attempted structure determination of the M. tuberculosis enzyme (MtIspF), but failed to obtain crystals. We instead analyzed the orthologue M. smegmatis IspF (MsIspF), sharing 73% amino acid sequence identity, at 2.2 Å resolution. The high level of sequence conservation is particularly pronounced in and around the active site. MsIspF is a trimer with a hydrophobic cavity at its center that contains density consistent with diphosphate-containing isoprenoids. The active site, created by two subunits, comprises a rigid CDP-Zn2+ binding pocket with a flexible loop to position the 2C-methyl-D-erythritol moiety of substrate. Sequence-structure comparisons indicate that the active site and interactions with ligands are highly conserved.
Our study genetically validates MtIspF as a therapeutic target and provides a model system for structure-based ligand design.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is an important chemotherapeutic target for tyrosine kinase inhibitors and antibodies that block the extracellular domain of EGFR. Betulinic acid (BA) and curcumin inhibited bladder cancer cell growth and downregulated specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors, and this was accompanied by decreased expression of EGFR mRNA and protein levels. EGFR, a putative Sp-regulated gene, was also decreased in cells transfected with a cocktail (iSp) containing small inhibitory RNAs for Sp1, Sp3 and Sp4, and RNA interference with individual Sp knockdown indicated that EGFR expression was primarily regulated by Sp1 and Sp3. BA, curcumin and iSp also decreased phosphorylation of Akt in these cells and downregulation of EGFR by BA, curcumin and iSp was accompanied by induction of LC3 and autophagy which is consistent with recent studies showing that EGFR suppresses autophagic cell death. The results show that EGFR is an Sp-regulated gene in bladder cancer, and drugs such as BA and curcumin that repress Sp proteins also ablate EGFR expression. Thus, compounds such as curcumin and BA that downregulate Sp transcription factors represent a novel class of anticancer drugs that target EGFR in bladder cancer cells and tumors by inhibiting receptor expression.
EGFR suppression; Sp transcription factors; curcumin; betulinic acid
The final step of the methylerythritol phosphate isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway is catalysed by the iron–sulphur enzyme IspH, producing the universal precursors of terpenes: isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. Here we report an unforeseen reaction discovered during the investigation of the interaction of IspH with acetylene inhibitors by X-ray crystallography, Mößbauer, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In addition to its role as a 2H+/2e− reductase, IspH can hydrate acetylenes to aldehydes and ketones via anti-Markovnikov/Markovnikov addition. The reactions only occur with the oxidised protein and proceed via η1-O-enolate intermediates. One of these is characterized crystallographically and contains a C4 ligand oxygen bound to the unique, fourth iron in the 4Fe-4S cluster: this intermediate subsequently hydrolyzes to produce an aldehyde product. This unexpected side to IspH reactivity is of interest in the context of the mechanism of action of other acetylene hydratases, as well as in the design of antiinfectives targeting IspH.
Isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) has received scant attention in clinical populations, and there has been little empirical consideration of the role of fear in ISP episodes. To facilitate research and clinical work in this area, the authors developed a reliable semistructured interview (the Fearful Isolated Sleep Paralysis Interview) to assess ISP and their proposed fearful ISP (FISP) episode criteria in 133 patients presenting for panic disorder treatment. Of these, 29.3% met lifetime ISP episode criteria, 20.3% met the authors’ lifetime FISP episode criteria, and 12.8% met their recurrent FISP criteria. Both ISP and FISP were associated with minority status and comorbidity. However, only FISP was significantly associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, body mass, anxiety sensitivity, and mood and anxiety disorder symptomatology.
sleep paralysis; isolated sleep paralysis; panic disorder; anxiety; fear; parasomnia; sleep disorder