pdxK encodes a pyridoxine (PN)/pyridoxal (PL)/pyridoxamine (PM) kinase thought to function in the salvage pathway of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) coenzyme biosynthesis. The observation that pdxK null mutants still contain PL kinase activity led to the hypothesis that Escherichia coli K-12 contains at least one other B6-vitamer kinase. Here we support this hypothesis by identifying the pdxY gene (formally, open reading frame f287b) at 36.92 min, which encodes a novel PL kinase. PdxY was first identified by its homology to PdxK in searches of the complete E. coli genome. Minimal clones of pdxY+ overexpressed PL kinase specific activity about 10-fold. We inserted an omega cassette into pdxY and crossed the resulting pdxY::ΩKanr mutation into the bacterial chromosome of a pdxB mutant, in which de novo PLP biosynthesis is blocked. We then determined the growth characteristics and PL and PN kinase specific activities in extracts of pdxK and pdxY single and double mutants. Significantly, the requirement of the pdxB pdxK pdxY triple mutant for PLP was not satisfied by PL and PN, and the triple mutant had negligible PL and PN kinase specific activities. Our combined results suggest that the PL kinase PdxY and the PN/PL/PM kinase PdxK are the only physiologically important B6 vitamer kinases in E. coli and that their function is confined to the PLP salvage pathway. Last, we show that pdxY is located downstream from pdxH (encoding PNP/PMP oxidase) and essential tyrS (encoding aminoacyl-tRNATyr synthetase) in a multifunctional operon. pdxY is completely cotranscribed with tyrS, but about 92% of tyrS transcripts terminate at a putative Rho-factor-dependent attenuator located in the tyrS-pdxY intercistronic region.
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is able to synthesize de novo pyridoxal 5-phosphate (PLP), a crucial cofactor, during erythrocytic schizogony. However, the parasite possesses additionally a pyridoxine/pyridoxal kinase (PdxK) to activate B6 vitamers salvaged from the host. We describe a strategy whereby synthetic pyridoxyl-amino acid adducts are channelled into the parasite. Trapped upon phosphorylation by the plasmodial PdxK, these compounds block PLP-dependent enzymes and thus impair the growth of P. falciparum. The novel compound PT3, a cyclic pyridoxyl-tryptophan methyl ester, inhibited the proliferation of Plasmodium very efficiently (IC50-value of 14 µM) without harming human cells. The non-cyclic pyridoxyl-tryptophan methyl ester PT5 and the pyridoxyl-histidine methyl ester PHME were at least one order of magnitude less effective or completely ineffective in the case of the latter. Modeling in silico indicates that the phosphorylated forms of PT3 and PT5 fit well into the PLP-binding site of plasmodial ornithine decarboxylase (PfODC), the key enzyme of polyamine synthesis, consistent with the ability to abolish ODC activity in vitro. Furthermore, the antiplasmodial effect of PT3 is directly linked to the capability of Plasmodium to trap this pyridoxyl analog, as shown by an increased sensitivity of parasites overexpressing PfPdxK in their cytosol, as visualized by GFP fluorescence.
A putative pyridoxal kinase from B. subtilis has been cloned, overexpressed, purified and crystallized and data have been collected to 2.8 Å resolution.
Pyridoxal kinases (PdxK) are able to catalyse the phosphorylation of three vitamin B6 precursors, pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine, to their 5′-phosphates and play an important role in the vitamin B6 salvage pathway. Recently, the thiD gene of Bacillus subtilis was found to encode an enzyme which has the activity expected of a pyridoxal kinase despite its previous assignment as an HMPP kinase owing to higher sequence similarity. As such, this enzyme would appear to represent a new class of ‘HMPP kinase-like’ pyridoxal kinases. B. subtilis thiD has been cloned and the protein has been overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and subsequently crystallized in a binary complex with ADP and Mg2+. X-ray diffraction data have been collected from crystals to 2.8 Å resolution at 100 K. The crystals belong to a primitive tetragonal system, point group 422, and analysis of the systematic absences suggest that they belong to one of the enantiomorphic pair of space groups P41212 or P43212. Consideration of the space-group symmetry and unit-cell parameters (a = b = 102.9, c = 252.6 Å, α = β = γ = 90°) suggest that the crystals contain between three and six molecules in the asymmetric unit. A full structure determination is under way to provide insights into aspects of the enzyme mechanism and substrate specificity.
thiD; PdxK; HMPP kinase; pyridoxal kinase; ribokinase superfamily
The pdxK and pdxY genes have been found to code for pyridoxal kinases, enzymes involved in the pyridoxal phosphate salvage pathway. Two pyridoxal kinase structures have recently been published, including Escherichia coli pyridoxal kinase 2 (ePL kinase 2) and sheep pyridoxal kinase, products of the pdxY and pdxK genes, respectively. We now report the crystal structure of E. coli pyridoxal kinase 1 (ePL kinase 1), encoded by a pdxK gene, and an isoform of ePL kinase 2. The structures were determined in the unliganded and binary complexes with either MgATP or pyridoxal to 2.1-, 2.6-, and 3.2-Å resolutions, respectively. The active site of ePL kinase 1 does not show significant conformational change upon binding of either pyridoxal or MgATP. Like sheep PL kinase, ePL kinase 1 exhibits a sequential random mechanism. Unlike sheep pyridoxal kinase, ePL kinase 1 may not tolerate wide variation in the size and chemical nature of the 4′ substituent on the substrate. This is the result of differences in a key residue at position 59 on a loop (loop II) that partially forms the active site. Residue 59, which is His in ePL kinase 1, interacts with the formyl group at C-4′ of pyridoxal and may also determine if residues from another loop (loop I) can fill the active site in the absence of the substrate. Both loop I and loop II are suggested to play significant roles in the functions of PL kinases.
Vitamin B6 is present in various forms (vitamers) in the diet that need to be metabolized to pyridoxal phosphate (PLP), the active cofactor form of vitamin B6. In literature, the liver has been reported to be the major site for this conversion, whereas the exact role of the intestine remains to be elucidated.
To gain insight into the role of the intestine in human vitamin B6 metabolism.
Materials and Methods
Expression of the enzymes pyridoxal kinase (PK), pyridox(am)ine phosphate oxidase (PNPO) and PLP-phosphatase was determined in Caco-2 cells and in lysates of human intestine. Vitamin B6 uptake, conversion and excretion were studied in polarized Caco-2 cell monolayers. B6 vitamer concentrations (pyridoxine (PN), pyridoxal (PL), PLP, pyridoxamine (PM), pyridoxamine phosphate (PMP)) and pyridoxic acid (PA) were quantified by ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) using stable isotope-labeled internal standards.
The enzymatic system involved in vitamin B6 metabolism (PK, PNPO and PLP-phosphatase) is fully expressed in Caco-2 cells as well as in human intestine. We show uptake of PN, PM and PL by Caco-2 cells, conversion of PN and PM into PL and excretion of all three unphosphorylated B6 vitamers.
We demonstrate, in a Caco-2 cell model, that the intestine plays a substantial role in human vitamin B6 metabolism.
Vitamin B6 is a collective term for a group of six interconvertible compounds: pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine and their phosphorylated derivatives. Vitamin B6 plays essential roles as a cofactor in a range of biochemical reactions. In addition, vitamin B6 is able to quench reactive oxygen species in vitro, and exogenously applied vitamin B6 protects plant cells against cell death induced by singlet oxygen (1O2). These results raise the important question as to whether plants employ vitamin B6 as an antioxidant to protect themselves against reactive oxygen species.
The pdx1.3 mutation affects the vitamin B6 biosynthesis enzyme, pyridoxal synthase (PDX1), and leads to a reduction of the vitamin B6 concentration in Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. Although leaves of the pdx1.3 Arabidopsis mutant contained less chlorophyll than wild-type leaves, we found that vitamin B6 deficiency did not significantly impact photosynthetic performance or shoot and root growth. Chlorophyll loss was associated with an increase in the chlorophyll a/b ratio and a selective decrease in the abundance of several PSII antenna proteins (Lhcb1/2, Lhcb6). These changes were strongly dependent on light intensity, with high light amplifying the difference between pdx1.3 and the wild type. When leaf discs were exposed to exogenous 1O2, lipid peroxidation in pdx1.3 was increased relative to the wild type; this effect was not observed with superoxide or hydrogen peroxide. When leaf discs or whole plants were exposed to excess light energy, 1O2-mediated lipid peroxidation was enhanced in leaves of the pdx1.3 mutant relative to the wild type. High light also caused an increased level of 1O2 in vitamin B6-deficient leaves. Combining the pdx1.3 mutation with mutations affecting the level of 'classical' quenchers of 1O2 (zeaxanthin, tocopherols) resulted in a highly photosensitive phenotype.
This study demonstrates that vitamin B6 has a function in the in vivo antioxidant defense of plants. Thus, the antioxidant activity of vitamin B6 inferred from in vitro studies is confirmed in planta. Together with the finding that chloroplasts contain vitamin B6 compounds, the data show that vitamin B6 functions as a photoprotector that limits 1O2 accumulation in high light and prevents 1O2-mediated oxidative damage.
Genome instability is a hallmark of cancer cells. One class of genome aberrations prevalent in tumor cells is termed gross chromosomal rearrangements (GCRs). GCRs comprise chromosome translocations, amplifications, inversions, deletion of whole chromosome arms, and interstitial deletions. Here, we report the results of a genome-wide screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae aimed at identifying novel suppressors of GCR formation. The most potent novel GCR suppressor identified is BUD16, the gene coding for yeast pyridoxal kinase (Pdxk), a key enzyme in the metabolism of pyridoxal 5′ phosphate (PLP), the biologically active form of vitamin B6. We show that Pdxk potently suppresses GCR events by curtailing the appearance of DNA lesions during the cell cycle. We also show that pharmacological inhibition of Pdxk in human cells leads to the production of DSBs and activation of the DNA damage checkpoint. Finally, our evidence suggests that PLP deficiency threatens genome integrity, most likely via its role in dTMP biosynthesis, as Pdxk-deficient cells accumulate uracil in their nuclear DNA and are sensitive to inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase. Since Pdxk links diet to genome stability, our work supports the hypothesis that dietary micronutrients reduce cancer risk by curtailing the accumulation of DNA damage and suggests that micronutrient depletion could be part of a defense mechanism against hyperproliferation.
Cells must ensure the integrity of genetic information before cellular division. Loss of genome integrity is particularly germane to tumorigenesis, where it is thought to contribute to the rapid evolution of the malignant cell towards the fully cancerous phenotype. It is therefore imperative that we understand fully how cells maintain the integrity of the genome and how it is lost during tumorigenesis. In this study, we developed an assay that allowed us to systematically interrogate each gene of the budding yeast S. cerevisiae for its respective contribution to genome integrity. We report the identification of nine novel genes that increase the rate of genome instability in yeast when deleted. To our surprise, one of the genes we identified encodes the enzyme pyridoxal kinase, which acts in the metabolism of vitamin B6. We show that pyridoxal kinase influences genome stability by promoting the conversion of dietary vitamin B6 into its biologically active form, pyridoxal 5′ phosphate. Our work indicates that vitamin B6 metabolites are critical to maintain genome stability and supports a long-standing model, which hypothesizes that vitamin B6 reduces cancer risk by curtailing genome rearrangements.
Plants, fungi, bacteria and the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum are able to synthesize vitamin B6 de novo, whereas mammals depend upon the uptake of this essential nutrient from their diet. The active form of vitamin B6 is pyridoxal 5-phosphate (PLP). For its synthesis two enzymes, Pdx1 and Pdx2, act together, forming a multimeric complex consisting of 12 Pdx1 and 12 Pdx2 protomers.
Here we report amino acid residues responsible for stabilization of the structural and enzymatic integrity of the plasmodial PLP synthase, identified by using distinct mutational analysis and biochemical approaches. Residues R85, H88 and E91 (RHE) are located at the Pdx1:Pdx1 interface and play an important role in Pdx1 complex assembly. Mutation of these residues to alanine impedes both Pdx1 activity and Pdx2 binding. Furthermore, changing D26, K83 and K151 (DKK), amino acids from the active site of Pdx1, to alanine obstructs not only enzyme activity but also formation of the complex. In contrast to the monomeric appearance of the RHE mutant, alteration of the DKK residues results in a hexameric assembly, and does not affect Pdx2 binding or its activity. While the modelled position of K151 is distal to the Pdx1:Pdx1 interface, it affects the assembly of hexameric Pdx1 into a functional dodecamer, which is crucial for PLP synthesis.
Taken together, our data suggest that the assembly of a functional Pdx1:Pdx2 complex follows a defined pathway and that inhibition of this assembly results in an inactive holoenzyme.
The prevalent de novo biosynthetic pathway of vitamin B6 involves only two enzymes (Pdx1 and Pdx2) that form an ornate multisubunit complex functioning as a glutamine amidotransferase. The synthase subunit, Pdx1, utilizes ribose 5-phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, as well as ammonia derived from the glutaminase activity of Pdx2 to directly form the cofactor vitamer, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate. Given the fact that a single enzyme performs the majority of the chemistry behind this reaction, a complicated mechanism is anticipated. Recently, the individual steps along the reaction co-ordinate are beginning to be unraveled. In particular, the binding of the pentose substrate and the first steps of the reaction have been elucidated but it is not known if the latter part of the chemistry, involving the triose sugar, takes place in the same or a disparate site. Here, we demonstrate through the use of enzyme assays, enzyme kinetics, and mutagenesis studies that indeed a second site is involved in binding the triose sugar and moreover, is the location of the final vitamin product, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate. Furthermore, we show that product release is triggered by the presence of a PLP-dependent enzyme. Finally, we provide evidence that a single arginine residue of the C terminus of Pdx1 is responsible for coordinating co-operativity in this elaborate protein machinery.
Two Bacillus subtilis genes encoding two proteins (currently annotated ThiD and YjbV) were overexpressed and characterized. YjbV has 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine and 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine pyrophosphate kinase activity and should be reannotated ThiD, and B. subtilis ThiD has pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine kinase activity and should be reannotated PdxK.
Several drugs and natural compounds are known to be highly neurotoxic, triggering epileptic convulsions or seizures, and causing headaches, agitations, as well as other neuronal symptoms. The neurotoxic effects of some of these compounds, including theophylline and ginkgotoxin, have been traced to their inhibitory activity against human pyridoxal kinase (hPL kinase), resulting in deficiency of the active cofactor form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP). Pyridoxal (PL), an inactive form of vitamin B6 is converted to PLP by PL kinase. PLP is the B6 vitamer required as a cofactor for over 160 enzymatic activities essential in primary and secondary metabolism. We have performed structural and kinetic studies on hPL kinase with several potential inhibitors, including ginkgotoxin and theophylline. The structural studies show ginkgotoxin and theophylline bound at the substrate site, and are involved in similar protein interactions as the natural substrate, PL. Interestingly, the phosphorylated product of ginkgotoxin is also observed bound at the active site. This work provides insights into the molecular basis of hPL kinase inhibition and may provide a working hypothesis to quickly screen or identify neurotoxic drugs as potential hPL kinase inhibitors. Such adverse effects may be prevented by administration of an appropriate form of vitamin B6, or provide clues of how to modify these drugs to help reduce their hPL kinase inhibitory effects.
The crystal structure of Escherichia coli PdxY, the protein product of the pdxY gene, has been determined to a 2.2-Å resolution. PdxY is a member of the ribokinase superfamily of enzymes and has sequence homology with pyridoxal kinases that phosphorylate pyridoxal at the C-5′ hydroxyl. The protein is a homodimer with an active site on each monomer composed of residues that come exclusively from each respective subunit. The active site is filled with a density that fits that of pyridoxal. In monomer A, the ligand appears to be covalently attached to Cys122 as a thiohemiacetal, while in monomer B it is not covalently attached but appears to be partially present as pyridoxal 5′-phosphate. The presence of pyridoxal phosphate and pyridoxal as ligands was confirmed by the activation of aposerine hydroxymethyltransferase after release of the ligand by the denaturation of PdxY. The ligand, which appears to be covalently attached to Cys122, does not dissociate after denaturation of the protein. A detailed comparison (of functional properties, sequence homology, active site and ATP-binding-site residues, and active site flap types) of PdxY with other pyridoxal kinases as well as the ribokinase superfamily in general suggested that PdxY is a member of a new subclass of the ribokinase superfamily. The structure of PdxY also permitted an interpretation of work that was previously published about this enzyme.
We report the purification and enzymological characterization of Escherichia coli K-12 pyridoxine (pyridoxamine) 5'-phosphate (PNP/PMP) oxidase, which is a key committed enzyme in the biosynthesis of the essential coenzyme pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP). The enzyme encoded by pdxH was overexpressed and purified to electrophoretic homogeneity by four steps of column chromatography. The purified PdxH enzyme is a thermally stable 51-kDa homodimer containing one molecule of flavin mononucleotide (FMN). In the presence of molecular oxygen, the PdxH enzyme uses PNP or PMP as a substrate (Km = 2 and 105 microM and kcat = 0.76 and 1.72 s-1 for PNP and PMP, respectively) and produces hydrogen peroxide. Thus, under aerobic conditions, the PdxH enzyme acts as a classical monofunctional flavoprotein oxidase with an extremely low kcat turnover number. Comparison of kcat/Km values suggests that PNP rather than PMP is the in vivo substrate of E. coli PdxH oxidase. In contrast, the eukaryotic enzyme has similar kcat/Km values for PNP and PMP and seems to act as a scavenger. E. coli PNP/PMP oxidase activities were competitively inhibited by the pathway end product, PLP, and by the analog, 4-deoxy-PNP, with Ki values of 8 and 105 microM, respectively. Immunoinhibition studies suggested that the catalytic domain of the enzyme may be composed of discontinuous residues on the polypeptide sequence. Two independent quantitation methods showed that PNP/PMP oxidase was present in about 700 to 1,200 dimer enzyme molecules per cell in E. coli growing exponentially in minimal medium plus glucose at 37 degrees C. Thus, E. coli PNP/PMP oxidase is an example of a relatively abundant, but catalytically sluggish, enzyme committed to PLP coenzyme biosynthesis.
Phosphatidylethanolamine (GPEtn), a major phospholipid component of trypanosome membranes, is synthesized de novo from ethanolamine through the Kennedy pathway. Here the composition of the GPEtn molecular species in the bloodstream form of Trypanosoma brucei is determined, along with new insights into phospholipid metabolism, by in vitro and in vivo characterization of a key enzyme of the Kennedy pathway, the cytosolic ethanolamine-phosphate cytidylyltransferase (TbECT). Gene knockout indicates that TbECT is essential for growth and survival, thus highlighting the importance of the Kennedy pathway for the pathogenic stage of the African trypanosome. Phosphatiylserine decarboxylation, a potential salvage pathway, does not appear to be active in cultured bloodstream form T. brucei, and it is not upregulated even when the Kennedy pathway is disrupted. In vivo metabolic labelling and phospholipid composition analysis by ESI-MS/MS of the knockout cells confirmed a significant decrease in GPEtn species, as well as changes in the relative abundance of other phospholipid species. Reduction in GPEtn levels had a profound influence on the morphology of the mutants and it compromised mitochondrial structure and function, as well as glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor biosynthesis. TbECT is therefore genetically validated as a potential drug target against the African trypanosome.
PdxB catalyzes the second step in the biosynthesis of pyridoxal phosphate by oxidizing 4-phospho-D-erythronate (4PE) to 2-oxo-3-hydroxy-4-phospho-butanoate (OHPB) with concomitant reduction of NAD+ to NADH. PdxB is a nicotino-enzyme wherein the NAD(H) cofactor remains tightly bound to PdxB. It has been a mystery how PdxB performs multiple turnovers since addition of free NAD+ does not re-oxidize the enzyme-bound NADH following conversion of 4PE to OHPB. We have solved this mystery by demonstrating that a variety of physiologically available α-ketoacids serve as oxidants of PdxB to sustain multiple turnovers. In a coupled assay using the next two enzymes of the biosynthetic pathway for pyridoxal phosphate (SerC and PdxA), we have found that α-ketoglutarate, oxaloacetic acid, and pyruvate are equally good substrates for PdxB (kcat/Km values ~ 1 × 104 M-1s-1). The kinetic parameters for the substrate 4PE include a kcat of 1.4 s-1, a Km of 2.9 μM, and a kcat/Km of 6.7 × 106 M-1s-1. Additionally, we have characterized the stereochemistry of α-ketoglutarate reduction by showing that D-2-HGA, but not L-2-HGA, is a competitive inhibitor vs. 4PE and a noncompetitive inhibitor vs. α-ketoglutarate.
Bacillus subtilis synthesizes pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, the active form of vitamin B6, by a poorly characterized pathway involving the yaaD and yaaE genes. The pdxS (yaaD) mutant was confirmed to be a strict B6 auxotroph, but the pdxT (yaaE) mutant turned out to be a conditional auxotroph depending on the availability of ammonium in the growth medium. The PdxS and PdxT proteins copurified during affinity chromatography and apparently form a complex that has glutaminase activity. PdxS and PdxT appear to encode the synthase and glutaminase subunits, respectively, of a glutamine amidotransferase of as-yet-unknown specificity essential for B6 biosynthesis.
We found that transcription of the pdxA and pdxB genes, which mediate steps in the biosynthesis of the essential coenzyme pyridoxal 5"-phosphate, and the ksgA gene, which encodes an rRNA modification enzyme and is partly cotranscribed with pdxA, is subject to positive growth rate regulation in Escherichia coli K-12. The amounts of the pdxA-ksgA cotranscript and pdxB- and ksgA-specific transcripts and expression from pdxA- and pdxB-lacZ fusions increased as the growth rate increased. The half-lives of ksgA- and pdxB-specific transcripts were not affected by the growth rate, whereas the half-life of the pdxA-ksgA cotranscript was too short to be measured accurately. A method of normalization was applied to determine the amount of mRNA synthesized per gene and the rate of protein accumulation per gene. Normalization removed an apparent anomaly at fast growth rates and demonstrated that positive regulation of pdxB occurs at the level of transcription initiation over the whole range of growth rates tested. RNA polymerase limitation and autoregulation could not account for the positive growth rate regulation of pdxA, pdxB, and ksgA transcription. On the other hand, growth rate regulation of the amount of the pdxA-ksgA cotranscript was abolished by a fis mutation, suggesting a role for the Fis protein. In contrast, the fis mutation had no effect on pdxB- or ksgA-specific transcript amounts. The amounts of the pdxA-ksgA cotranscript and ksgA-specific transcript were repressed in the presence of high intracellular concentrations of guanosine tetraphosphate; however, this effect was independent of relA function for the pdxA-ksgA cotranscript. Amounts of the pdxB-specific transcript remained unchanged during amino acid starvation in wild-type and relA mutant strains.
Complementation analyses using minimal recombinant clones showed that all known pdx point mutations, which cause pyridoxine (vitamin B6) or pyridoxal auxotrophy, are located in the pdxA, pdxB, serC, pdxJ, and pdxH genes. Antibiotic enrichments for chromosomal transposon mutants that require pyridoxine (vitamin B6) or pyridoxal led to the isolation of insertions in pdxA, pdxB, and pdxH but not in pdxJ. This observation suggested that pdxJ, like pdxA, pdxB, and serC, might be in a complex operon. To test this hypothesis, we constructed stable insertion mutations in and around pdxJ in plasmids and forced them into the bacterial chromosome. Physiological properties of the resulting insertion mutants were characterized, and the DNA sequence of pdxJ and adjacent regions was determined. These combined approaches led to the following conclusions: (i) pdxJ is the first gene in a two-gene operon that contains a gene, temporarily designated dpj, essential for Escherichia coli growth; (ii) expression of the rnc-era-recO and pdxJ-dpj operons can occur independently, although the pdxJ-dpj promoter may lie within recO; (iii) pdxJ encodes a 26,384-Da polypeptide whose coding region is preceded by a PDX box, and dpj probably encodes a basic, 14,052-Da polypeptide; (iv) mini-Mud insertions in dpj and pdxJ, which are polar on dpj, severely limit E. coli growth; and (v) three classes of suppressors, including mutations in lon and suppressors of lon, that allow faster growth of pdxJ::mini-Mud mutants can be isolated. A model to account for the action of dpj suppressors is presented, and aspects of this genetic analysis are related to the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate biosynthetic pathway.
We report that pdxA, which is required for de novo biosynthesis of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and pyridoxal phosphate, belongs to an unusual, multifunctional operon. The pdxA gene was cloned in the same 3.5-kilobase BamHI-EcoRI restriction fragment that contains ksgA, which encodes the 16S rRNA modification enzyme m6(2)A methyltransferase, and apaH, which encodes diadenosine tetraphosphatase (ApppA hydrolase). Previously, Blanchin-Roland et al. showed that ksgA and apaH form a complex operon (Mol. Gen. Genet. 205:515-522, 1986). The pdxA gene was located on recombinant plasmids by subcloning, complementation, and insertion mutagenesis, and chromosomal insertions at five positions upstream from ksgA inactivated pdxA function. DNA sequence analysis and minicell translation experiments demonstrated that pdxA encoded a 35.1-kilodalton polypeptide and that the stop codon of pdxA overlapped the start codon of ksgA by 2 nucleotides. The translational start codon of pdxA was tentatively assigned based on polypeptide size and on the presence of a unique sequence that was also found near the translational start of PdxB. This conserved sequence may play a role in translational control of certain pyridoxine biosynthetic genes. RNase T2 mapping of chromosomal transcripts confirmed that pdxA and ksgA were members of the same complex operon, yet about half of ksgA transcripts arose in vivo under some culture conditions from an internal promoter mapped near the end of pdxA. Transcript analysis further suggested that pdxA is not the first gene in the operon. These structural features support the idea that pyridoxine-biosynthetic genes are members of complex operons, perhaps to interweave coenzyme biosynthesis genetically with other metabolic processes. The results are also considered in terms of ksgA expression.
Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) is the biologically active form of vitamin B6 and is an important cofactor for several of the enzymes involved in the metabolism of amine-containing natural products such as amino acids and amino-sugars. The PLP synthase holoenzyme consists of two subunits: YaaD catalyzes the condensation of ribulose 5-phosphate, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate and ammonia and YaaE catalyzes the production of ammonia from glutamine. Here we describe the structure of the PLP synthase complex (YaaD-YaaE) from Thermotoga maritima at 2.9 Å resolution. This complex consists of a core of 12 YaaD monomers with 12 noninteracting YaaE monomers attached to the core. Compared to the previously published structure of PdxS (a YaaD ortholog in Geobacillus stearothermophilus), the N-terminus (1–18), which includes helix α0, the β2-α2 loop(46–56), which includes new helix α2a, and the C-terminus (270–280) of YaaD, are ordered in the complex but disordered in PdxS. A ribulose 5-phosphate is bound to YaaD via an imine with Lys82. Previous studies have demonstrated a similar imine at Lys149 and not at Lys81 (equivalent to Lys150 and 82 in T. maritima) for the Bacillus subtilis enzyme suggesting the possibility that two separate sites on YaaD are involved in PLP formation. A phosphate from the crystallization solution is found bound to YaaD and also serves as a marker for a possible second active site. An ammonia channel that connects the active site of YaaE with the ribulose 5-phosphate binding site was identified. This channel is similar to one found in imidazole glycerol phosphate synthase; however, when the β-barrels of the two complexes are superimposed, the glutaminase domains are rotated by about 180° with respect to each other.
The plasma content of B6 vitamers is governed by, among other factors, dietary supply and metabolic interconversion. This study examines the effect of pyridoxine supplementation on the plasma content of B6 vitamers and pyridoxic acid in man, and the metabolic conversion and release of B6 compounds in isolated rat hepatocytes. Six healthy human subjects were given 100 mg pyridoxine-HCl/d orally for 1--3 wk. Before pyridoxine supplementation, the mean total plasma level of B6 vitamers was 114 +/- 9 nM; and pyridoxal-P, pyridoxamine-P, pyridoxal, pyridoxine, and pyridoxamine accounted for 54, 3, 11, 27, and 5%, respectively. Plasma level of pyridoxic acid was 40 +/- 7 nM. Thus, pyridoxal-P is the principal B6 vitamer in plasma. During pyridoxine supplementation, mean plasma levels of the B6 vitamers and pyridoxic acid increased to 655 +/- 122 and 222 +/- 55 nM, respectively. The plasma content of pyridoxal-P and pyridoxic acid increased 6--7-fold and that of pyridoxal, 12-fold, but the pyridoxine level did not increase. Isolated hepatocytes, 1 g/15 ml, were incubated for 2 h with 3.33 microM [14C]pyridoxine (6 microCi/mumol). At zero time, the cells contained about 35 nmol pyridoxal-P and 25 nmol pyridoxamine-P. After 2 h incubation, the cellular content of pyridoxal-P and pyridoxamine-P did not change significantly, but the medium contained 5.9 nmol pyridoxal-P, 0.3 nmol pyridoxamine-P, 7.2 nmol pyridoxal, 26.6 nmol pyridoxine, 0.3 nmol pyridoxamine, and 7.5 nmol pyridoxic acid. Whereas the specific radioactivity of pyridoxal-P, pyridoxal, and pyridoxic acid in the medium approached that of [14C]pyridoxine, the specific radioactivity of cellular pyridoxal-P and pyridoxamine-P was only 20% of that of pyridoxine. Thus, newly synthesized pyridoxal-P is not freely exchangeable with endogenous pyridoxal-P, but is preferentially released or degraded to pyridoxal and pyridoxic acid. The latter B6 compounds are also released. These results suggest that orally ingested pyridoxine is rapidly metabolized in liver and its products are released into the circulation in the form of pyridoxal-P, pyridoxal, and pyridoxic acid.
The arrangement of the Escherichia coli serC (pdxF) and aroA genes into a cotranscribed multifunctional operon allows coregulation of two enzymes required for the biosynthesis of L-serine, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, chorismate, and the aromatic amino acids and vitamins. RNase T2 protection assays revealed two major transcripts that were initiated from a promoter upstream from serC (pdxF). Between 80 to 90% of serC (pdxF) transcripts were present in single-gene mRNA molecules that likely arose by Rho-independent termination between serC (pdxF) and aroA. serC (pdxF)-aroA cotranscripts terminated at another Rho-independent terminator near the end of aroA. We studied operon regulation by determining differential rates of beta-galactosidase synthesis in a merodiploid strain carrying a single-copy lambda[phi(serC [pdxF]'-lacZYA)] operon fusion. serC (pdxF) transcription was greatest in bacteria growing in minimal salts-glucose medium (MMGlu) and was reduced in minimal salts-glycerol medium, enriched MMGlu, and LB medium. serC (pdxF) transcription was increased in cya or crp mutants compared to their cya+ crp+ parent in MMGlu or LB medium. In contrast, serC (pdxF) transcription decreased in an lrp mutant compared to its lrp+ parent in MMGlu. Conclusions obtained by using the operon fusion were corroborated by quantitative Western immunoblotting of SerC (PdxF), which was present at around 1,800 dimers per cell in bacteria growing in MMGlu. RNase T2 protection assays of serC (pdxF)-terminated and serC (pdxF)-aroA cotranscript amounts supported the conclusion that the operon was regulated at the transcription level under the conditions tested. Results with a series of deletions upstream of the P(serC (pdxF)) promoter revealed that activation by Lrp was likely direct, whereas repression by the cyclic AMP (cAMP) receptor protein-cAMP complex (CRP-cAMP) was likely indirect, possibly via a repressor whose amount or activity was stimulated by CRP-cAMP.
Sphingomyelin is the main sphingolipid in Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness. In vitro and in vivo characterization of the T. brucei neutral sphingomyelinase demonstrates that it is directly involved in sphingomyelin catabolism. Gene knockout studies in the bloodstream form of the parasite indicate that the neutral sphingomyelinase is essential for growth and survival, thus highlighting that the de novo biosynthesis of ceramide is unable to compensate for the loss of sphingomyelin catabolism. The phenotype of the conditional knockout has given new insights into the highly active endocytic and exocytic pathways in the bloodstream form of T. brucei. Hence, the formation of ceramide in the endoplasmic reticulum affects post-Golgi sorting and rate of deposition of newly synthesized GPI-anchored variant surface glycoprotein on the cell surface. This directly influences the corresponding rate of endocytosis, via the recycling endosomes, of pre-existing cell surface variant surface glycoprotein. The trypanosomes use this coupled endocytic and exocytic mechanism to maintain the cell density of its crucial variant surface glycoprotein protective coat. TbnSMase is therefore genetically validated as a drug target against African trypanosomes, and suggests that interfering with the endocytic transport of variant surface glycoprotein is a highly desirable strategy for drug development against African trypanosomasis.
Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) is caused by two trypanosome sub-species, Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and Trypanosoma brucei gambiense. Drugs available for the treatment of HAT have significant issues related to difficult administration regimes and limited efficacy across species and disease stages. Hence, there is considerable need to find new alternative and less toxic drugs. An approach to identify starting points for new drug candidates is high throughput screening (HTS) of large compound library collections. We describe the application of an Alamar Blue based, 384-well HTS assay to screen a library of 87,296 compounds against the related trypanosome subspecies, Trypanosoma brucei brucei bloodstream form lister 427. Primary hits identified against T.b. brucei were retested and the IC50 value compounds were estimated for T.b. brucei and a mammalian cell line HEK293, to determine a selectivity index for each compound. The screening campaign identified 205 compounds with greater than 10 times selectivity against T.b. brucei. Cluster analysis of these compounds, taking into account chemical and structural properties required for drug-like compounds, afforded a panel of eight compounds for further biological analysis. These compounds had IC50 values ranging from 0.22 µM to 4 µM with associated selectivity indices ranging from 19 to greater than 345. Further testing against T.b. rhodesiense led to the selection of 6 compounds from 5 new chemical classes with activity against the causative species of HAT, which can be considered potential candidates for HAT early drug discovery. Structure activity relationship (SAR) mining revealed components of those hit compound structures that may be important for biological activity. Four of these compounds have undergone further testing to 1) determine whether they are cidal or static in vitro at the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), and 2) estimate the time to kill.
Human African Sleeping Sickness (HAT) is a disease caused by sub-species of Trypanosoma. The disease affects developing countries within Africa, mainly occurring in rural regions that lack resources to purchase drugs for treatment. Drugs that are currently available have significant side effects, and treatment regimes are lengthy and not always transferrable to the field. In consideration of these factors, new drugs are urgently needed for the treatment of HAT. To discover compounds suitable for drug discovery, cultured trypanosomes can be tested against libraries of compounds to identify candidates for further biological analysis. We have utilised a 384-well format, Alamar Blue viability assay to screen a large non-proprietary compound collection against Trypanosoma brucei brucei bloodstream form lister 427. The assay was shown to be reproducible, with reference compounds exhibiting activity in agreement with previously published results. Primary screening hits were retested against T.b. brucei and HEK293 mammalian cells in order to assess selectivity against the parasite. Selective hits were characterised by chemical analysis, taking into consideration drug-like properties amenable to further progression. Priority compounds were tested against a panel of protozoan parasites, including Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania donovani and Plasmodium falciparum. Five new compound classes were discovered that are amenable to progression in the drug discovery process for HAT.
Glycerol kinase from human African trypanosomes has been purified and crystallized for X-ray structure analysis.
In the bloodstream forms of human trypanosomes, glycerol kinase (GK; EC 126.96.36.199) is one of the nine glycosomally compartmentalized enzymes that are essential for energy metabolism. In this study, a recombinant Trypanosoma brucei gambiense GK (rTbgGK) with an N-terminal cleavable His6 tag was overexpressed, purified to homogeneity and crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 400 as a precipitant. A complete X-ray diffraction data set to 2.75 Å resolution indicated that the crystals belonged to the orthorhombic space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 63.84, b = 121.50, c = 154.59 Å. The presence of two rTbgGK molecules in the asymmetric unit gives a Matthews coefficient (V
M) of 2.5 Å3 Da−1, corresponding to 50% solvent content.
human African trypanosomiasis; Trypanosoma brucei gambiense; drug design; glycerol kinases