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1.  Structure of WbdD: a bifunctional kinase and methyltransferase that regulates the chain length of the O antigen in Escherichia coli O9a 
Molecular Microbiology  2012;86(3):730-742.
Summary
The Escherichia coli serotype O9a O-antigen polysaccharide (O-PS) is a model for glycan biosynthesis and export by the ATP-binding cassette transporter-dependent pathway. The polymannose O9a O-PS is synthesized as a polyprenol-linked glycan by mannosyltransferase enzymes located at the cytoplasmic membrane. The chain length of the O9a O-PS is tightly regulated by the WbdD enzyme. WbdD first phosphorylates the terminal non-reducing mannose of the O-PS and then methylates the phosphate, stopping polymerization. The 2.2 Å resolution structure of WbdD reveals a bacterial methyltransferase domain joined to a eukaryotic kinase domain. The kinase domain is again fused to an extended C-terminal coiled-coil domain reminiscent of eukaryotic DMPK (Myotonic Dystrophy Protein Kinase) family kinases such as Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK). WbdD phosphorylates 2-α-d-mannosyl-d-mannose (2α-MB), a short mimic of the O9a polymer. Mutagenesis identifies those residues important in catalysis and substrate recognition and the in vivo phenotypes of these mutants are used to dissect the termination reaction. We have determined the structures of co-complexes of WbdD with two known eukaryotic protein kinase inhibitors. Although these are potent inhibitors in vitro, they do not show any in vivo activity. The structures reveal new insight into O-PS chain-length regulation in this important model system.
doi:10.1111/mmi.12014
PMCID: PMC3482155  PMID: 22970759
2.  Structure of WbdD: a bifunctional kinase and methyltransferase that regulates the chain length of the O antigen in Escherichia coli O9a 
Molecular microbiology  2012;86(3):730-742.
Summary
The Escherichia coli serotype O9a O-antigen polysaccharide (O-PS) is a model for glycan biosynthesis and export by the ATP-binding cassette transporter-dependent pathway. The polymannose O9a O-PS is synthesized as a polyprenol-linked glycan by mannosyltransferase enzymes located at the cytoplasmic membrane. The chain length of the O9a O-PS is tightly regulated by the WbdD enzyme. WbdD first phosphorylates the terminal non-reducing mannose of the O-PS and then methylates the phosphate, stopping polymerization. The 2.2 Å resolution structure of WbdD reveals a bacterial methyltransferase domain joined to a eukaryotic kinase domain. The kinase domain is again fused to an extended C-terminal coiled-coil domain reminiscent of eukaryotic DMPK (Myotonic Dystrophy Protein Kinase) family kinases such as Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK). WbdD phosphorylates 2-α-d-mannosyl-d-mannose (2α-MB), a short mimic of the O9a polymer. Mutagenesis identifies those residues important in catalysis and substrate recognition and the in vivo phenotypes of these mutants are used to dissect the termination reaction. We have determined the structures of co-complexes of WbdD with two known eukaryotic protein kinase inhibitors. Although these are potent inhibitors in vitro, they do not show any in vivo activity. The structures reveal new insight into O-PS chain-length regulation in this important model system.
doi:10.1111/mmi.12014
PMCID: PMC3482155  PMID: 22970759
3.  Crystallization, dehydration and experimental phasing of WbdD, a bifunctional kinase and methyltransferase from Escherichia coli O9a 
The optimization of WbdD crystals using a novel dehydration protocol and experimental phasing at 3.5 Å resolution by cross-crystal averaging followed by molecular replacement of electron density into a non-isomorphous 3.0 Å resolution native data set are reported.
WbdD is a bifunctional kinase/methyltransferase that is responsible for regulation of lipopolysaccharide O antigen polysaccharide chain length in Escherichia coli serotype O9a. Solving the crystal structure of this protein proved to be a challenge because the available crystals belonging to space group I23 only diffracted to low resolution (>95% of the crystals diffracted to resolution lower than 4 Å and most only to 8 Å) and were non-isomorphous, with changes in unit-cell dimensions of greater than 10%. Data from a serendipitously found single native crystal that diffracted to 3.0 Å resolution were non-isomorphous with a lower (3.5 Å) resolution selenomethionine data set. Here, a strategy for improving poor (3.5 Å resolution) initial phases by density modification and cross-crystal averaging with an additional 4.2 Å resolution data set to build a crude model of WbdD is desribed. Using this crude model as a mask to cut out the 3.5 Å resolution electron density yielded a successful molecular-replacement solution of the 3.0 Å resolution data set. The resulting map was used to build a complete model of WbdD. The hydration status of individual crystals appears to underpin the variable diffraction quality of WbdD crystals. After the initial structure had been solved, methods to control the hydration status of WbdD were developed and it was thus possible to routinely obtain high-resolution diffraction (to better than 2.5 Å resolution). This novel and facile crystal-dehydration protocol may be useful for similar challenging situations.
doi:10.1107/S0907444912029599
PMCID: PMC3447403  PMID: 22993091
WbdD; crystal dehydration
5.  Crystal Structures of Wzb of Escherichia coli and CpsB of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Representatives of Two Families of Tyrosine Phosphatases that Regulate Capsule Assembly 
Journal of Molecular Biology  2009;392(3):678-688.
Many Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria utilize polysaccharide surface layers called capsules to evade the immune system; consequently, the synthesis and export of the capsule are a potential therapeutic target. In Escherichia coli K-30, the integral membrane tyrosine autokinase Wzc and the cognate phosphatase Wzb have been shown to be key for both synthesis and assembly of capsular polysaccharides. In the Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, the CpsCD complex is analogous to Wzc and the phosphatase CpsB is the corresponding cognate phosphatase. The phosphatases are known to dephosphorylate their corresponding autokinases, yet despite their functional equivalence, they share no sequence homology. We present the structure of Wzb in complex with phosphate and high-resolution structures of apo-CpsB and a phosphate-complexed CpsB. We show that both proteins are active toward Wzc and thereby demonstrate that CpsB is not specific for CpsCD. CpsB is a novel enzyme and represents the first solved structure of a tyrosine phosphatase from a Gram-positive bacterium. Wzb and CpsB have completely different structures, suggesting that they must operate by very different mechanisms. Although the mechanism of Wzb can be inferred from previous studies, CpsB appears to have a tyrosine phosphatase mechanism not observed before. We propose a chemical mechanism for CpsB based on site-directed mutagenesis and structural data.
doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2009.07.026
PMCID: PMC2777267  PMID: 19616007
CPS, capsular polysaccharide; PHP, polymerase and histidinol phosphatase; pNPP, para-nitrophenylphosphate; enzyme mechanism; kinase; phosphatase; pathogenic bacteria; capsule
6.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the bacterial capsule assembly-regulating tyrosine phosphatases Wzb of Escherichia coli and Cps4B of Streptococcus pneumoniae  
The crystallization is reported of two bacterial tyrosine phosphatases which belong to different enzyme families despite their ability to catalyse identical reactions.
Bacterial tyrosine kinases and their cognate phosphatases are key players in the regulation of capsule assembly and thus are important virulence determinants of these bacteria. Examples of the kinase/phosphatase pairing are found in Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli (Wzc and Wzb) and in Gram-positive bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae (CpsCD and CpsB). Although Wzb and Cps4B are both predicted to dephosphorylate the C-terminal tyrosine cluster of their cognate tyrosine kinase, they appear on the basis of protein sequence to belong to quite different enzyme classes. Recombinant purified proteins Cps4B of S. pneumoniae TIGR4 and Wzb of E. coli K-30 have been crystallized. Wzb crystals belonged to space-group family P3x21 and diffracted to 2.7 Å resolution. Crystal form I of Cps4B belonged to space-group family P4x212 and diffracted to 2.8 Å resolution; crystal form II belonged to space group P212121 and diffracted to 1.9 Å resolution.
doi:10.1107/S1744309109023914
PMCID: PMC2720329  PMID: 19652335
Wzb; Cps4B; kinases; phosphatases

Results 1-6 (6)