Expulsion of preaccumulated methyl-beta-D-thiogalactoside-phosphate (TMG-P) from Streptococcus pyogenes is a two-step process comprising intracellular dephosphorylation of TMG-P followed by rapid efflux of the intracellularly formed free galactoside (J. Reizer, M.J. Novotny, C. Panos, and M.H. Saier, Jr., J. Bacteriol. 156:354-361, 1983). The present study identifies the mechanism and the order and characterizes the temperature dependency of the efflux step. Unidirectional efflux of the intracellularly formed [14C]TMG was only slightly affected when measured in the presence of unlabeled TMG (25 to 400 mM) in the extracellular medium. In contrast, pronounced inhibition of net efflux was observed in the presence of relatively low concentrations (1 to 16 mM) of extracellular [14C]TMG. Since net efflux was nearly arrested when the external concentration of [14C]TMG approached the intracellular concentration of this sugar, we propose that a facilitated diffusion mechanism is responsible for efflux and equilibration of TMG between the intracellular and extracellular milieus. The exit reaction was markedly dependent upon temperature, exhibited a high energy of activation (23 kcal [ca. 96 kJ] per mol), and followed first-order kinetics, indicating that the permease mediating this efflux was not saturated under the conditions of expulsion employed.
The gut operon was subcloned into various plasmid vectors (M. Yamada and M. H. Saier, Jr., J. Bacteriol. 169:2990-2994, 1987). Constitutive expression of the plasmid-encoded operon prevented utilization of alanine and Krebs cycle intermediates when they were provided as sole sources of carbon for growth. Expression of the gutB gene alone (encoding the glucitol enzyme III), subcloned downstream from either the lactose promoter or the tetracycline resistance promoter, inhibited utilization of the same compounds. On the other hand, overexpression of the gutA gene (encoding the glucitol enzyme II) inhibited the utilization of a variety of sugars as well as alanine and Krebs cycle intermediates by an apparently distinct mechanism. Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase activity was greatly reduced in cells expressing high levels of the cloned gutB gene but was nearly normal in cells expressing high levels of the gutA gene. A chromosomal mutation in the gutR gene, which gave rise to constitutive expression of the chromosomal gut operon, also gave rise to growth inhibition on gluconeogenic substrates as well as reduced phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase activity. Phosphoenolpyruvate synthase activity in general varied in parallel with that of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. These results suggest that high-level expression of the glucitol enzyme III of the phosphotransferase system can negatively regulate gluconeogenesis by repression or inhibition of the two key gluconeogenic enzymes, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and phosphoenolpyruvate synthase.
The mechanism by which enzyme IIIglc of the bacterial phosphotransferase system regulates the activity of crystalline glycerol kinase from Escherichia coli has been studied, and the inhibitory effects have been compared with those produced by fructose-1,6-diphosphate. It was shown that the free, but not the phosphorylated, form of enzyme IIIglc inhibits the kinase. Mutants of Salmonella typhimurium were isolated which were resistant to inhibition by either enzyme IIIglc (glpKr mutants) or fructose-1,6-diphosphate (glpKi mutants), and each mutant type was shown to retain full sensitivity to inhibition by the other regulatory agent. Other mutants were fully or partially resistant to regulation by both agents. The two regulatory sites on the kinase are evidently distinct but must overlap or interact functionally. Kinetic analyses have revealed several mechanistic features of the regulatory interactions. (i) Inhibition by both allosteric regulatory agents is strongly pH dependent, with maximal inhibition occurring at ca. pH 6.5 under the assay conditions employed. (ii) Binding of enzyme IIIglc to glycerol kinase is also pH dependent, the Ki being near 4 microM at pH 6.0 but near 10 microM at pH 7.0. (iii) Whereas fructose-1,6-diphosphate inhibition apparently requires that the enzyme exist in a tetrameric state, both the dimer and the tetramer appear to be fully sensitive to enzyme IIIglc inhibition. (iv) Inhibition by enzyme IIIglc (like that by fructose-1,6-diphosphate) is noncompetitive with respect to both substrates. (v) The inhibitory responses of glycerol kinase to fructose-1, 6-diphosphate and enzyme IIIglc show features characteristic of positive cooperativity at low inhibitor concentration. (vi) Neither agent inhibits completely at high inhibitor concentration. (vii) Apparent negative cooperativity with respect to ATP binding is observed with purified E. coli glycerol kinase, with glycerol kinase in crude extracts of wild-type S. typhimurium cells, and with glpKr and glpKi mutant forms of glycerol kinase from S. typhimurium. These results serve to characterize the regulatory interactions which control the activity of glycerol kinase by fructose-1,6-diphosphate and by enzyme IIIglc of the phosphotransferase system.
This article examines in a broad perspective entropy and some examples of its relationship to evolution, genetic instructions and how we view diseases. Many knowledge gaps abound, hence our understanding is still fragmented and incomplete. Living organisms are programmed by functional genetic instructions (FGI), through cellular communication pathways, to grow and reproduce by maintaining a variety of hemistable, ordered structures (low entropy). Living organisms are far from equilibrium with their surrounding environmental systems, which tends towards increasing disorder (increasing entropy). Organisms must free themselves from high entropy (high disorder) to maintain their cellular structures for a period of time sufficient enough to allow reproduction and the resultant offspring to reach reproductive ages. This time interval varies for different species. Bacteria, for example need no sexual parents; dividing cells are nearly identical to the previous generation of cells, and can begin a new cell cycle without delay under appropriate conditions. By contrast, human infants require years of care before they can reproduce. Living organisms maintain order in spite of their changing surrounding environment, that decreases order according to the second law of thermodynamics. These events actually work together since living organisms create ordered biological structures by increasing local entropy. From a disease perspective, viruses and other disease agents interrupt the normal functioning of cells. The pressure for survival may result in mechanisms that allow organisms to resist attacks by viruses, other pathogens, destructive chemicals and physical agents such as radiation. However, when the attack is successful, the organism can be damaged until the cell, tissue, organ or entire organism is no longer functional and entropy increases.
diseases; entropy; evolution; genetic instructions; laws of biology; microorganisms
D-Mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase (EC 184.108.40.206) and D-glucitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (EC 220.127.116.11) were purified to apparent homogeneity in good yields from Escherichia coli. The amino acid compositions, N-terminal amino acid sequences, sensitivities to chemical reagents, and catalytic properties of the two enzymes were determined. Both enzymes showed absolute specificities for their substrates. The subunit molecular weights of mannitol-1-phosphate and glucitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenases were 40,000 and 26,000, respectively; the apparent molecular weights of the native proteins, determined by gel filtration, were 40,000 and 117,000, respectively. It is therefore concluded that whereas mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase is a monomer, glucitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase is probably a tetramer. These two proteins differed in several fundamental respects.
The nucleotide sequence of the fruA gene, the terminal gene in the fructose operon of Rhodobacter capsulatus, is reported. This gene codes for the fructose permease (molecular weight, 58,575; 578 aminoacyl residues), the fructose enzyme II (IIFru) of the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system. The deduced aminoacyl sequence of the encoded gene product was found to be 55% identical throughout most of its length with the fructose enzyme II of Escherichia coli, with some regions strongly conserved and others weakly conserved. Sequence comparisons revealed that the first 100 aminoacyl residues of both enzymes II were homologous to the second 100 residues, suggesting that an intragenic duplication of about 300 nucleotides had occurred during the evolution of IIFru prior to divergence of the E. coli and R. capsulatus genes. The protein contains only two cysteyl residues, and only one of these residues is conserved between the two proteins. This residue is therefore presumed to provide the active-site thiol group which may serve as the phosphorylation site. IIFru was found to exhibit regions of homology with sequenced enzymes II from other bacteria, including those specific for sucrose, beta-glucosides, mannitol, glucose, N-acetylglucosamine, and lactose. The degree of evolutionary divergence differed for different parts of the proteins, with certain transmembrane segments exhibiting high degrees of conservation. The hydrophobic domain of IIFru was also found to be similar to several uniport and antiport transporters of animals, including the human and mouse insulin-responsive glucose facilitators. These observations suggest that the mechanism of transmembrane transport may be similar for permeases catalyzing group translocation and facilitated diffusion.
The bacterial phosphotransferase system (PTS) functions in a variety of regulatory capacities. One of the best characterized of these is the process by which the PTS regulates inducer uptake and catabolite repression. Early genetic and physiological evidence supported a mechanism whereby the phosphorylation state of an enzyme of the PTS, the enzyme III specific for glucose (IIIGlc), allosterically inhibits the activities of a number of permeases and catabolic enzymes, the lactose, galactose, melibiose, and maltose permeases, as well as glycerol kinase. Extensive biochemical evidence now supports this model. Evidence is also available showing that substrate binding to those target proteins enhances their affinities for IIIGlc. In the case of the lactose permease, this positively cooperative interaction represents a well documented example of transmembrane signaling, demonstrated both in vivo and in vitro. Although the PTS-mediated regulation of cyclic AMP synthesis (catabolite repression) is not as well defined from a mechanistic standpoint, a model involving allosteric activation of adenylate cyclase by phospho-IIIGlc, together with the evidence supporting it, is presented. These regulatory mechanisms may prove to be operative in gram-positive as well as gram-negative bacteria, but the former organisms may have introduced variations on the theme by covalently attaching IIIGlc-like moieties to some of the target permeases and catabolic enzymes. It appears likely that the general process of PTS-catalyzed protein phosphorylation-dephosphorylation will prove to be important to the regulation of numerous bacterial physiological processes, including chemotaxis, intermediary metabolism, gene transcription, and virulence.
Mutants expressing a novel enzyme I of the phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system, termed enzyme I, were isolated from strains of Salmonella typhimurium which were deleted for the HPr and enzyme I structural genes. The mutations lay in a newly defined gene, termed ptsJ, which mapped on the S. typhimurium chromosome between the ptsHI operon and the cysA gene.
Vectorial transphosphorylation of hexitols, catalyzed by enzymes II of the bacterial phosphotransferase system, was studied in intact cells and membrane vesicles of Escherichia coli. In strains depleted of phosphoenolpyruvate and unable to metabolize the internal hexitol phosphate, internal mannitol-1-phosphate stimulated uptake of extracellular [14C]mannitol, whereas external mannitol stimulated release of [14C]mannitol from the intracellular [14C]mannitol-1-phosphate pool. The stoichiometry of mannitol uptake to mannitol release was 1:1. Glucitol did not promote release of [14C]mannitol from the mannitol phosphate pool but stimulated release of [14C]glucitol from internal glucitol phosphate pools when the glucitol enzyme II was induced to high levels. In E coli cells and membrane vesicles, both vectorial and nonvectorial transphosphorylation reactions of hexitols and hexoses were demonstrated. The nonvectorial reactions, but not the vectorial reactions, catalyzed by the mannitol and glucose enzymes II, were inhibited by p-chloromercuriphenyl sulfonate, a membrane-impermeable sulfhydryl reagent which inactivates enzymes II. Similarly, glucose-6-sulfate, an inhibitor of the glucose enzyme II-catalyzed transphosphorylation reaction, specifically inhibited the nonvectorial reaction. This compound was shown to be a noncompetitive inhibitor of methyl alpha-glucoside phosphorylation employing phospho-HPr as the phosphate donor. It apparently exerts its inhibitory effect by exclusive binding to the sugar phosphate binding site on the enzyme II complex. The results are consistent with the conclusion that enzymes II can exist in two distinct dispositions in the membrane, one of which catalyzes vectorial transphosphorylation, and the other catalyzes nonvectorial transphosphorylation.
Several carbohydrate permease systems in Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli are sensitive to regulation by the phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system. Mutant Salmonella strains were isolated in which individual transport systems had been rendered insensitive to regulation by sugar substrates of the phosphotransferase system. In one such strain, glycerol uptake was insensitive to regulation; in another, the maltose transport system was resistant to inhibition; and in a third, the regulatory mutation specifically rendered the melibiose permease insensitive to regulation. An analogous mutation in E. coli abolished inhibition of the transport of beta-galactosides via the lactose permease system. The mutations were mapped near the genes which code for the affected transport proteins. The regulatory mutations rendered utilization of the particular carbohydrates resistant to inhibition and synthesis of the corresponding catabolic enzymes partially insensitive to repressive control by sugar substrates of the phosphotransferase system. Studies of repression of beta-galactosidase synthesis in E. coli were conducted with both lactose and isopropyl beta-thiogalactoside as exogenous sources of inducer. Employing high concentrations of isopropyl beta-thiogalactoside, repression of beta-galactosidase synthesis was not altered by the lactose-specific transport regulation-resistant mutation. By contrast, the more severe repression observed with lactose as the exogenous source of inducer was partially abolished by this regulatory mutation. The results support the conclusions that several transport systems, including the lactose permease system, are subject to allosteric regulation and that inhibition of inducer uptake is a primary cause of the repression of catabolic enzyme synthesis.
Allosteric regulation of several sugar transport systems such as those specific for lactose, maltose and melibiose in Escherichia coli (inducer exclusion) is mediated by the glucose-specific enzyme IIA (IIAGlc) of the phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS). Deletion mutations in the cytoplasmic N and C termini of the lactose permease protein, LacY, and replacement of all cysteine residues in LacY with other residues did not prevent IIAGlc-mediated inhibition of lactose uptake, but several point and insertional mutations in the central cytoplasmic loop of this permease abolished transport regulation and IIAGlc binding. The results substantiate the conclusion that regulation of the lactose permease in E. coli by the PTS is mediated by a primary interaction of IIAGlc with the central cytoplasmic loop of the permease.
Carbon catabolite repression of the gnt operon of Bacillus subtilis is mediated by the catabolite control protein CcpA and by HPr, a phosphocarrier protein of the phosphotransferase system. ATP-dependent phosphorylation of HPr at Ser-46 is required for carbon catabolite repression as ptsH1 mutants in which Ser-46 of HPr is replaced with an unphosphorylatable alanyl residue are resistant to carbon catabolite repression. We here demonstrate that mutation of His-15 of HPr, the site of phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphorylation, also prevents carbon catabolite repression of the gnt operon. A strain which expressed two mutant HPrs (one in which Ser-46 is replaced by Ala [S46A HPr] and one in which His-15 is replaced by Ala [H15A HPr]) on the chromosome was barely sensitive to carbon catabolite repression, although the H15A mutant HPr can be phosphorylated at Ser-46 by the ATP-dependent HPr kinase in vitro and in vivo. The S46D mutant HPr which structurally resembles seryl-phosphorylated HPr has a repressive effect on gnt expression even in the absence of a repressing sugar. By contrast, the doubly mutated H15E,S46D HPr, which resembles the doubly phosphorylated HPr because of the negative charges introduced by the mutations at both phosphorylation sites, had no such effect. In vitro assays substantiated these findings and demonstrated that in contrast to the wild-type seryl-phosphorylated HPr and the S46D mutant HPr, seryl-phosphorylated H15A mutant HPr and H15E,S46D doubly mutated HPr did not interact with CcpA. These results suggest that His-15 of HPr is important for carbon catabolite repression and that either mutation or phosphorylation at His-15 can prevent carbon catabolite repression.
By using both metabolizable and nonmetabolizable sugar substrates of the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system (PTS), we show that PTS sugar uptake into intact cells and membrane vesicles of Lactococcus lactis and Bacillus subtilis is strongly inhibited by high concentrations of any of several metabolizable PTS sugars. Inhibition requires phosphorylation of seryl residue 46 in the phosphocarrier protein of the PTS, HPr, by the metabolite-activated, ATP-dependent protein kinase. Inhibition does not occur when wild-type HPr is replaced by the S46A mutant form of this protein either in vesicles of L. lactis or B. subtilis or in intact cells of B. subtilis. Nonmetabolizable PTS sugar analogs such as 2-deoxyglucose inhibit PTS sugar uptake by a distinct mechanism that is independent of HPr(ser-P) and probably involves cellular phosphoenolpyruvate depletion.
The permeases of the Escherichia coli phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS), the sugar-specific enzymes II, are energized by sequential phosphoryl transfer from phosphoenolpyruvate to (i) enzyme I, (ii) the phosphocarrier protein HPr, (iii) the enzyme IIA domains of the permeases, and (iv) the enzyme IIBC domains of the permeases which transport and phosphorylate their sugar substrates. A number of site-specific mutants of HPr were examined by using kinetic approaches. Most of the mutations exerted minimal effects on the kinetic parameters characterizing reactions involving phosphoryl transfer from phospho-HPr to various sugars. However, when the well-conserved aspartyl 69 residue in HPr was changed to a glutamyl residue, the affinities for phospho-HPr of the enzymes II specific for mannitol, N-acetylglucosamine, and beta-glucosides decreased markedly without changing the maximal reaction rates. The same mutation reduced the spontaneous rate of phosphohistidyl HPr hydrolysis but did not appear to alter the rate of phosphoryl transfer from phospho-enzyme I to HPr. When the adjacent glutamyl residue 70 in HPr was changed to a lysyl residue, the Vmax values of the reactions catalyzed by the enzymes II were reduced, but the Km values remained unaltered. Changing this residue to alanine exerted little effect. Site-specific alterations in the C terminus of the beta-glucoside enzyme II which reduced the maximal reaction rate of phosphoryl transfer about 20-fold did not alter the relative kinetic parameters because of the aforementioned mutations in HPr. Published three-dimensional structural analyses of HPr and the complex of HPr with the glucose-specific enzyme IIA (IIAGlc) (homologous to the beta-glucoside and N-acetylglucosamine enzyme IIA domains) have revealed that residues 69 and 70 in HPr are distant from the active phosphorylation site and the IIAGlc binding interface in HPr. The results reported therefore suggest that residues D-69 and E-70 in HPr play important roles in controlling conformational aspects of HPr that influence (i) autophosphohydrolysis, (ii) the interaction of this protein with the sugar permeases of the bacterial phosphotransferase system, and (iii) catalysis of phosphoryl transfer to the IIA domains in these permeases.
Expression of a pykF-lacZ fusion was studied as a function of the carbon source in wild-type strains and strains lacking or overproducing the FruR protein of Escherichia coli. FruR controls the response to the carbon source by repressing pykF expression more strongly under gluconeogenic than under glycolytic conditions, a phenomenon we term catabolite activation.
Heterofermentative gram-positive bacteria are believed to metabolize sugars exclusively via the pentose phosphoketolase pathway following uptake via sugar:cation symport. Here we show that anaerobic growth of one such bacterium, Lactobacillus brevis, in the presence of fructose induces the synthesis of a phosphotransferase system and glycolytic enzymes that allow fructose to be metabolized via the Embden-Meyerhof pathway.
Streptococcus bovis possesses two sugar phosphate phosphatases (Pases). Pase I is a soluble enzyme that is inhibited by the membrane fractions from lactose-grown cells and is insensitive to activation by S46D HPr, an analog of HPr(ser-P) of the sugar phosphotransferase system. Pase II is a membrane-associated enzyme that can be activated 10-fold by S46D HPr, and it appears to play a role in inducer expulsion.
Lactobacillus brevis transports glucose and the nonmetabolizable glucose analog 2-deoxyglucose via a proton symport mechanism that is allosterically inhibited by the seryl-phosphorylated derivative of HPr, the small phosphocarrier protein of the phosphotransferase system. We have demonstrate that S46DHPr, a mutant analog of HPr which conformationally resembles HPr(ser-P) but not free HPr, specifically binds to membranes derived from glucose-grown L. brevis cells if and only if a substrate of the glucose permease is also present.
A total of 1,911 proteins with N-terminal methionyl residues were computer screened for potential N-terminal alpha-helices with strong amphipathic character. By the criteria of D. Eisenberg (Annu. Rev. Biochem. 53:595-623, 1984), only 3.5% of nonplastid, nonviral proteins exhibited potential N-terminal alpha-helices, 18 residues in length, with hydrophobic moment values per amino acyl residue ([muH]) in excess of 0.4. By contrast, 10% of viral proteins exhibited corresponding [muH] values in excess of 0.4. Of these viral proteins with known functions, 55% were found to interact functionally with nucleic acids, 30% were membrane-interacting proteins or their precursors, and 15% were structural proteins, primarily concerned with host cell interactions. These observations suggest that N-terminal amphipathic alpha-helices of viral proteins may (i) function in nucleic acid binding, (ii) facilitate membrane insertion, and (iii) promote host cell interactions. Analyses of potential amphipathic N-terminal alpha-helices of cellular proteins are also reported, and their significance to organellar or envelope targeting is discussed.