Three crystal structures of the molybdenum-cofactor biosynthesis protein MogA from two highly thermophilic organisms have been determined at high resolution. Comparative analyses revealed the residues involved in oligomerization. In addition, molecular-dynamics and docking studies suggested the binding affinities of several small molecules towards MogA and homologous proteins.
Molybdenum-cofactor (Moco) biosynthesis is an evolutionarily conserved pathway in almost all kingdoms of life, including humans. Two proteins, MogA and MoeA, catalyze the last step of this pathway in bacteria, whereas a single two-domain protein carries out catalysis in eukaryotes. Here, three crystal structures of the Moco-biosynthesis protein MogA from the two thermophilic organisms Thermus thermophilus (TtMogA; 1.64 Å resolution, space group P21) and Aquifex aeolicus (AaMogA; 1.70 Å resolution, space group P21 and 1.90 Å resolution, space group P1) have been determined. The functional roles and the residues involved in oligomerization of the protein molecules have been identified based on a comparative analysis of these structures with those of homologous proteins. Furthermore, functional roles have been proposed for the N- and C-terminal residues. In addition, a possible protein–protein complex of MogA and MoeA has been proposed and the residues involved in protein–protein interactions are discussed. Several invariant water molecules and those present at the subunit interfaces have been identified and their possible structural and/or functional roles are described in brief. In addition, molecular-dynamics and docking studies with several small molecules (including the substrate and the product) have been carried out in order to estimate their binding affinities towards AaMogA and TtMogA. The results obtained are further compared with those obtained for homologous eukaryotic proteins.
MogA; molybdenum-cofactor biosynthesis proteins
Structures of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase from T. thermophilus HB8 in the unliganded form, in complex with IMP and in complex with GMP are reported at 2.1, 1.9 and 2.2 Å resolution, respectively.
Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRTase), which is a key enzyme in the purine-salvage pathway, catalyzes the synthesis of IMP or GMP from α-d-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate and hypoxanthine or guanine, respectively. Structures of HGPRTase from Thermus thermophilus HB8 in the unliganded form, in complex with IMP and in complex with GMP have been determined at 2.1, 1.9 and 2.2 Å resolution, respectively. The overall fold of the IMP complex was similar to that of the unliganded form, but the main-chain and side-chain atoms of the active site moved to accommodate IMP. The overall folds of the IMP and GMP complexes were almost identical to each other. Structural comparison of the T. thermophilus HB8 enzyme with 6-oxopurine PRTases for which structures have been determined showed that these enzymes can be tentatively divided into groups I and II and that the T. thermophilus HB8 enzyme belongs to group I. The group II enzymes are characterized by an N-terminal extension with additional secondary elements and a long loop connecting the second α-helix and β-strand compared with the group I enzymes.
transferases; Rossmann fold; purine nucleotide biosynthetic pathway
SAICAR synthetase from P. horikoshii OT3 has been cloned, expressed, purified and crystallized.
The study of proteins involved in de novo biosynthesis of purine nucleotides is central in the development of antibiotics and anticancer drugs. In view of this, a protein from the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3 was isolated, purified and crystallized using the microbatch method. Its primary structure was found to be similar to that of SAICAR synthetase, which catalyses the seventh step of de novo purine biosynthesis. A diffraction-quality crystal was obtained using Hampton Research Crystal Screen II condition No. 34, consisting of 0.05 M cadmium sulfate hydrate, 0.1 M HEPES buffer pH 7.5 and 1.0 M sodium acetate trihydrate, with 40%(v/v) 1,4-butanediol as an additive. The crystal belonged to space group P31, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 95.62, c = 149.13 Å. Assuming the presence of a hexamer in the asymmetric unit resulted in a Matthews coefficient (V
M) of 2.3 Å3 Da−1, corresponding to a solvent content of about 46%. A detailed study of this protein will yield insights into structural stability at high temperatures and should be highly relevant to the development of antibiotics and anticancer drugs targeting the biosynthesis of purine nucleotides.
SAICAR synthetase; PH0239; Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3; purine biosynthesis
1,3-Propanediol dehydrogenase (Aq_1145) from A. aeolicus VF5 has been overexpressed, purified and crystallized. The crystals diffracted to 2.4 Å resolution.
1,3-Propanediol dehydrogenase is an enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of 1,3-propanediol to 3-hydroxypropanal with the simultaneous reduction of NADP+ to NADPH. SeMet-labelled 1,3-propanediol dehydrogenase protein from the hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex aeolicus VF5 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Crystals of this protein were grown from an acidic buffer with ammonium sulfate as the precipitant. Single-wavelength data were collected at the selenium peak to a resolution of 2.4 Å. The crystal belonged to space group P32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 142.19, c = 123.34 Å. The structure contained two dimers in the asymmetric unit and was solved by the MR-SAD approach.
1,3-propanediol dehydrogenase; Aquifex aeolicus VF5; Aq_1145
The structure of a protein involved in the molybdopterin and molybdenum co-factor biosynthesis pathways of Sulfolobus tokodaii has been solved to a resolution of 1.9 Å.
The structure of a probable Mo-cofactor biosynthesis protein B from Sulfolobus tokodaii, belonging to space group P6422 with unit-cell parameters a = b = 136.68, c = 210.52 Å, was solved by molecular replacement to a resolution of 1.9 Å and refined to an R factor and R
free of 16.8% and 18.5%, respectively. The asymmetric unit contains a trimer, while the biologically significant oligomer is predicted to be a hexamer by size-exclusion chromatography. The subunit structure and fold of ST2315 are similar to those of other enzymes that are known to be involved in the molybdopterin- and molybdenum cofactor-biosynthesis pathways.
ST2315; Sulfolobus tokodaii; Mo-cofactor biosynthesis protein B
The structure of the stationary phase survival protein SurE protein from the hyperthermophile Aquifex aeolicus has been solved to 1.5 Å resolution. The divalent-metal-ion-dependent phosphatase active-site pocket is occupied by sulfate ions from the crystallization medium.
SurE is a stationary-phase survival protein found in bacteria, eukaryotes and archaea that exhibits a divalent-metal-ion-dependent phosphatase activity and acts as a nucleotidase and polyphosphate phosphohydrolase. The structure of the SurE protein from the hyperthermophile Aquifex aeolicus has been solved at 1.5 Å resolution using molecular replacement with one dimer in the asymmetric unit and refined to an R factor of 15.6%. The crystal packing reveals that two dimers assemble to form a tetramer, although gel-filtration chromatography showed the presence of only a dimer in solution. The phosphatase active-site pocket was occupied by sulfate ions from the crystallization medium.
SurE; Aquifex aeolicus; stationary-phase survival
The structure of a putative β-phosphoglucomutase from Thermotoga maritima belonging to the haloacid dehalogenase (HAD) hydrolase family has been determined to 1.74 Å resolution.
The structure of TM1254, a putative β-phosphoglucomutase from T. maritima, was determined to 1.74 Å resolution in a high-throughput structural genomics programme. Diffraction data were obtained from crystals belonging to space group P22121, with unit-cell parameters a = 48.16, b = 66.70, c = 83.80 Å, and were refined to an R factor of 19.2%. The asymmetric unit contained one protein molecule which is comprised of two domains. Structural homologues were found from protein databases that confirmed a strong resemblance between TM1254 and members of the haloacid dehalogenase (HAD) hydrolase family.
β-phosphoglucomutase; Thermotoga maritima
The structure of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Methanocaldococcus jannaschii was determined to 1.81 Å resolution with the NADP+ cofactor at the nucleotide binding site.
The X-ray crystal structure of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (Mj-GAPDH) was determined to 1.81 Å resolution. The crystal belonged to space group C2221, with unit-cell parameters a = 83.4, b = 152.0, c = 118.6 Å. The structure was solved by molecular replacement and was refined to a final R factor of 17.1% (R
free = 19.8%). The final structure included the cofactor NADP+ at the nucleotide-binding site and featured unoccupied inorganic and substrate phosphate-binding sites. A comparison with GAPDH structures from mesophilic sources suggested that Mj-GAPDH is stabilized by extensive electrostatic interactions between the C-terminal α-helices and various distal loop regions, which are likely to contribute to thermal stability. The key phosphate-binding residues in the active site of Mj-GAPDH are conserved in other archaeal GAPDH proteins. These residues undergo a conformational shift in response to occupancy of the inorganic phosphate site.
GAPDH; Methanocaldococcus jannaschii; glycolysis; gluconeogenesis; hyperthermophiles
The first crystal structure of 4-methyl-5-β-hydroxyethylthiazole kinase from an archaeon (P. horikoshii OT3) has been determined at 1.85 Å resolution. Comparative analyses of sequences and structures and modelling studies are presented.
4-Methyl-5-β-hydroxyethylthiazole kinase (ThiK) catalyses the phosphorylation of the hydroxyl group of 4-methyl-5-β-hydroxyethylthiazole. This work reports the first crystal structure of an archaeal ThiK: that from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3 (PhThiK) at 1.85 Å resolution with a phosphate ion occupying the position of the β-phosphate of the nucleotide. The topology of this enzyme shows the typical ribokinase fold of an α/β protein. The overall structure of PhThiK is similar to those of Bacillus subtilis ThiK (BsThiK) and Enterococcus faecalis V583 ThiK (EfThiK). Sequence analysis of ThiK enzymes from various sources indicated that three-quarters of the residues involved in interfacial regions are conserved. It also revealed that the amino-acid residues in the nucleotide-binding, magnesium ion-binding and substrate-binding sites are conserved. Binding of the nucleotide and substrate to the ThiK enzyme do not influence the quaternary association (trimer) as revealed by the crystal structure of PhThiK.
4-methyl-5-β-hydroxyethylthiazole kinase; Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3; molecular modelling
The putative ABC transporter ATP-binding protein TM0222 from T. maritima was cloned, overproduced, purified and crystallized. A complete MAD diffraction data set has been collected to 2.3 Å resolution.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) binding cassette transporters (ABC transporters) are ATP hydrolysis-dependent transmembrane transporters. Here, the overproduction, purification and crystallization of the putative ABC transporter ATP-binding protein TM0222 from Thermotoga maritima are reported. The protein was crystallized in the hexagonal space group P6422, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 148.49, c = 106.96 Å, γ = 120.0°. Assuming the presence of two molecules in the asymmetric unit, the calculated V
M is 2.84 Å3 Da−1, which corresponds to a solvent content of 56.6%. A three-wavelength MAD data set was collected to 2.3 Å resolution from SeMet-substituted TM0222 crystals. Data sets were collected on the BL38B1 beamline at SPring-8, Japan.
ATP-binding proteins; transmembrane transporters; Thermotoga maritima; MAD data
Three conventional robots were subjected to a crystallization screening test involving 18 proteins from T. thermophilus HB8 using the sitting- and hanging-drop vapour-diffusion and microbatch methods. The number of diffraction-quality crystals and the amount of time required to obtain visible crystals depended greatly on the robots used. The combined use of different robots, especially for protein samples exhibiting low crystallization success rates, significantly increased the chance of obtaining diffraction-quality crystals.
It was essential for the structural genomics of Thermus thermophilus HB8 to efficiently crystallize a number of proteins. To this end, three conventional robots, an HTS-80 (sitting-drop vapour diffusion), a Crystal Finder (hanging-drop vapour diffusion) and a TERA (modified microbatch) robot, were subjected to a crystallization condition screening test involving 18 proteins from T. thermophilus HB8. In addition, a TOPAZ (microfluidic free-interface diffusion) designed specifically for initial screening was also briefly examined. The number of diffraction-quality crystals and the time of appearance of crystals increased in the order HTS-80, Crystal Finder, TERA. With the HTS-80 and Crystal Finder, the time of appearance was short and the rate of salt crystallization was low. With the TERA, the number of diffraction-quality crystals was high, while the time of appearance was long and the rate of salt crystallization was relatively high. For the protein samples exhibiting low crystallization success rates, there were few crystallization conditions that were common to the robots used. In some cases, the success rate depended greatly on the robot used. The TOPAZ showed the shortest time of appearance and the highest success rate, although the crystals obtained were too small for diffraction studies. These results showed that the combined use of different robots significantly increases the chance of obtaining crystals, especially for proteins exhibiting low crystallization success rates. The structures of 360 of 944 purified proteins have been successfully determined through the combined use of an HTS-80 and a TERA.
protein crystallization; crystallization screening; crystallization success rates
The ribosomal protein (L30e) from M. jannaschii was cloned from the gene MJ1044, expressed, purified and crystallized. The crystal belongs to the primitive tetragonal space group P43 and diffracted to 1.9 Å resolution.
In view of the biological significance of understanding the ribosomal machinery of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the L30e ribosomal protein from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii was cloned, overexpressed, purified and crystallized using the microbatch-under-oil method with the crystallization conditions 40% PEG 400, 0.1 M MES pH 6.0 and 5% PEG 3000 at 291 K. A diffraction-quality crystal (0.20 × 0.20 × 0.35 mm) was obtained that belonged to the primitive tetragonal space group P43, with unit-cell parameters a = 46.1, b = 46.1, c = 98.5 Å, and diffracted to a resolution of 1.9 Å. Preliminary calculations reveal that the asymmetric unit contains two monomers with a Matthews coefficient (V
M) of 2.16 Å3 Da−1.
ribosomal machinery; thermostability
A putative member of the Lrp/AsnC family of transcriptional regulators, ST1022 from S. tokodaii strain 7, has been purified and crystallized in the absence and presence of the effector l-glutamine. A molecular-replacement solution was found using the FL11 transcriptional regulator from Pyrococcus sp. OT3 as a model and structural refinement is under way.
The Lrp/AsnC family of transcriptional regulators, also known as feast/famine transcriptional regulators, are widely distributed among bacteria and archaea. This family of proteins are likely to be involved in cellular metabolism, with exogenous amino acids functioning as effectors. Here, the crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of ST1022, a member of the Lrp/AsnC family of proteins, is reported with and without exogenous glutamine as the effector molecule. The crystals of native ST1022 and of the putative complex belong to the tetragonal space group I422, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 103.771, c = 73.297 Å and a = b = 103.846, c = 73.992 Å, respectively. Preliminary X-ray diffraction data analysis and molecular-replacement solution revealed the presence of one monomer per asymmetric unit.
ST1022; Lrp/AsnC family; feast/famine transcription regulators; glutamine; Sulfolobus tokodaii
The glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) protein from T. thermophilus HB8 was cloned, expressed, purified and crystallized. GDH crystals belong to space group P21 and diffract to 1.9 Å resolution.
Thermus thermophilus is an aerobic chemoorganotroph that has been found to grow anaerobically in the presence of nitrate. Crystals of glucose dehydrogenase (GDH) from T. thermophilus HB8 belong to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 36.90, b = 132.96, c = 60.78 Å, β = 97.2°. Preliminary studies and molecular-replacement calculations reveal that the asymmetric unit contains two monomers.
chemoorganotrophs; putative oxidoreductase; thermophilic enzymes
The molybdopterin synthase from T. thermophilus HB8 was cloned, expressed, purified and crystallized. The crystals belong to space group P21 and diffracted to a resolution of 1.64 Å.
Thermus thermophilus is a Gram-negative aerobic thermophilic eubacterium which can grow at temperatures ranging from 323 to 355 K. In addition to their importance in thermostability or adaptation strategies for survival at high temperatures, the thermostable enzymes in thermophilic organisms contribute to a wide range of biotechnological applications. The molybdenum cofactor in all three kingdoms consists of a tricyclic pyranopterin termed molybdopterin that bears the cis-dithiolene group responsible for molybdenum ligation. The crystals of molybdopterin synthase from T. thermophilus HB8 belong to the primitive monoclinic space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 33.94, b = 103.32, c = 59.59 Å, β = 101.3°. Preliminary studies and molecular-replacement calculations reveal the presence of three monomers in the asymmetric unit.
thermophilic eubacteria; molybdenum cofactor; MPT biosynthesis
The crystal structure of the hypothetical protein TTHA0281 from T. thermophilus HB8 has been determined at 1.9 Å resolution. The TTHA0281 protein forms a homotetramer in which each monomer adopts an α-β-β-β-α fold.
TTHA0281 is a hypothetical protein from Thermus thermophilus HB8 that belongs to an uncharacterized protein family, UPF0150, in the Pfam database and to COG1598 in the National Center for Biotechnology Information Database of Clusters of Orthologous Groups. The X-ray crystal structure of the protein was determined by a multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion technique and was refined at 1.9 Å resolution to a final R factor of 18.5%. The TTHA0281 monomer adopts an α-β-β-β-α fold and forms a homotetramer. Based on the properties and functions of structural homologues of the TTHA0281 monomer, the TTHA0281 protein is speculated to be involved in RNA metabolism, including RNA binding and cleavage.
α-β-β-β-α fold; COG1598; hypothetical protein; Thermus thermophilus; UPF0150
DHNA synthetase from G. kaustophilus has been cloned, expressed, purified and crystallized.
The aerobic Gram-positive bacterium Geobacillus kaustophilus is a bacillus species that was isolated from deep-sea sediment from the Mariana Trench. 1,4-Dihydroxy-2-naphthoate (DHNA) synthetase plays a vital role in the biosynthesis of menaquinone (vitamin K2) in this bacterium. DHNA synthetase from Geobacillus kaustophilus was crystallized in the orthorhombic space group C2221, with unit-cell parameters a = 77.01, b = 130.66, c = 131.69 Å. The crystal diffracted to a resolution of 2.2 Å. Preliminary studies and molecular-replacement calculations reveal the presence of three monomers in the asymmetric unit.
thermophilic microorganisms; vitamin K2; Geobacillus kaustophilus
The molybdenum-cofactor biosynthesis protein C from T. thermophilus has been crystallized in two different space groups, P21 and R32; the crystals diffracted to 1.9 and 1.75 Å resolution, respectively.
The Gram-negative aerobic eubacterium Thermus thermophilus is an extremely important thermophilic microorganism that was originally isolated from a thermal vent environment in Japan. The molybdenum cofactor in this organism is considered to be an essential component required by enzymes that catalyze diverse key reactions in the global metabolism of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. The molybdenum-cofactor biosynthesis protein C derived from T. thermophilus was crystallized in two different space groups. Crystals obtained using the first crystallization condition belong to the monoclinic space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 64.81, b = 109.84, c = 115.19 Å, β = 104.9°; the crystal diffracted to a resolution of 1.9 Å. The other crystal form belonged to space group R32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 106.57, c = 59.25 Å, and diffracted to 1.75 Å resolution. Preliminary calculations reveal that the asymmetric unit contains 12 monomers and one monomer for the crystals belonging to space group P21 and R32, respectively.
thermophilic microorganisms; Thermus thermophilus; molybdenum-cofactor biosynthesis; MoaC
The crystal structure of the stand-alone RAM domain from T. thermophilus HB8 has been determined at 2.4 Å resolution. The structure revealed that five dimers are arranged to form a ring.
The stand-alone RAM (regulation of amino-acid metabolism) domain protein SraA from Thermus thermophilus HB8 (TTHA0845) was crystallized in the presence of zinc ions. The X-ray crystal structure was determined using a multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion technique and was refined at 2.4 Å resolution to a final R factor of 25.0%. The monomeric structure is a βαββαβ fold and it dimerizes mainly through interactions between the antiparallel β-sheets. Furthermore, five SraA dimers form a ring with external and internal diameters of 70 and 20 Å, respectively. This decameric structure is unique compared with the octameric and dodecameric structures found for other stand-alone RAM-domain proteins and the C-terminal RAM domains of Lrp/AsnC-family proteins.
demi-FFRP; feast/famine regulatory protein; Lrp/AsnC family; RAM domain; Thermus thermophilus
An erratum to the paper by Inagaki et al. [(2006), Acta Cryst. F62, 169–171].
An error is corrected in the paper by Inagaki et al. [(2006), Acta Cryst. F62, 169–171].
galactokinase; Leloir pathway; glycolysis; Pyrococcus horikoshii
Galactokinase from P. horikoshii has been crystallized in both the apo form and as a ternary complex with α-d-galactose and an ATP analogue. The crystals were characterized by X-ray diffraction. The kinetic parameters of the enzyme were determined.
Galactokinase (EC 22.214.171.124) catalyzes the ATP-dependent phosphorylation of α-d-galactose to α-d-galactose-1-phosphate, in an additional metabolic branch of glycolysis. The apo-form crystal structure of the enzyme has not yet been elucidated. Crystals of galactokinase from Pyrococcus horikoshii were prepared in both the apo form and as a ternary complex with α-d-galactose and an ATP analogue. Diffraction data sets were collected to 1.24 Å resolution for the apo form and to 1.7 Å for the ternary complex form using synchrotron radiation. The apo-form crystals belong to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 108.08, b = 38.91, c = 81.57 Å, β = 109.8°. The ternary complex form was isomorphous with the apo form, except for the length of the a axis. The galactokinase activity of the enzyme was confirmed and the kinetic parameters at 323 K were determined.
galactokinase; Leloir pathway; glycolysis; Pyrococcus horikoshii