Identification of residue-residue contacts from primary sequence can be used to guide protein structure prediction. Using Escherichia coli CcdB as the test case, we describe an experimental method termed saturation-suppressor mutagenesis to acquire residue contact information. In this methodology, for each of five inactive CcdB mutants, exhaustive screens for suppressors were performed. Proximal suppressors were accurately discriminated from distal suppressors based on their phenotypes when present as single mutants. Experimentally identified putative proximal pairs formed spatial constraints to recover >98% of native-like models of CcdB from a decoy dataset. Suppressor methodology was also applied to the integral membrane protein, diacylglycerol kinase A where the structures determined by X-ray crystallography and NMR were significantly different. Suppressor as well as sequence co-variation data clearly point to the X-ray structure being the functional one adopted in-vivo. The methodology is applicable to any macromolecular system for which a convenient phenotypic assay exists.
- John Kuriyan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2015, Sahoo et al.
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We report the real-time response of Escherichia coli to lactoferricin-derived antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) on length scales bridging microscopic cell sizes to nanoscopic lipid packing using millisecond time-resolved synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering. Coupling a multiscale scattering data analysis to biophysical assays for peptide partitioning revealed that the AMPs rapidly permeabilize the cytosolic membrane within less than 3 s—much faster than previously considered. Final intracellular AMP concentrations of ∼80–100 mM suggest an efficient obstruction of physiologically important processes as the primary cause of bacterial killing. On the other hand, damage of the cell envelope and leakage occurred also at sublethal peptide concentrations, thus emerging as a collateral effect of AMP activity that does not kill the bacteria. This implies that the impairment of the membrane barrier is a necessary but not sufficient condition for microbial killing by lactoferricins. The most efficient AMP studied exceeds others in both speed of permeabilizing membranes and lowest intracellular peptide concentration needed to inhibit bacterial growth.
Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) holoenzymes target broad substrates by recognizing short motifs via regulatory subunits. PP2A methylesterase 1 (PME-1) is a cancer-promoting enzyme and undergoes methylesterase activation upon binding to the PP2A core enzyme. Here we showed that PME-1 readily demethylates different families of PP2A holoenzymes and blocks substrate recognition in vitro. The high-resolution cryo-EM structure of a PP2A-B56 holoenzyme-PME-1 complex reveals that PME-1 disordered regions, including a substrate-mimicking motif, tether to the B56 regulatory subunit at remote sites. They occupy the holoenzyme substrate-binding groove and allow large structural shifts in both holoenzyme and PME-1 to enable multi-partite contacts at structured cores to activate the methylesterase. B56-interface mutations selectively block PME-1 activity toward PP2A-B56 holoenzymes and affect the methylation of a fraction of total cellular PP2A. The B56-interface mutations allow us to uncover B56-specific PME-1 functions in p53 signaling. Our studies reveal multiple mechanisms of PME-1 in suppressing holoenzyme functions and versatile PME-1 activities derived from coupling substrate-mimicking motifs to dynamic structured cores.