Insights into the ubiquitin transfer cascade catalyzed by the Legionella effector SidC
The causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, Legionella pneumophila, delivers more than 330 virulent effectors to its host to establish an intracellular membrane-bound organelle called the Legionella containing vacuole. Among the army of Legionella effectors, SidC and its paralog SdcA have been identified as novel bacterial ubiquitin (Ub) E3 ligases. To gain insight into the molecular mechanism of SidC/SdcA as Ub ligases, we determined the crystal structures of a binary complex of the N-terminal catalytic SNL domain of SdcA with its cognate E2 UbcH5C and a ternary complex consisting of the SNL domain of SidC with the Ub-linked E2 UbcH7. These two structures reveal the molecular determinants governing the Ub transfer cascade catalyzed by SidC. Together, our data support a common mechanism in the Ub transfer cascade in which the donor Ub is immobilized with its C-terminal tail locked in an extended conformation, priming the donor Ub for catalysis.
Atomic coordinates and structure factors for the reported structures have been deposited into the Protein Data Bank under the accession codes 6CP0 (SdcA-UbcH5C), 6CP2 (SidC-UbcH7~Ub)
structure for SdcA-UbcH5CPublicly available at the RCSB Protein Data Bank (accession no. 6CP0).
structure for SidC-UbcH7~UbPublicly available at the RCSB Protein Data Bank (accession no. 6CP2).
Article and author information
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (5R01GM116964)
- Yuxin Mao
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Cynthia Wolberger, Johns Hopkins University, United States
- Received: February 23, 2018
- Accepted: July 16, 2018
- Accepted Manuscript published: July 17, 2018 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: July 27, 2018 (version 2)
© 2018, Wasilko et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
- Page views
Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, PubMed Central, Scopus.
Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)
Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)
Cite this article (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)
- Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
The mono-ubiquitination of the histone protein H2B (H2Bub1) is a highly conserved histone post-translational modification that plays critical roles in many fundamental processes. In yeast, this modification is catalyzed by the conserved Bre1–Rad6 complex. Bre1 contains a unique N-terminal Rad6-binding domain (RBD), how it interacts with Rad6 and contributes to the H2Bub1 catalysis is unclear. Here, we present crystal structure of the Bre1 RBD–Rad6 complex and structure-guided functional studies. Our structure provides a detailed picture of the interaction between the dimeric Bre1 RBD and a single Rad6 molecule. We further found that the interaction stimulates Rad6’s enzymatic activity by allosterically increasing its active site accessibility and likely contribute to the H2Bub1 catalysis through additional mechanisms. In line with these important functions, we found that the interaction is crucial for multiple H2Bub1-regulated processes. Our study provides molecular insights into the H2Bub1 catalysis.
- Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
Respiratory complex I is a proton-pumping oxidoreductase key to bioenergetic metabolism. Biochemical studies have found a divide in the behavior of complex I in metazoans that aligns with the evolutionary split between Protostomia and Deuterostomia. Complex I from Deuterostomia including mammals can adopt a biochemically defined off-pathway ‘deactive’ state, whereas complex I from Protostomia cannot. The presence of off-pathway states complicates the interpretation of structural results and has led to considerable mechanistic debate. Here, we report the structure of mitochondrial complex I from the thoracic muscles of the model protostome Drosophila melanogaster. We show that although D. melanogaster complex I (Dm-CI) does not have a NEM-sensitive deactive state, it does show slow activation kinetics indicative of an off-pathway resting state. The resting-state structure of Dm-CI from the thoracic muscle reveals multiple conformations. We identify a helix-locked state in which an N-terminal α-helix on the NDUFS4 subunit wedges between the peripheral and membrane arms. Comparison of the Dm-CI structure and conformational states to those observed in bacteria, yeast, and mammals provides insight into the roles of subunits across organisms, explains why the Dm-CI off-pathway resting state is NEM insensitive, and raises questions regarding current mechanistic models of complex I turnover.