The PRC2 (Polycomb repressive complex 2) complex is a multi-component histone H3K27 methyltransferase, best known for silencing Hox genes during embryonic development. The Polycomb-like proteins PHF1, MTF2 and PHF19 are critical components of PRC2 by stimulating its catalytic activity in embryonic stem (ES) cells. The Tudor domains of PHF1/19 have been previously shown to be readers of H3K36me3 in vitro. However, some other studies suggest that PHF1 and PHF19 co-localize with the H3K27me3 mark, but not H3K36me3 in cells. Here, we provide further evidence that PHF1 co-localizes with H3t in testis, and its Tudor domain preferentially binds to H3tK27me3 over canonical H3K27me3 in vitro. Our complex structures of the Tudor domains of PHF1 and PHF19 with H3tK27me3 shed light on the molecular basis for preferential recognition of H3tK27me3 by PHF1 and PHF19 over canonical H3K27me3, implicating that H3tK27me3 might be a physiological ligand of PHF1/19.
Diffraction data have been deposited in PDB under the accession codes 6WAT, 6WAU, 6WAV
Complex structure of PHF1Protein Data Bank, 6WAT.
Complex structure of PHF19Protein Data Bank, 6WAU.
Crystal structure of PHF1 in complex with H3K36me3 substitutionProtein Data Bank, 6WAV.
- Cheng Dong
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Xiaobing Shi, Van Andel Institute, United States
© 2020, Dong 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.
The seventh pandemic of the diarrheal cholera disease, which began in 1960, is caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Its environmental persistence provoking recurring sudden outbreaks is enabled by V. cholerae's rapid adaption to changing environments involving sensory proteins like ToxR and ToxS. Located at the inner membrane, ToxR and ToxS react to environmental stimuli like bile acid, thereby inducing survival strategies e.g. bile resistance and virulence regulation. The presented crystal structure of the sensory domains of ToxR and ToxS in combination with multiple bile acid interaction studies, reveals that a bile binding pocket of ToxS is only properly folded upon binding to ToxR. Our data proposes an interdependent functionality between ToxR transcriptional activity and ToxS sensory function. These findings support the previously suggested link between ToxRS and VtrAC-like co-component systems. Besides VtrAC, ToxRS is now the only experimentally determined structure within this recently defined superfamily, further emphasizing its significance. In-depth analysis of the ToxRS complex reveals its remarkable conservation across various Vibrio species, underlining the significance of conserved residues in the ToxS barrel and the more diverse ToxR sensory domain. Unravelling the intricate mechanisms governing ToxRS's environmental sensing capabilities, provides a promising tool for disruption of this vital interaction, ultimately inhibiting Vibrio's survival and virulence. Our findings hold far-reaching implications for all Vibrio strains that rely on the ToxRS system as a shared sensory cornerstone for adapting to their surroundings.
The transcriptional regulator SsrB acts as a switch between virulent and biofilm lifestyles of non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. During infection, phosphorylated SsrB activates genes on Salmonella Pathogenicity Island-2 (SPI-2) essential for survival and replication within the macrophage. Low pH inside the vacuole is a key inducer of expression and SsrB activation. Previous studies demonstrated an increase in SsrB protein levels and DNA-binding affinity at low pH; the molecular basis was unknown (Liew et al., 2019). This study elucidates its underlying mechanism and in vivo significance. Employing single-molecule and transcriptional assays, we report that the SsrB DNA-binding domain alone (SsrBc) is insufficient to induce acid pH-sensitivity. Instead, His12, a conserved residue in the receiver domain confers pH sensitivity to SsrB allosterically. Acid-dependent DNA binding was highly cooperative, suggesting a new configuration of SsrB oligomers at SPI-2-dependent promoters. His12 also plays a role in SsrB phosphorylation; substituting His12 reduced phosphorylation at neutral pH and abolished pH-dependent differences. Failure to flip the switch in SsrB renders Salmonella avirulent and represents a potential means of controlling virulence.