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See detailCrystal structure of a complex between the Actinomadura R39 DD-peptidase and a peptidoglycan-mimetic boronate inhibitor: interpretation of a transition state analogue in terms of catalytic mechanism.
Dzhekieva, Liudmila; Rocaboy, Mathieu ULg; Kerff, Frédéric ULg et al

in Biochemistry (2010), 49(30), 6411-9

The Actinomadura R39 DD-peptidase is a bacterial low molecular weight class C penicillin-binding protein. It has previously been shown to catalyze hydrolysis and aminolysis of small D-alanyl-D-alanine ... [more ▼]

The Actinomadura R39 DD-peptidase is a bacterial low molecular weight class C penicillin-binding protein. It has previously been shown to catalyze hydrolysis and aminolysis of small D-alanyl-D-alanine terminating peptides, especially those with a side chain that mimics the amino terminus of the stem peptide precursor to the bacterial cell wall. This paper describes the synthesis of (D-alpha-aminopimelylamino)-D-1-ethylboronic acid, designed to be a peptidoglycan-mimetic transition state analogue inhibitor of the R39 DD-peptidase. The boronate was found to be a potent inhibitor of the peptidase with a K(i) value of 32 +/- 6 nM. Since it binds some 30 times more strongly than the analogous peptide substrate, the boronate may well be a transition state analogue. A crystal structure of the inhibitory complex shows the boronate covalently bound to the nucleophilic active site Ser 49. The aminopimelyl side chain is bound into the site previously identified as specific for this moiety. One boronate oxygen is held in the oxyanion hole; the other, occupying the leaving group site of acylation or the nucleophile site of deacylation, appears to be hydrogen-bonded to the hydroxyl group of Ser 298. The Ser 49 oxygen appears to be hydrogen bonded to Lys 52. If it is assumed that this structure does resemble a high-energy tetrahedral intermediate in catalysis, it seems likely that Ser 298 participates as part of a proton transfer chain initiated by Lys 52 or Lys 410 as the primary proton donor/acceptor. The structure, therefore, supports a particular class of mechanism that employs this proton transfer device. [less ▲]

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See detailRole of changes in the L3 loop of the active site in the evolution of enzymatic activity of VIM-type metallo-beta-lactamases.
Merino, Maria; Perez-Llarena, Francisco J; Kerff, Frédéric ULg et al

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (2010), 65(9), 1950-4

OBJECTIVES: The new metallo-beta-lactamase VIM-13 has been recently characterized. In comparison with the VIM-1 enzyme, VIM-13 showed 19 amino acid differences, 2 of which were located in the active site ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: The new metallo-beta-lactamase VIM-13 has been recently characterized. In comparison with the VIM-1 enzyme, VIM-13 showed 19 amino acid differences, 2 of which were located in the active site centre. The main objective of the present study was to assess whether differences between VIM-1 and VIM-13 beta-lactamases in the active site, at His224Leu and Ser228Arg, are necessary and sufficient to explain the microbiological and biochemical differences between the two enzymes. METHODS: Single mutants VIM-13 (Leu224His) and VIM-13 (Arg228Ser) and double mutant VIM-13 (Leu224His, Arg228Ser) were created by site-directed mutagenesis with the bla(VIM-13) gene as template. VIM-1, VIM-13 and VIM-13 (Leu224His, Arg228Ser) were purified by affinity chromatography, and kinetic parameters for these enzymes were obtained with ceftazidime, cefepime and ampicillin. RESULTS: Ceftazidime and cefepime MICs (mg/L) for Escherichia coli TG1 expressing VIM-1, VIM-13, VIM-13 (Leu224His), VIM-13 (Arg228Ser) and VIM-13 (Leu224His, Arg228Ser) were >256 and 64, 6 and 4, 8 and 1, >256 and 8, and >256 and 48, respectively. VIM-1, VIM-13 and VIM-13 (Leu224His, Arg228Ser) revealed k(cat)/K(m) values (M(-1)s(-1)) for ceftazidime of 3.7 E(4), 1.9 E(4) and 10 E(4), respectively, and revealed k(cat)/K(m) values for cefepime of 3.5 E(5), 3 E(4) and 1.5 E(5), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the results showed that the two residues located in the L3 loop are sufficient to confer the substrate specificity of each enzyme, thus highlighting the importance of the L3 loop of the active site in the evolution of VIM-type metallo-beta-lactamases. [less ▲]

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See detailStructural basis of the inhibition of class A beta-lactamases and penicillin-binding proteins by 6-beta-iodopenicillanate
Sauvage, Eric ULg; Zervosen, Astrid ULg; Dive, Georges ULg et al

in Journal of the American Chemical Society (2009), 131(42), 15262-15269

6-Beta-halogenopenicillanates are powerful, irreversible inhibitors of various beta-lactamases and penicillin-binding proteins. Upon acylation of these enzymes, the inhibitors are thought to undergo a ... [more ▼]

6-Beta-halogenopenicillanates are powerful, irreversible inhibitors of various beta-lactamases and penicillin-binding proteins. Upon acylation of these enzymes, the inhibitors are thought to undergo a structural rearrangement associated with the departure of the iodide and formation of a dihydrothiazine ring, but, to date, no structural evidence has proven this. 6-Beta-iodopenicillanic acid (BIP) is shown here to be an active antibiotic against various bacterial strains and an effective inhibitor of the class A beta-lactamase of Bacillus subtilis BS3 (BS3) and the D,D-peptidase of Actinomadura R39 (R39). Crystals of BS3 and of R39 were soaked with a solution of BIP and their structures solved at 1.65 and 2.2 A, respectively. The beta-lactam and the thiazolidine rings of BIP are indeed found to be fused into a dihydrothiazine ring that can adopt two stable conformations at these active sites. The rearranged BIP is observed in one conformation in the BS3 active site and in two monomers of the asymmetric unit of R39, and is observed in the other conformation in the other two monomers of the asymmetric unit of R39. The BS3 structure reveals a new mode of carboxylate interaction with a class A beta-lactamase active site that should be of interest in future inhibitor design. [less ▲]

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See detailCritical role of tryptophan 154 for the activity and stability of class D beta-lactamases.
Baurin, Stephane; Vercheval, Lionel ULg; Bouillenne, Fabrice ULg et al

in Biochemistry (2009), 48(47), 11252-63

The catalytic efficiency of the class D beta-lactamase OXA-10 depends critically on an unusual carboxylated lysine as the general base residue for both the enzyme acylation and deacylation steps of ... [more ▼]

The catalytic efficiency of the class D beta-lactamase OXA-10 depends critically on an unusual carboxylated lysine as the general base residue for both the enzyme acylation and deacylation steps of catalysis. Evidence is presented that the interaction between the indole group of Trp154 and the carboxylated lysine is essential for the stability of the posttranslationally modified Lys70. Substitution of Trp154 by Gly, Ala, or Phe yielded noncarboxylated enzymes which displayed poor catalytic efficiencies and reduced stability when compared to the wild-type OXA-10. The W154H mutant was partially carboxylated. In addition, the maximum values of k(cat) and k(cat)/K(M) were shifted toward pH 7, indicating that the carboxylation state of Lys70 is dependent on the protonation level of the histidine. A comparison of the three-dimensional structures of the different proteins also indicated that the Trp154 mutations did not modify the overall structures of OXA-10 but induced an increased flexibility of the Omega-loop in the active site. Finally, the deacylation-impaired W154A mutant was used to determine the structure of the acyl-enzyme complex with benzylpenicillin. These results indicate a role of the Lys70 carboxylation during the deacylation step and emphasize the importance of Trp154 for the ideal positioning of active site residues leading to an optimum activity. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Penicillin-Binding Proteins: Structure and Role in Peptidoglycan Biosynthesis
Sauvage, Eric ULg; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Terrak, Mohammed ULg et al

in FEMS Microbiology Reviews (2008), 32(2), 234-58

Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) have been scrutinized for over 40 years. Recent structural information on PBPs together with the ongoing long-term biochemical experimental investigations, and results ... [more ▼]

Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) have been scrutinized for over 40 years. Recent structural information on PBPs together with the ongoing long-term biochemical experimental investigations, and results from more recent techniques such as protein localization by green fluorescent protein-fusion immunofluorescence or double-hybrid assay, have brought our understanding of the last stages of the peptidoglycan biosynthesis to an outstanding level that allows a broad outlook on the properties of these enzymes. Details are emerging regarding the interaction between the peptidoglycan-synthesizing PBPs and the peptidoglycan, their mesh net-like product that surrounds and protects bacteria. This review focuses on the detailed structure of PBPs and their implication in peptidoglycan synthesis, maturation and recycling. An overview of the content in PBPs of some bacteria is provided with an emphasis on comparing the biochemical properties of homologous PBPs (orthologues) belonging to different bacteria. [less ▲]

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See detailCrystal structure of a cold-adapted class C beta-lactamase.
Michaux, Catherine; Massant, Jan; Kerff, Frédéric ULg et al

in FEBS Journal (2008), 275(8), 1687-97

In this study, the crystal structure of a class C beta-lactamase from a psychrophilic organism, Pseudomonas fluorescens, has been refined to 2.2 A resolution. It is one of the few solved crystal ... [more ▼]

In this study, the crystal structure of a class C beta-lactamase from a psychrophilic organism, Pseudomonas fluorescens, has been refined to 2.2 A resolution. It is one of the few solved crystal structures of psychrophilic proteins. The structure was compared with those of homologous mesophilic enzymes and of another, modeled, psychrophilic protein. The elucidation of the 3D structure of this enzyme provides additional insights into the features involved in cold adaptation. Structure comparison of the psychrophilic and mesophilic beta-lactamases shows that electrostatics seems to play a major role in low-temperature adaptation, with a lower total number of ionic interactions for cold enzymes. The psychrophilic enzymes are also characterized by a decreased number of hydrogen bonds, a lower content of prolines, and a lower percentage of arginines in comparison with lysines. All these features make the structure more flexible so that the enzyme can behave as an efficient catalyst at low temperatures. [less ▲]

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See detailCrystal structure and activity of Bacillus subtilis YoaJ (EXLX1), a bacterial expansin that promotes root colonization.
Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Amoroso, Ana Maria ULg; Herman, Raphaël ULg et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2008), 105(44), 16876-81

We solved the crystal structure of a secreted protein, EXLX1, encoded by the yoaJ gene of Bacillus subtilis. Its structure is remarkably similar to that of plant beta-expansins (group 1 grass pollen ... [more ▼]

We solved the crystal structure of a secreted protein, EXLX1, encoded by the yoaJ gene of Bacillus subtilis. Its structure is remarkably similar to that of plant beta-expansins (group 1 grass pollen allergens), consisting of 2 tightly packed domains (D1, D2) with a potential polysaccharide-binding surface spanning the 2 domains. Domain D1 has a double-psi beta-barrel fold with partial conservation of the catalytic site found in family 45 glycosyl hydrolases and in the MltA family of lytic transglycosylases. Domain D2 has an Ig-like fold similar to group 2/3 grass pollen allergens, with structural features similar to a type A carbohydrate-binding domain. EXLX1 bound to plant cell walls, cellulose, and peptidoglycan, but it lacked lytic activity against a variety of plant cell wall polysaccharides and peptidoglycan. EXLX1 promoted plant cell wall extension similar to, but 10 times weaker than, plant beta-expansins, which synergistically enhanced EXLX1 activity. Deletion of the gene encoding EXLX1 did not affect growth or peptidoglycan composition of B. subtilis in liquid medium, but slowed lysis upon osmotic shock and greatly reduced the ability of the bacterium to colonize maize roots. The presence of EXLX1 homologs in a small but diverse set of plant pathogens further supports a role in plant-bacterial interactions. Because plant expansins have proved difficult to express in active form in heterologous systems, the discovery of a bacterial homolog opens the door for detailed structural studies of expansin function. [less ▲]

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See detailMutational analysis of the zinc- and substrate-binding sites in the CphA metallo-beta-lactamase from Aeromonas hydrophila.
Bebrone, Carine ULg; Anne, Christine; Kerff, Frédéric ULg et al

in Biochemical Journal (2008), 414(1), 151-9

The subclass B2 CphA (Carbapenemase hydrolysing Aeromonas) beta-lactamase from Aeromonas hydrophila is a Zn(2+)-containing enzyme that specifically hydrolyses carbapenems. In an effort to evaluate ... [more ▼]

The subclass B2 CphA (Carbapenemase hydrolysing Aeromonas) beta-lactamase from Aeromonas hydrophila is a Zn(2+)-containing enzyme that specifically hydrolyses carbapenems. In an effort to evaluate residues potentially involved in metal binding and/or catalysis (His(118), Asp(120), His(196) and His(263)) and in substrate specificity (Val(67), Thr(157), Lys(224) and Lys(226)), site-directed mutants of CphA were generated and characterized. Our results confirm that the first zinc ion is in interaction with Asp(120) and His(263), and thus is located in the 'cysteine' zinc-binding site. His(118) and His(196) residues seem to be interacting with the second zinc ion, as their replacement by alanine residues has a negative effect on the affinity for this second metal ion. Val(67) plays a significant role in the binding of biapenem and benzylpenicillin. The properties of a mutant with a five residue (LFKHV) insertion just after Val(67) also reveals the importance of this region for substrate binding. This latter mutant has a higher affinity for the second zinc ion than wild-type CphA. The T157A mutant exhibits a significantly modified activity spectrum. Analysis of the K224Q and N116H/N220G/K224Q mutants suggests a significant role for Lys(224) in the binding of substrate. Lys(226) is not essential for the binding and hydrolysis of substrates. Thus the present paper helps to elucidate the position of the second zinc ion, which was controversial, and to identify residues important for substrate binding. [less ▲]

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See detailCrystal structure of the Bacillus subtilis penicillin-binding protein 4a, and its complex with a peptidoglycan mimetic peptide
Sauvage, Eric ULg; Duez, Colette ULg; Herman, Raphaël ULg et al

in Journal of Molecular Biology (2007), 371(2), 528-539

The genome of Bacillus subtilis encodes 16 penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) involved in the synthesis and/or remodelling of the peptidoglycan during the complex life cycle of this sporulating Gram ... [more ▼]

The genome of Bacillus subtilis encodes 16 penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) involved in the synthesis and/or remodelling of the peptidoglycan during the complex life cycle of this sporulating Gram-positive rod-shaped bacterium. PBP4a (encoded by the dacC gene) is a low-molecular mass PBP clearly exhibiting in vitro DD-carboxypeptidase activity. We have solved the crystal structure of this protein alone and in complex with a peptide (D-alpha'-aminopymelyl-epsilon-D-alanyl-D-alanine) that mimics the C-terminal end of the Bacillus peptidoglycan stem peptide. PBP4a is composed of three domains: the penicillin-binding domain with a fold similar to the class A 13-lactamase structure and two domains inserted between the conserved motifs 1 and 2 characteristic of the penicillin-recognizing enzymes. The soaking of PBP4a in a solution Of D-alpha-aminopymelyl-epsilon-D-alanyl-D-alanine resulted in an adduct between PBP4a and a D-alpha-aminopimelyl-epsilon-D-alanine dipeptide and an unbound D-alanine, i.e. the products of acylation of PBP4a by D-alpha-aminopymelyl-epsilon-D-alanyl-D-alanine with the release of a D-alanine. The adduct also reveals a binding pocket specific to the diaminopimelic acid, the third residue of the peptidoglycan stem pentapeptide of B. subtilis. This pocket is specific for this class of PBPs. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailStructural basis for the actin-binding function of missing-in-metastasis.
Lee, Sung Haeng; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Chereau, David et al

in Structure (2007), 15(2), 145-55

The adaptor protein missing-in-metastasis (MIM) contains independent F- and G-actin binding domains, consisting, respectively, of an N-terminal 250 aa IRSp53/MIM homology domain (IMD) and a C-terminal ... [more ▼]

The adaptor protein missing-in-metastasis (MIM) contains independent F- and G-actin binding domains, consisting, respectively, of an N-terminal 250 aa IRSp53/MIM homology domain (IMD) and a C-terminal WASP-homology domain 2 (WH2). We determined the crystal structures of MIM's IMD and that of its WH2 bound to actin. The IMD forms a dimer, with each subunit folded as an antiparallel three-helix bundle. This fold is related to that of the BAR domain. Like the BAR domain, the IMD has been implicated in membrane binding. Yet, comparison of the structures reveals that the membrane binding surfaces of the two domains have opposite curvatures, which may determine the type of curvature of the interacting membrane. The WH2 of MIM is longer than the prototypical WH2, interacting with all four subdomains of actin. We characterize a similar WH2 at the C terminus of IRSp53 and propose that in these two proteins WH2 performs a scaffolding function. [less ▲]

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See detailCrystal structure of the actin-binding domain of alpha-actinin 1: evaluating two competing actin-binding models.
Borrego-Diaz, Emma; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Lee, Sung Haeng et al

in Journal of Structural Biology (2006), 155(2), 230-8

Alpha-actinin belongs to the spectrin family of actin crosslinking and bundling proteins that function as key regulators of cell motility, morphology and adhesion. The actin-binding domain (ABD) of these ... [more ▼]

Alpha-actinin belongs to the spectrin family of actin crosslinking and bundling proteins that function as key regulators of cell motility, morphology and adhesion. The actin-binding domain (ABD) of these proteins consists of two consecutive calponin homology (CH) domains. Electron microscopy studies on ABDs appear to support two competing actin-binding models, extended and compact, whereas the crystal structures typically display a compact conformation. We have determined the 1.7A resolution structure of the ABD of alpha-actinin 1, a ubiquitously expressed isoform. The structure displays the classical compact conformation. We evaluated the two binding models by surface conservation analysis. The results show a conserved surface that spans both domains and corresponds to two previously identified actin-binding sites (ABS2 and ABS3). A third, and probably less important site, ABS1, is mostly buried in the compact conformation. However, a thorough examination of existing structures suggests a weak and semi-polar binding interface between the two CHs, leaving open the possibility of domain reorientation or opening. Our results are consistent with a two-step binding mechanism in which the ABD interacts first in the compact form observed in the structures, and then transitions toward a higher affinity state, possibly through minor rearrangement of the domains. [less ▲]

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See detailActin-bound structures of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)-homology domain 2 and the implications for filament assembly.
Chereau, David; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Graceffa, Philip et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2005), 102(46), 16644-9

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)-homology domain 2 (WH2) is a small and widespread actin-binding motif. In the WASP family, WH2 plays a role in filament nucleation by Arp2/3 complex. Here we ... [more ▼]

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)-homology domain 2 (WH2) is a small and widespread actin-binding motif. In the WASP family, WH2 plays a role in filament nucleation by Arp2/3 complex. Here we describe the crystal structures of complexes of actin with the WH2 domains of WASP, WASP-family verprolin homologous protein, and WASP-interacting protein. Despite low sequence identity, WH2 shares structural similarity with the N-terminal portion of the actin monomer-sequestering thymosin beta domain (Tbeta). We show that both domains inhibit nucleotide exchange by targeting the cleft between actin subdomains 1 and 3, a common binding site for many unrelated actin-binding proteins. Importantly, WH2 is significantly shorter than Tbeta but binds actin with approximately 10-fold higher affinity. WH2 lacks a C-terminal extension that in Tbeta4 becomes involved in monomer sequestration by interfering with intersubunit contacts in F-actin. Owing to their shorter length, WH2 domains connected in tandem by short linkers can coexist with intersubunit contacts in F-actin and are proposed to function in filament nucleation by lining up actin subunits along a filament strand. The WH2-central region of WASP-family proteins is proposed to function in an analogous way by forming a special class of tandem repeats whose function is to line up actin and Arp2 during Arp2/3 nucleation. The structures also suggest a mechanism for how profilin-binding Pro-rich sequences positioned N-terminal to WH2 could feed actin monomers directly to WH2, thereby playing a role in filament elongation. [less ▲]

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See detailStructural basis of the actin-calponin homology domain interaction.
Borrego-Diaz, E.; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Li, Yi ULg et al

in Biophysical Journal (2005), 88(1), 497-497

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See detailStructural basis of the actin-WH2 domain interaction.
Chereau, D.; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Graceffa, P. et al

in Biophysical Journal (2005), 88(1), 10-11

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See detailStructural basis of protein phosphatase 1 regulation
Terrak, Mohammed ULg; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Langsetmo, K. et al

in Nature (2004), 429(6993), 780-4

The coordinated and reciprocal action of serine/threonine (Ser/Thr) protein kinases and phosphatases produces transient phosphorylation, a fundamental regulatory mechanism for many biological processes ... [more ▼]

The coordinated and reciprocal action of serine/threonine (Ser/Thr) protein kinases and phosphatases produces transient phosphorylation, a fundamental regulatory mechanism for many biological processes. The human genome encodes a far greater number of Ser/Thr protein kinases than of phosphatases. Protein phosphatase 1 (PP1), in particular, is ubiquitously distributed and regulates a broad range of cellular functions, including glycogen metabolism, cell-cycle progression and muscle relaxation. PP1 has evolved effective catalytic machinery but lacks substrate specificity. Substrate specificity is conferred upon PP1 through interactions with a large number of regulatory subunits. The regulatory subunits are generally unrelated, but most possess the RVxF motif, a canonical PP1-binding sequence. Here we reveal the crystal structure at 2.7 A resolution of the complex between PP1 and a 34-kDa N-terminal domain of the myosin phosphatase targeting subunit MYPT1. MYPT1 is the protein that regulates PP1 function in smooth muscle relaxation. Structural elements amino- and carboxy-terminal to the RVxF motif of MYPT1 are positioned in a way that leads to a pronounced reshaping of the catalytic cleft of PP1, contributing to the increased myosin specificity of this complex. The structure has general implications for the control of PP1 activity by other regulatory subunits. [less ▲]

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See detailPP1 targeting and regulation as revealed by the structure of a PP1 delta-MYPT1 complex.
Terrak, Mohammed ULg; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Langsetmo, K. et al

in Biophysical Journal (2004), 86(1), 172-172

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See detailCrystal structure of the sensor domain of the BlaR penicillin receptor from Bacillus licheniformis
Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Charlier, Paulette ULg; Colombo, Maria Louisa et al

in Biochemistry (2003), 42(44), 12835-12843

As in several staphylococci, the synthesis of the Bacillus licheniformis 749/I beta-lactamase is an inducible phenomenon regulated by a signal-transducing membrane protein BlaR. The C-terminal domain of ... [more ▼]

As in several staphylococci, the synthesis of the Bacillus licheniformis 749/I beta-lactamase is an inducible phenomenon regulated by a signal-transducing membrane protein BlaR. The C-terminal domain of this multimodular protein is an extracellular domain which specifically recognizes beta-lactam antibiotics. When it binds a beta-lactam, a signal is transmitted by the transmembrane region to the intracellular loops. In response, the hydrolytic activity of the BlaR large cytoplasmic L3 loop is induced, and a cascade of reactions is generated, leading to the transcription of the beta-lactamase gene. Here, we describe the crystal structure of the extracellular penicillin-receptor domain of BlaR (residues 346-601) at 2.5 Angstrom resolution in order to understand why this domain, whose folding is very similar to that of class D beta-lactamases, behaves as a highly sensitive penicillin-binding protein rather than a beta-lactamase. Two residues of the BlaR C-terminal domain, Thr452 and Thr542, modify the hydrophobic characteristic of the class D beta-lactamase active site. Both residues seem to be in part responsible for the lack of beta-lactamase activity of the BlaR protein due to the stability of the acyl-enzyme. Although further experimental data are needed to fully understand the transmembrane induction process, the comparison of the BlaR sensor domain structure with those of class D beta-lactamase complexes and penicillin-binding proteins provides interesting elements to hypothesize on possible signal transmission mechanisms. [less ▲]

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