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See detailCurrent challenges in antimicrobial chemotherapy: focus on beta-lactamase inhibition.
Bebrone, Carine ULg; Lassaux, Patricia ULg; Vercheval, Lionel ULg et al

in Drugs (2010), 70(6)

The use of the three classical beta-lactamase inhibitors (clavulanic acid, tazobactam, sulbactam) in combination with beta-lactam antibiotics is currently the most successful strategy to combat the beta ... [more ▼]

The use of the three classical beta-lactamase inhibitors (clavulanic acid, tazobactam, sulbactam) in combination with beta-lactam antibiotics is currently the most successful strategy to combat the beta-lactamase mediated resistance. However, these inhibitors are efficient in inactivating class A beta-lactamases only and the efficiency of the inhibitor/antibiotic combination can be compromised by several mechanisms among which the production of naturally resistant class B or class D enzymes, the hyperproduction of AmpC or even the production of evolved inhibitor-resistant class A enzymes. There is thus an urgent need in the development of novel inhibitors. For serine active enzymes (classes A, C and D), derivatives of the beta-lactam ring such as 6-beta-halogenopenicillanates, beta-lactam sulfones, penems and oxapenems, monobactams or trinems seem to be potential starting points to design efficient molecules (among which AM-112 and LK-157). Moreover, a promising non-beta-lactam molecule, NXL-104 is now under clinical trial. In contrast, an ideal inhibitor of metallo-beta-lactamases (class B) remains to be found, despite the huge number of potential molecules already described (biphenyl tetrazoles, cysteinyl peptides, mercaptocarboxylates, succinic acid derivatives, etc). The search for such an inhibitor is complicated by the absence of a covalent intermediate in their catalytic mechanisms and the fact that beta-lactam derivatives often behave as substrates rather than as inhibitors. Currently, the most promising broad spectrum inhibitors of class B enzymes are molecules presenting chelating groups (thiols, carboxylates, etc) combined with an aromatic group. This review describes all the types of molecules already tested as potential beta-lactamase inhibitors and thus constitutes an update of the current status in beta-lactamase inhibitor discovery. [less ▲]

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See detailSpecific Structural Features of the N-Acetylmuramoyl-l-Alanine Amidase AmiD from Escherichia coli and Mechanistic Implications for Enzymes of This Family.
Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Petrella, Stéphanie; Mercier, Frédéric ULg et al

in Journal of Molecular Biology (2010), 397

AmiD is the fifth identified N-acetylmuramoyl-l-alanine zinc amidase of Escherichia coli. This periplasmic lipoprotein is anchored in the outer membrane and has a broad specificity. AmiD is capable of ... [more ▼]

AmiD is the fifth identified N-acetylmuramoyl-l-alanine zinc amidase of Escherichia coli. This periplasmic lipoprotein is anchored in the outer membrane and has a broad specificity. AmiD is capable of cleaving the intact peptidoglycan (PG) as well as soluble fragments containing N-acetylmuramic acid regardless of the presence of an anhydro form or not, unlike the four other amidases, AmiA, AmiB, AmiC, and AmpD, which have some specificity. AmiD function is, however, not clearly established but it could be part of the enzymatic machinery involved in the PG turnover in E. coli. We solved three structures of the E. coli zinc amidase AmiD devoid of its lipidic anchorage: the holoenzyme, the apoenzyme in complex with the substrate anhydro-N-acetylmuramic-acid-l-Ala-gamma-d-Glu-l-Lys, and the holoenzyme in complex with the l-Ala-gamma-d-Glu-l-Lys peptide, the product of the hydrolysis of this substrate by AmiD. The AmiD structure shows a relatively flexible N-terminal extension that allows an easy reach of the PG by the enzyme inserted into the outer membrane. The C-terminal domain provides a potential extended geometrical complementarity to the substrate. AmiD shares a common fold with AmpD, the bacteriophage T7 lysozyme, and the PG recognition proteins, which are receptor proteins involved in the innate immune responses of a wide range of organisms. Analysis of the different structures reveals the similarity between the catalytic mechanism of zinc amidases of the AmiD family and the thermolysin-related zinc peptidases. [less ▲]

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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 detailStructural basis for the interaction of lactivicins with serine beta-lactamases.
Brown, Tom Jr; Charlier, Paulette ULg; Herman, Raphaël ULg et al

in Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2010), 53(15), 5890-4

Lactivicin (LTV) is a natural non-beta-lactam antibiotic that inhibits penicillin-binding proteins and serine beta-lactamases. A crystal structure of a BS3-LTV complex reveals that, as for its reaction ... [more ▼]

Lactivicin (LTV) is a natural non-beta-lactam antibiotic that inhibits penicillin-binding proteins and serine beta-lactamases. A crystal structure of a BS3-LTV complex reveals that, as for its reaction with PBPs, LTV reacts with the nucleophilic serine and that cycloserine and lactone rings of LTV are opened. This structure, together with reported structures of PBP1b with lactivicins, provides a basis for developing improved lactivicin-based gamma-lactam antibiotics. [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 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 detailImportance of the conserved residues in the peptidoglycan glycosyltransferase module of the class A penicillin-binding protein 1b of Escherichia coli.
Terrak, Mohammed ULg; Sauvage, Eric ULg; Derouaux, Adeline ULg et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2008), 283(42), 28464-70

The peptidoglycan glycosyltransferase (GT) module of class A penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) and monofunctional GTs catalyze glycan chain elongation of the bacterial cell wall. These enzymes belong to ... [more ▼]

The peptidoglycan glycosyltransferase (GT) module of class A penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) and monofunctional GTs catalyze glycan chain elongation of the bacterial cell wall. These enzymes belong to the GT51 family, are characterized by five conserved motifs, and have some fold similarity with the phage lambda lysozyme. In this work, we have systematically modified all the conserved amino acid residues of the GT module of Escherichia coli class A PBP1b by site-directed mutagenesis and determined their importance for the in vivo and in vitro activity and the thermostability of the protein. To get an insight into the GT active site of this paradigm enzyme, a model of PBP1b GT domain was constructed based on the available crystal structures (PDB codes 2OLV and 2OLU). The data show that in addition to the essential glutamate residues Glu233 of motif 1 and Glu290 of motif 3, the residues Phe237 and His240 of motif 1 and Gly264, Thr267, Gln271, and Lys274 of motif 2, all located in the catalytic cavity of the GT domain, are essential for the in vitro enzymatic activity of the PBP1b and for its in vivo functioning. Thus, the first three conserved motifs contain most of the residues that are required for the GT activity of the PBP1b. The residues Asp234, Phe237, His240, Thr267, and Gln271 are proposed to maintain the structure of the active site and the positioning of the catalytic Glu233. [less ▲]

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See detailCrystal structures of complexes of bacterial DD-peptidases with peptidoglycan-mimetic ligands: the substrate specificity puzzle.
Sauvage, Eric ULg; Powell, Ailsa J; Heilemann, Jason et al

in Journal of Molecular Biology (2008), 381(2), 383-93

The X-ray crystal structures of covalent complexes of the Actinomadura R39 dd-peptidase and Escherichia coli penicillin-binding protein (PBP) 5 with beta-lactams bearing peptidoglycan-mimetic side chains ... [more ▼]

The X-ray crystal structures of covalent complexes of the Actinomadura R39 dd-peptidase and Escherichia coli penicillin-binding protein (PBP) 5 with beta-lactams bearing peptidoglycan-mimetic side chains have been determined. The structure of the hydrolysis product of an analogous peptide bound noncovalently to the former enzyme has also been obtained. The R39 DD-peptidase structures reveal the presence of a specific binding site for the D-alpha-aminopimelyl side chain, characteristic of the stem peptide of Actinomadura R39. This binding site features a hydrophobic cleft for the pimelyl methylene groups and strong hydrogen bonding to the polar terminus. Both of these active site elements are provided by amino acid side chains from two separate domains of the protein. In contrast, no clear electron density corresponding to the terminus of the peptidoglycan-mimetic side chains is present when these beta-lactams are covalently bound to PBP5. There is, therefore, no indication of a specific side-chain binding site in this enzyme. These results are in agreement with those from kinetics studies published earlier and support the general prediction made at the time of a direct correlation between kinetics and structural evidence. The essential high-molecular-mass PBPs have demonstrated, to date, no specific reactivity with peptidoglycan-mimetic peptide substrates and beta-lactam inhibitors and, thus, probably do not possess a specific substrate-binding site of the type demonstrated here with the R39 DD-peptidase. This striking deficiency may represent a sophisticated defense mechanism against low-molecular-mass substrate-analogue inhibitors/antibiotics; its discovery should focus new inhibitor design. [less ▲]

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See detail2-Aminopropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid: Synthesis and co-crystallization with the class A beta-lactamase BS3 of Bacillus licheniformis.
Beck, Josephine; Sauvage, Eric ULg; Charlier, Paulette ULg et al

in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters (2008), 18(13), 3764-8

The title compound 4 has been prepared in four steps from ethylglycinate in 63% overall yield. This amino analog of citric acid has been co-crystallized with the class A beta-lactamase BS3 of Bacillus ... [more ▼]

The title compound 4 has been prepared in four steps from ethylglycinate in 63% overall yield. This amino analog of citric acid has been co-crystallized with the class A beta-lactamase BS3 of Bacillus licheniformis and the structure of the complex fully analyzed by X-ray diffraction. Tris-ethyl aminocitrate 3 and the free tris-acid 4 have been tested against a member beta-lactamase from all distinct subgroups. They are novel inhibitors of class A beta-lactamases, still modest but more potent than citrate and isocitrate. [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 detailPBP5 complementation of a PBP3 deficiency in Enterococcus hirae
Leimanis, S.; Hoyez, N.; Hubert, S et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (2006), 188(17), 6298-6307

The low susceptibility of enterococci to beta-lactams is due to the activity of the low-affinity penicillin-binding protein 5 (PBP5). One important feature of PBP5 is its ability to substitute for most ... [more ▼]

The low susceptibility of enterococci to beta-lactams is due to the activity of the low-affinity penicillin-binding protein 5 (PBP5). One important feature of PBP5 is its ability to substitute for most, if not all, penicillin-binding proteins when they are inhibited. That substitution activity was analyzed in Enterococcus hirae SL2, a mutant whose pbp5 gene was interrupted by the nisRK genes and whose PBP3 synthesis was submitted to nisin induction. Noninduced SL2 cells were unable to divide except when plasmid-borne pbp5 genes were present, provided that the PBP5 active site was functional. Potential protein-protein interaction sites of the PBP5 N-terminal module were mutagenized by site-directed mutagenesis. The T-167-L-184 region (designated site D) appeared to be an essential intramolecular site needed for the stability of the protein. Mutations made in the two globular domains present in the N-terminal module indicated that they were needed for the suppletive activity. The P-197-N-209 segment (site E) in one of these domains seemed to be particularly important, as single and double mutations reduced or almost completely abolished, respectively, the action of PBP5. [less ▲]

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See detailCrystal structure of the Mycobacterium fortuitum class A beta-lactamase: structural basis for broad substrate specificity.
Sauvage, Eric ULg; Fonze, Eveline; Quinting, Birgit et al

in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2006), 50(7), 2516-21

beta-Lactamases are the main cause of bacterial resistance to penicillins and cephalosporins. Class A beta-lactamases, the largest group of beta-lactamases, have been found in many bacterial strains ... [more ▼]

beta-Lactamases are the main cause of bacterial resistance to penicillins and cephalosporins. Class A beta-lactamases, the largest group of beta-lactamases, have been found in many bacterial strains, including mycobacteria, for which no beta-lactamase structure has been previously reported. The crystal structure of the class A beta-lactamase from Mycobacterium fortuitum (MFO) has been solved at 2.13-A resolution. The enzyme is a chromosomally encoded broad-spectrum beta-lactamase with low specific activity on cefotaxime. Specific features of the active site of the class A beta-lactamase from M. fortuitum are consistent with its specificity profile. Arg278 and Ser237 favor cephalosporinase activity and could explain its broad substrate activity. The MFO active site presents similarities with the CTX-M type extended-spectrum beta-lactamases but lacks a specific feature of these enzymes, the VNYN motif (residues 103 to 106), which confers on CTX-M-type extended-spectrum beta-lactamases a more efficient cefotaximase activity. [less ▲]

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See detailSpecificity and reversibility of the transpeptidation reaction catalyzed by the Streptomyces R61 D-Ala-D-Ala peptidase
Rhazi, Noureddine ULg; Delmarcelle, Michaël ULg; Sauvage, Eric ULg et al

in Protein Science (2005), 14(11), 2922-2928

The specificity of the Streptomyces R61 penicillin-sensitive D-Ala-D-Ala peptidase has been re-examined with the help of synthetic substrates. The products of the transpeptidation reactions obtained with ... [more ▼]

The specificity of the Streptomyces R61 penicillin-sensitive D-Ala-D-Ala peptidase has been re-examined with the help of synthetic substrates. The products of the transpeptidation reactions obtained with Gly-L-Xaa dipeptides as acceptor substrates are themselves poor substrates of the enzyme. This is in apparent contradiction with the classically accepted specificity rules for D-Ala-D-Ala peptidases. The Gly-L-Xaa dipeptide is regenerated by both the hydrolysis and transpeptidation reactions. The latter reaction is observed when another Gly-L-Xaa peptide or D-Alanine are supplied as acceptors. Utilization of substrates in which the terminal -COO(-) group has been esterified or amidated shows that a free carboxylate is not an absolute prerequisite for activity. The results are discussed in the context of the expected reversibility of the transpeptidation reaction. [less ▲]

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See detailCrystal structure of the Actinomadura R39 DD-peptidase reveals new domains in penicillin-binding proteins.
Sauvage, Eric ULg; Herman, Raphaël ULg; Petrella, Stephanie et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2005), 280(35), 31249-56

Actinomadura sp. R39 produces an exocellular DD-peptidase/penicillin-binding protein (PBP) whose primary structure is similar to that of Escherichia coli PBP4. It is characterized by a high beta-lactam ... [more ▼]

Actinomadura sp. R39 produces an exocellular DD-peptidase/penicillin-binding protein (PBP) whose primary structure is similar to that of Escherichia coli PBP4. It is characterized by a high beta-lactam-binding activity (second order rate constant for the acylation of the active site serine by benzylpenicillin: k2/K = 300 mm(-1) s(-1)). The crystal structure of the DD-peptidase from Actinomadura R39 was solved at a resolution of 1.8 angstroms by single anomalous dispersion at the cobalt resonance wavelength. The structure is composed of three domains: a penicillin-binding domain similar to the penicillin-binding domain of E. coli PBP5 and two domains of unknown function. In most multimodular PBPs, additional domains are generally located at the C or N termini of the penicillin-binding domain. In R39, the other two domains are inserted in the penicillin-binding domain, between the SXXK and SXN motifs, in a manner similar to "Matryoshka dolls." One of these domains is composed of a five-stranded beta-sheet with two helices on one side, and the other domain is a double three-stranded beta-sheet inserted in the previous domain. Additionally, the 2.4-angstroms structure of the acyl-enzyme complex of R39 with nitrocefin reveals the absence of active site conformational change upon binding the beta-lactams. [less ▲]

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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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See detailCrystal structures of the Bacillus licheniformis BS3 class A beta-lactamase and of the acyl-enzyme adduct formed with cefoxitin
Fonzé, Evelyne; Vanhove, Mac; Dive, Georges ULg et al

in Biochemistry (2002), 41(6), 1877-1885

The Bacillus licheniformis BS3 beta-lactamase catalyzes the hydrolysis of the beta-lactam ring of penicillins, cephalosporins, and related compounds. The production of beta-lactamases is the most common ... [more ▼]

The Bacillus licheniformis BS3 beta-lactamase catalyzes the hydrolysis of the beta-lactam ring of penicillins, cephalosporins, and related compounds. The production of beta-lactamases is the most common and thoroughly studied cause of antibiotic resistance. Although they escape the hydrolytic activity of the prototypical Staphylococcus aureus beta-lactamase, many cephems are good substrates for a large number of beta-lactamases. However, the introduction of a 7alpha-methoxy substituent, as in cefoxitin, extends their antibacterial spectrum to many cephalosporin-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. The 7alphamethoxy group selectively reduces the hydrolytic action of many beta-lactamases without having a significant effect on the affinity for the target enzymes, the membrane penicillin-binding proteins. We report here the crystallographic structures of the BS3 enzyme and its acyl-enzyme adduct with cefoxitin at 1.7 Angstrom resolution. The comparison of the two structures reveals a covalent acyl-enzyme adduct with perturbed active site geometry, involving a different conformation of the Omega-loop that bears the essential catalytic Glu166 residue. This deformation is induced by the cefoxitin side chain whose position is constrained by the presence of the alpha-methoxy group. The hydrolytic water molecule is also removed from the active site by the 7beta-carbonyl of the acyl intermediate. In light of the interactions and steric hindrances in the active site of the structure of the BS3-cefoxitin acyl-enzyme adduct, the crucial role of the conserved Asn132 residue is confirmed and a better understanding of the kinetic results emerges. [less ▲]

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See detailThe 2.4-A crystal structure of the penicillin-resistant penicillin-binding protein PBP5fm from Enterococcus faecium in complex with benzylpenicillin.
Sauvage, Eric ULg; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Fonze, E. et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2002), 59(7), 1223-32

Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are membrane proteins involved in the final stages of peptidoglycan synthesis and represent the targets of beta-lactam antibiotics. Enterococci are naturally resistant ... [more ▼]

Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are membrane proteins involved in the final stages of peptidoglycan synthesis and represent the targets of beta-lactam antibiotics. Enterococci are naturally resistant to these antibiotics because they produce a PBP, named PBP5fm in Enterococcus faecium, with low-level affinity for beta-lactams. We report here the crystal structure of the acyl-enzyme complex of PBP5fm with benzylpenicillin at a resolution of 2.4 A. A characteristic of the active site, which distinguishes PBP5fm from other PBPs of known structure, is the topology of the loop 451-465 defining the left edge of the cavity. The residue Arg464, involved in a salt bridge with the residue Asp481, confers a greater rigidity to the PBP5fm active site. In addition, the presence of the Val465 residue, which points into the active site, reducing its accessibility, could account for the low affinity of PBP5fm for beta-lactam. This loop is common to PBPs of low affinity, such as PBP2a from Staphylococcus aureus and PBP3 from Bacillus subtilis. Moreover, the insertion of a serine after residue 466 in the most resistant strains underlines even more the determining role of this loop in the recognition of the substrates. [less ▲]

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