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See detailBiochemistry and comparative genomics of SxxK superfamily acyltransferases offer a clue to the mycobacterial paradox: Presence of penicillin-susceptible target proteins versus lack of efficiency of penicillin as therapeutic agent
Goffin, Colette ULg; Ghuysen, Jean-Marie ULg

in Microbiology & Molecular Biology Reviews (2002), 66(4), 702-738

The bacterial acyltransferases of the SxxK superfamily vary enormously in sequence and function, with conservation of particular amino acid groups and all-alpha and alpha/beta folds. They occur as ... [more ▼]

The bacterial acyltransferases of the SxxK superfamily vary enormously in sequence and function, with conservation of particular amino acid groups and all-alpha and alpha/beta folds. They occur as independent entities (free-standing polypeptides) and as modules linked to other polypeptides (protein fusions). They can be classified into three groups. The group I SxxK D,D-acyltransferases are ubiquitous in the bacterial world. They invariably bear the motifs SxxK, SxN(D), and KT(S)G. Anchored in the plasma membrane with the bulk of the polypeptide chain exposed on the outer face of it, they are implicated in the synthesis of wall peptidoglycans of the most frequently encountered (4-->3) type. They are inactivated by penicillin and other beta-lactam antibiotics acting as suicide carbonyl donors in the form of penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). They are components of a morphogenetic apparatus which, as a whole, controls multiple parameters such as shape and size and allows the bacterial cells to enlarge and duplicate their particular pattern. Class A PBP fusions comprise a glycosyltransferase module fused to an SxxK acyltransferase of class A. Class B PBP fusions comprise a linker, i.e., protein recognition, module fused to an SxxK acyltransferase of class B. They ensure the remodeling of the (4-->3) peptidoglycans in a cell cycle-dependent manner. The free-standing PBPs hydrolyze D,D peptide bonds. The group II SxxK acyltransferases frequently have a partially modified bar code, but the SxxK motif is invariant. They react with penicillin in various ways and illustrate the great plasticity of the catalytic centers. The secreted free-standing PBPs, the serine beta-lactamases, and the penicillin sensors of several penicillin sensory transducers help the D,D-acyltransferases of group I escape penicillin action. The group III SxxK acyltransferases are indistinguishable from the PBP fusion proteins of group I in motifs and membrane topology, but they resist penicillin. They are referred to as Pen(r) protein fusions. Plausible hypotheses are put forward on the roles that the Pen(r) protein fusions, acting as L,D-acyltransferases, may play in the (3-->3) peptidoglycan-synthesizing molecular machines. Shifting the wall peptidoglycan from the (4-->3) type to the (3-->3) type could help Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium leprae survive by making them penicillin resistant. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Dppa Gene of Bacillus Subtilis Encodes a New D-Aminopeptidase
Cheggour, Abdelatif; Fanuel, Laurence; Duez, Colette ULg et al

in Molecular Microbiology (2000), 38(3), 504-13

Different strains of Bacillus were screened for their ability to hydrolyse D-alanyl-p-nitroanilide. Activity was detected in Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus brevis, Bacillus licheniformis 749I and Bacillus ... [more ▼]

Different strains of Bacillus were screened for their ability to hydrolyse D-alanyl-p-nitroanilide. Activity was detected in Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus brevis, Bacillus licheniformis 749I and Bacillus subtilis 168. The last strain was the best producer and was selected for the production and purification of the enzyme. The determination of the N-terminal sequence identified the enzyme as the product of the dppA gene (previously named dciAA) belonging to the dipeptide ABC transport (dpp) operon expressed early during sporulation. Open reading frames (ORFs) encoding putative related proteins were found in the genomes of a variety of Archaea and both sporulating and non-sporulating bacteria. The enzyme behaves as a D-aminopeptidase and represents the prototype of a new peptidase family. Among the tested substrates, the highest activities were found with D-Ala-D-Ala and D-Ala-Gly-Gly. The active enzyme behaves as an octamer of identical 30 kDa subunits. It exhibits a broad pH optimum, extending between pH 9 and 11. It is reversibly inhibited in the presence of Zn2+ chelators, and the sequence comparisons highlight the conservation of potential Zn-binding residues. As it has been shown by others that null mutations in the dpp operon do not inhibit spore formation, the physiological role of DppA is probably an adaptation to nutrient deficiency. [less ▲]

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See detailThe DmpA aminopeptidase from Ochrobactrum anthropi LMG7991 is the prototype of a new terminal nucleophile hydrolase family.
Fanuel, L; Goffin, Colette ULg; Cheggour, A et al

in Biochemical Journal (1999), 341(Pt 1), 147-55

The DmpA (d-aminopeptidase A) protein produced by Ochrobactrum anthropi hydrolyses p-nitroanilide derivatives of glycine and d-alanine more efficiently than that of l-alanine. When regular peptides are ... [more ▼]

The DmpA (d-aminopeptidase A) protein produced by Ochrobactrum anthropi hydrolyses p-nitroanilide derivatives of glycine and d-alanine more efficiently than that of l-alanine. When regular peptides are utilized as substrates, the enzyme behaves as an aminopeptidase with a preference for N-terminal residues in an l configuration, thus exemplifying an interesting case of stereospecificity reversal. The best-hydrolysed substrate is l-Ala-Gly-Gly, but tetra- and penta-peptides are also efficiently hydrolysed. The gene encodes a 375-residue precursor, but the active enzyme contains two polypeptides corresponding to residues 2-249 (alpha-subunit) and 250-375 (beta-subunit) of the precursor. Residues 249 and 250 are a Gly and a Ser respectively, and various substitutions performed by site-directed mutagenesis result in the production of an uncleaved and inactive protein. The N-terminal Ser residue of the beta-subunit is followed by a hydrophobic peptide, which is predicted to form a beta-strand structure. All these properties strongly suggest that DmpA is an N-terminal amidohydrolase. An exploration of the databases highlights the presence of a number of open reading frames encoding related proteins in various bacterial genomes. Thus DmpA is very probably the prototype of an original family of N-terminal hydrolases. [less ▲]

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See detailTwo new aminopeptidases from Ochrobactrum anthropi active on D-alanyl-p-nitroanilide.
Fanuel, L; Thamm, Iris ULg; Kostanjevecki, V et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (1999), 55(5), 812-8

Two new enzymes which hydrolyse D-alanyl-p-nitroanilide have been detected in Ochrobactrum anthropi LMG7991 extracts. The first enzyme, DmpB, was purified to homogeneity and found to be homologous to the ... [more ▼]

Two new enzymes which hydrolyse D-alanyl-p-nitroanilide have been detected in Ochrobactrum anthropi LMG7991 extracts. The first enzyme, DmpB, was purified to homogeneity and found to be homologous to the Dap protein produced by O. anthropi SCRC C1-38 (ATCC49237). The second enzyme, DmpA, exhibits a similar substrate profile when tested on p-nitroanilide derivatives of glycine and L/D-alanine, but the amounts produced by the Ochrobactrum strain were not sufficient to allow complete purification. Interestingly, the DmpA preparation also exhibited an L-aminopeptidase activity on the tripeptide L-Ala-Gly-Gly but it was not possible to be certain that the same protein was responsible for both p-nitroanilide and peptide hydrolysing activities. The gene encoding the DmpA protein was cloned and sequenced. The deduced protein sequence exhibits varying degrees of similarity with those corresponding to several open reading frames found in the genomes of other prokaryotic organisms, including Mycobacteria. None of these gene products has been isolated or characterised, but a tentative relationship can be proposed with the NylC amidase from Flavobacterium sp. K172. [less ▲]

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See detailMultimodular Penicillin-Binding Proteins: An Enigmatic Family of Orthologs and Paralogs
Goffin, Colette ULg; Ghuysen, Jean-Marie ULg

in Microbiology & Molecular Biology Reviews (1998), 62(4), 1079-1093

The monofunctional penicillin-binding DD-peptidases and penicillin-hydrolyzing serine beta-lactamases diverged from a common ancestor by the acquisition of structural changes in the polypeptide chain ... [more ▼]

The monofunctional penicillin-binding DD-peptidases and penicillin-hydrolyzing serine beta-lactamases diverged from a common ancestor by the acquisition of structural changes in the polypeptide chain while retaining the same folding, three-motif amino acid sequence signature, serine-assisted catalytic mechanism, and active-site topology. Fusion events gave rise to multimodular penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). The acyl serine transferase penicillin-binding (PB) module possesses the three active-site defining motifs of the superfamily; it is linked to the carboxy end of a non-penicillin-binding (n-PB) module through a conserved fusion site; the two modules form a single polypeptide chain which folds on the exterior of the plasma membrane and is anchored by a transmembrane spanner; and the full-size PBPs cluster into two classes, A and B. In the class A PBPs, the n-PB modules are a continuum of diverging sequences; they possess a five-motif amino acid sequence signature, and conserved dicarboxylic amino acid residues are probably elements of the glycosyl transferase catalytic center. The PB modules fall into five subclasses: A1 and A2 in gram-negative bacteria and A3, A4, and A5 in gram-positive bacteria. The full-size class A PBPs combine the required enzymatic activities for peptidoglycan assembly from lipid-transported disaccharide-peptide units and almost certainly prescribe different, PB-module specific traits in peptidoglycan cross-linking. In the class B PBPs, the PB and n-PB modules cluster in a concerted manner. A PB module of subclass B2 or B3 is linked to an n-PB module of subclass B2 or B3 in gram-negative bacteria, and a PB module of subclass B1, B4, or B5 is linked to an n-PB module of subclass B1, B4, or B5 in gram-positive bacteria. Class B PBPs are involved in cell morphogenesis. The three motifs borne by the n-PB modules are probably sites for module-module interaction and the polypeptide stretches which extend between motifs 1 and 2 are sites for protein-protein interaction. The full-size class B PBPs are an assortment of orthologs and paralogs, which prescribe traits as complex as wall expansion and septum formation. PBPs of subclass B1 are unique to gram-positive bacteria. They are not essential, but they represent an important mechanism of resistance to penicillin among the enterococci and staphylococci. Natural evolution and PBP- and beta-lactamase-mediated resistance show that the ability of the catalytic centers to adapt their properties to new situations is limitless. Studies of the reaction pathways by using the methods of quantum chemistry suggest that resistance to penicillin is a road of no return. [less ▲]

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See detailRésistance bactérienne aux beta-lactamines
Charlier, Paulette ULg; Coyette, Jacques ULg; Dehareng, Dominique ULg et al

in Medecine Sciences : M/S (1998), 14(5), 544-555

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See detailPenicillin-binding proteins. Wall peptidoglycan assembly and resistance to penicillin: facts, doubts and hopes
Ghuysen, Jean-Marie ULg; Charlier, Paulette ULg; Coyette, Jacques ULg et al

in International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (1997), 8(1), 45-60

As the protein sequence and structure databases expand, the relationships between proteins, the notion of protein superfamily, and the driving forces of evolution are better understood. Key steps of the ... [more ▼]

As the protein sequence and structure databases expand, the relationships between proteins, the notion of protein superfamily, and the driving forces of evolution are better understood. Key steps of the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan are revisited in light of these advances. The reactions through which the D-alanyl-D-alanine depeptide is formed, utilized, and hydrolyzed and the sites of action of the glycopeptide and β-lactam antibiotics illustrate the concept according to which new enzyme functions evolve as a result of tinkering of existing proteins. This occurs by the acquisition of local structural changes, the fusion into mul-timodular polypeptides, and the association into multiprotein complexes. [less ▲]

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See detailThe non-penicillin-binding module of the tripartite penicillin-binding protein 3 of Escherichia Coli is required for folding and/or stability of the penicillin-binding module and the membrane-anchoring module confers cell septation activity on the folded structure
Goffin, Colette ULg; Fraipont, Claudine ULg; Ayala, Juan et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (1996), 178(18), 5402-5409

The ftsI-encoded multimodular class B penicillin-binding protein 3 (PBP3) is a key element of the cell septation machinery of Escherichia coli. Altered ftsI genes were overexpressed, and the gene products ... [more ▼]

The ftsI-encoded multimodular class B penicillin-binding protein 3 (PBP3) is a key element of the cell septation machinery of Escherichia coli. Altered ftsI genes were overexpressed, and the gene products were analyzed with respect to the level of production, stability, penicillin affinity, and cell septation activity. In contrast to the serine beta-lactamases and low-molecular-mass PBPs which are autonomous folding entities, the S-259-to-V-577 penicillin-binding module of M-1-to-V-577 PBP3 lacks the amino acid sequence information for correct folding. The missing piece of information is provided by the associated G-57-to-E-258 non-penicillin-binding module which functions as a noncleaved, pseudointramolecular chaperone. Key elements of the folding information reside within the motif 1-containing R-60-to-W-110 polypeptide segment and within G-188-to-D-197 motif 3 of the n-PB module. The intermodule interaction is discussed in the light of the known three-dimensional structure (at 3.5-A [0.35-nm] resolution) of the analogous class B PBP2x of Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. Pares, N. Mouz, Y. Petillot, R. Hakenbeck, and O. Dideberg, Nature Struct. Biol. 3:284-289, 1996). Correct folding and adoption of a stable penicillin-binding conformation are necessary but not sufficient to confer cell septation activity to PBP3 in exponentially growing cells. The in vivo activity of PBP3 also depends on the M-1-to-E-56 amino-terminal module which encompasses the cytosol, the membrane, and the periplasm and which functions as a noncleaved pseudo-signal peptide. [less ▲]

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See detailPenicillin and Beyond: Evolution, Protein Fold, Multimodular Polypeptides, and Multiprotein Complexes
Ghuysen, Jean-Marie ULg; Charlier, Paulette ULg; Coyette, Jacques et al

in Microbial Drug Resistance : Mechanism, Epidemiology, & Disease (1996), 2(2, Summer), 163-175

As the protein sequence and structure databases expand, the relationships between proteins, the notion of protein superfamily, and the driving forces of evolution are better understood. Key steps of the ... [more ▼]

As the protein sequence and structure databases expand, the relationships between proteins, the notion of protein superfamily, and the driving forces of evolution are better understood. Key steps of the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan are revisited in light of these advances. The reactions through which the D-alanyl-D-alanine depeptide is formed, utilized, and hydrolyzed and the sites of action of the glycopeptide and beta-lactam antibiotics illustrate the concept according to which new enzyme functions evolve as a result of tinkering of existing proteins. This occurs by the acquisition of local structural changes, the fusion into multimodular polypeptides, and the association into multiprotein complexes. [less ▲]

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See detailSite-directed mutagenesis of dicarboxylic acid residues of the penicillin-binding module of the Escherichia coli penicillin-binding protein 3
Goffin, Colette ULg; Ayala, J. A.; Nguyen-Distèche, Martine ULg et al

in FEMS Microbiology Letters (1993), 113(3), 247-251

The glutamic acid E396, aspartic acid D409 and glutamic acid E411 residues of the Escherichia coli penicillin-binding protein 3 were each converted into an alanine residue. As deduced from penicillin ... [more ▼]

The glutamic acid E396, aspartic acid D409 and glutamic acid E411 residues of the Escherichia coli penicillin-binding protein 3 were each converted into an alanine residue. As deduced from penicillin-binding and complementation experiments, none of these dicarboxylic acid residues is involved in the mechanism of acylation by penicillin and none of them is essential for the in vivo functioning of the PBP. The mutation E396, however, causes an increased thermolability of the protein. [less ▲]

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