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Molecular mechanism of quorum sensing inhibition in Streptococcus by the phage protein paratox

DOI: 10.1016/j.jbc.2021.100992 DOI Help

Authors: Nicole R. Rutbeek (University of Manitoba) , Hanieh Rezasoltani (University of Manitoba) , Trushar R. Patel (University of Lethbridge) , Mazdak Khajehpour (University of Manitoba) , Gerd Prehna (University of Manitoba)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Biological Chemistry , VOL 369

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 22113

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Streptococcus pyogenes, or Group A Streptococcus, is a Gram-positive bacterium that can be both a human commensal and pathogen. Central to this dichotomy are temperate bacteriophages that incorporate into the bacterial genome as a prophage. These genetic elements encode both the phage proteins and the toxins harmful to the human host. One such conserved phage protein, paratox (Prx), is always found encoded adjacent to the toxin genes and this linkage is preserved during all stages of the phage life cycle. Within Streptococcus pyogenes, Prx functions to inhibit the quorum-sensing receptor-signal pair ComRS, the master regulator of natural competence or the ability to uptake endogenous DNA. However, the mechanism by which Prx directly binds and inhibits the receptor ComR is unknown. To understand how Prx inhibits ComR at the molecular level we pursued an X-ray crystal structure of Prx bound to ComR. The structural data supported by solution X-ray scattering data demonstrate that Prx induces a conformational change in ComR to directly access its DNA binding domain. Furthermore, electromobility shift assays and competition binding assays reveal that Prx effectively uncouples the inter-domain conformational change required for activation of ComR via the signaling molecule XIP. Although to our knowledge the molecular mechanism of quorum-sensing inhibition by Prx is unique, it is analogous to the mechanism employed by the phage protein Aqs1 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Together, this demonstrates an example of convergent evolution between Gram-positive and Gram-negative phages to inhibit quorum-sensing, and highlights the versatility of small phage proteins.

Journal Keywords: paratox; Prx; Streptococcus pyogenes; bacteriophage; Group A Streptococcus; natural competence; ComRS; XIP; quorum sensing; structural biology; X-ray crystallography; solution X-ray scattering

Diamond Keywords: Bacteria

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Chemistry

Instruments: B21-High Throughput SAXS

Other Facilities: CMCF-ID at Canadian Light Source

Added On: 28/07/2021 09:16

Discipline Tags:

Pathogens Infectious Diseases Health & Wellbeing Biochemistry Chemistry Structural biology Biophysics Life Sciences & Biotech

Technical Tags:

Scattering Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS)