dUTPase based switch controls transfer of virulence genes in order to preserve integrity of the transferred mobile genetic elements

Szabó, J. E. and Németh-Pongrácz, V. and Papp-Kádár, V. and Nyíri, K. and Besztercei, B. and Liliom, K. and Róna, G. and Pálinkás, H. and Zagyva, I. and Leveles, I. and Bendes, A. and Tóth, J. and Vértessy G., Beáta (2013) dUTPase based switch controls transfer of virulence genes in order to preserve integrity of the transferred mobile genetic elements. FEBS Journal, 280 (Supl 1). pp. 59-60. ISSN 1742-464X

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dUTPases ubiquitously regulate cellular dUTP levels to preserve genome integrity. Recently, several other cellular processes were reported to be controlled by dUTPases including the horizontal transfer of Staphylococcus aureus pathogenicity islands (SaPI). SaPIs are mobil genetic elements that encode virulence enhancing factors e.g. toxins. Here, phage dUTPases were proposed to counteract the repressor protein (Stl) and promote SaPI excision and transfer. A G protein-like mechanism was proposed which is unexpected in light of the kinetic mechanism of dUTPase. Here we investigate the molecular mechanism of SaPI transfer regulation, using numerous dUTPase variants and a wide range of in vitro methods (steady-state and transient kinetics, VIS and fluorescence spectroscopy, EMSA, quartz crystal microbalance, X-ray crystallography). Our results unambiguously show that Stl inhibits the enzymatic activity of dUTPase in the nM concentration range and dUTP strongly inhibits the dUTPase: Stl complexation. These results identify Stl as a highly potent dUTPase inhibitor protein and disprove the G protein-like mechanism. Importantly, our results clearly show that the dUTPase:dUTP complex is inaccessible to the Stl repressor. Unlike in small GTPases, hydrolysis of the substrate nucleoside triphosphate (dUTP in this case) is required prior to the interaction with the partner (Stl repressor in this case). We propose that dUTPase can efficiently interact with Stl and induce SaPI excision only if the cellular dUTP level is low (i.e. when dUTPase resides mainly in the apo enzyme form) while high dUTP levels would inhibit SaPI transfer. This mechanism may serve the preservation of the integrity of the transferred SaPI genes and links the well-known metabolic role of dUTPases to their newly revealed regulatory function in spread of virulence factors.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QH Natural history / természetrajz > QH301 Biology / biológia > QH3011 Biochemistry / biokémia
Depositing User: Erika Bilicsi
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2014 09:23
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2014 13:49

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