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Chicago Ridge, IL, United States

Mashburn-Warren L.,Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Federle M.J.,Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Federle M.J.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Molecular Microbiology | Year: 2010

All streptococcal genomes encode the alternative sigma factor SigX and 21 SigX-dependent proteins required for genetic transformation, yet no pyogenic streptococci are known to develop competence. Resolving this paradox may depend on understanding the regulation of sigX. We report the identification of a regulatory circuit linked to the sigX genes of mutans, pyogenic, and bovis streptococci that uses a novel small, double-tryptophan-containing sigX-inducing peptide (XIP) pheromone. In all three groups, the XIP gene (comS), and sigX have identical, non-canonical promoters consisting of 9 bp inverted repeats separated from a -10 hexamer by 19 bp. comS is adjacent to a gene encoding a putative transcription factor of the Rgg family and is regulated by its product, which we designate ComR. Deletion of comR or comS in Streptococcus mutans abolished transformability, as did deletion of the oligopeptide permease subunit oppD, suggesting that XIP is imported. Providing S. mutans with synthetic fragments of ComS revealed that seven C-terminal residues, including the WW motif, cause robust induction of both sigX and the competent state. We propose that this circuit is the proximal regulator of sigX in S. mutans, and we infer that it controls competence in a parallel way in all pyogenic and bovis streptococci. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Su P.-C.,Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Tsai C.-C.,Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Mehboob S.,Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | Hevener K.E.,Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Computational Chemistry | Year: 2015

To validate a method for predicting the binding affinities of FabI inhibitors, three implicit solvent methods, MM-PBSA, MM-GBSA, and QM/MM-GBSA were carefully compared using 16 benzimidazole inhibitors in complex with Francisella tularensis FabI. The data suggests that the prediction results are sensitive to radii sets, GB methods, QM Hamiltonians, sampling protocols, and simulation length, if only one simulation trajectory is used for each ligand. In this case, QM/MM-GBSA using 6 ns MD simulation trajectories together with GBneck2, PM3, and the mbondi2 radii set, generate the closest agreement with experimental values (r2=0.88). However, if the three implicit solvent methods are averaged from six 1 ns MD simulations for each ligand (called "multiple independent sampling"), the prediction results are relatively insensitive to all the tested parameters. Moreover, MM/GBSA together with GBHCT and mbondi, using 600 frames extracted evenly from six 0.25 ns MD simulations, can also provide accurate prediction to experimental values (r2=0.84). Therefore, the multiple independent sampling method can be more efficient than a single, long simulation method. Since future scaffold expansions may significantly change the benzimidazole's physiochemical properties (charges, etc.) and possibly binding modes, which may affect the sensitivities of various parameters, the relatively insensitive "multiple independent sampling method" may avoid the need of an entirely new validation study. Moreover, due to large fluctuating entropy values, (QM/)MM-P(G)BSA were limited to inhibitors' relative affinity prediction, but not the absolute affinity. The developed protocol will support an ongoing benzimidazole lead optimization program. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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