Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa

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Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa

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Larson E.T.,Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa | Larson E.T.,University of Washington | Kim J.E.,Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa | Kim J.E.,University of Washington | And 20 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Biology | Year: 2011

The single tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (TyrRS) gene in trypanosomatid genomes codes for a protein that is twice the length of TyrRS from virtually all other organisms. Each half of the double-length TyrRS contains a catalytic domain and an anticodon-binding domain; however, the two halves retain only 17% sequence identity to each other. The structural and functional consequences of this duplication and divergence are unclear. TyrRS normally forms a homodimer in which the active site of one monomer pairs with the anticodon-binding domain from the other. However, crystal structures of Leishmania major TyrRS show that, instead, the two halves of a single molecule form a pseudo-dimer resembling the canonical TyrRS dimer. Curiously, the C-terminal copy of the catalytic domain has lost the catalytically important HIGH and KMSKS motifs characteristic of class I aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. Thus, the pseudo-dimer contains only one functional active site (contributed by the N-terminal half) and only one functional anticodon recognition site (contributed by the C-terminal half). Despite biochemical evidence for negative cooperativity between the two active sites of the usual TyrRS homodimer, previous structures have captured a crystallographically-imposed symmetric state. As the L. major TyrRS pseudo-dimer is inherently asymmetric, conformational variations observed near the active site may be relevant to understanding how the state of a single active site is communicated across the dimer interface. Furthermore, substantial differences between trypanosomal TyrRS and human homologs are promising for the design of inhibitors that selectively target the parasite enzyme. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Arakaki T.L.,Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa | Arakaki T.L.,University of Washington | Carter M.,Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa | Carter M.,University of Washington | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Structural Biology | Year: 2010

The 2.1Å crystal structure of tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase (TrpRS) from the diplomonad Giardia lamblia reveals that the N-terminus of this class I aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase forms a 16-residue α-helix. This helix replaces a β-hairpin that is required by human TrpRS for normal activity and has been inferred to play a similar role in all eukaryotic TrpRS. The primary sequences of TrpRS homologs from several basal eukaryotes including Giardia lack a set of three residues observed to stabilize interactions with this β-hairpin in the human TrpRS. Thus the present structure suggests that the activation reaction mechanism of TrpRS from the basal eukaryote G. lamblia differs from that of higher eukaryotes. Furthermore, the protein as observed in the crystal forms an (α2)2 homotetramer. The canonical dimer interface observed in all previous structures of tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetases is maintained, but in addition each N-terminal α-helix reciprocally interlocks with the equivalent helix from a second dimer to form a dimer of dimers. Although we have no evidence for tetramer formation in vivo, modeling indicates that the crystallographically observed tetrameric structure would be compatible with the tRNA binding mode used by dimeric TrpRS and TyrRS. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Larson E.T.,Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa | Larson E.T.,University of Washington | Larson E.T.,Boehringer Ingelheim | Kim J.E.,Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa | And 17 more authors.
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2012

The genome of the human intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia contains only a single aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase gene for each amino acid. The Giardia prolyl-tRNA synthetase gene product was originally misidentified as a dual-specificity Pro/Cys enzyme, in part owing to its unexpectedly high off-target activation of cysteine, but is now believed to be a normal representative of the class of archaeal/eukaryotic prolyl-tRNA synthetases. The 2.2 Å resolution crystal structure of the G. lamblia enzyme presented here is thus the first structure determination of a prolyl-tRNA synthetase from a eukaryote. The relative occupancies of substrate (proline) and product (prolyl-AMP) in the active site are consistent with half-of-the-sites reactivity, as is the observed biphasic thermal denaturation curve for the protein in the presence of proline and MgATP. However, no corresponding induced asymmetry is evident in the structure of the protein. No thermal stabilization is observed in the presence of cysteine and ATP. The implied low affinity for the off-target activation product cysteinyl-AMP suggests that translational fidelity in Giardia is aided by the rapid release of misactivated cysteine. © 2012 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore - all rights reserved.


PubMed | Medical Structural Genomics of Pathogenic Protozoa
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Acta crystallographica. Section D, Biological crystallography | Year: 2012

The genome of the human intestinal parasite Giardia lamblia contains only a single aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase gene for each amino acid. The Giardia prolyl-tRNA synthetase gene product was originally misidentified as a dual-specificity Pro/Cys enzyme, in part owing to its unexpectedly high off-target activation of cysteine, but is now believed to be a normal representative of the class of archaeal/eukaryotic prolyl-tRNA synthetases. The 2.2 resolution crystal structure of the G. lamblia enzyme presented here is thus the first structure determination of a prolyl-tRNA synthetase from a eukaryote. The relative occupancies of substrate (proline) and product (prolyl-AMP) in the active site are consistent with half-of-the-sites reactivity, as is the observed biphasic thermal denaturation curve for the protein in the presence of proline and MgATP. However, no corresponding induced asymmetry is evident in the structure of the protein. No thermal stabilization is observed in the presence of cysteine and ATP. The implied low affinity for the off-target activation product cysteinyl-AMP suggests that translational fidelity in Giardia is aided by the rapid release of misactivated cysteine.

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