skip to main content

Title: Comparative Analysis of anti-Shine- Dalgarno Function in Flavobacterium johnsoniae and Escherichia coli
The anti-Shine-Dalgarno (ASD) sequence of 16S rRNA is highly conserved across Bacteria, and yet usage of Shine-Dalgarno (SD) sequences in mRNA varies dramatically, depending on the lineage. Here, we compared the effects of ASD mutagenesis in Escherichia coli , a Gammaproteobacteria which commonly employs SD sequences, and Flavobacterium johnsoniae , a Bacteroidia which rarely does. In E. coli , 30S subunits carrying any single substitution at positions 1,535–1,539 confer dominant negative phenotypes, whereas subunits with mutations at positions 1,540–1,542 are sufficient to support cell growth. These data suggest that CCUCC (1,535–1,539) represents the functional core of the element in E. coli . In F. johnsoniae , deletion of three ribosomal RNA ( rrn ) operons slowed growth substantially, a phenotype largely rescued by a plasmid-borne copy of the rrn operon. Using this complementation system, we found that subunits with single mutations at positions 1,535–1,537 are as active as control subunits, in sharp contrast to the E. coli results. Moreover, subunits with quadruple substitution or complete replacement of the ASD retain substantial, albeit reduced, activity. Sedimentation analysis revealed that these mutant subunits are overrepresented in the subunit fractions and underrepresented in polysome fractions, suggesting some defect in 30S biogenesis and/or translation initiation. Nonetheless, our collective data indicate that the ASD plays a much smaller role in F. johnsoniae than in E. coli , consistent with SD usage in the two organisms.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Genomic studies have indicated that certain bacterial lineages such as the Bacteroidetes lack Shine-Dalgarno (SD) sequences, and yet with few exceptions ribosomes of these organisms carry the canonical anti-SD (ASD) sequence. Here, we show that ribosomes purified from Flavobacterium johnsoniae, a representative of the Bacteroidetes, fail to recognize the SD sequence of mRNA in vitro. A cryo-electron microscopy structure of the complete 70S ribosome from F. johnsoniae at 2.8 Å resolution reveals that the ASD is sequestered by ribosomal proteins bS21, bS18 and bS6, explaining the basis of ASD inhibition. The structure also uncovers a novel ribosomal protein—bL38. Remarkably, in F. johnsoniae and many other Flavobacteriia, the gene encoding bS21 contains a strong SD, unlike virtually all other genes. A subset of Flavobacteriia have an alternative ASD, and in these organisms the fully complementary sequence lies upstream of the bS21 gene, indicative of natural covariation. In other Bacteroidetes classes, strong SDs are frequently found upstream of the genes for bS21 and/or bS18. We propose that these SDs are used as regulatory elements, enabling bS21 and bS18 to translationally control their own production. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Ribosomes of Bacteroidia (formerly Bacteroidetes) fail to recognize Shine-Dalgarno (SD) sequences even though they harbor the anti-SD (ASD) of 16S rRNA. Inhibition of SD-ASD pairing is due to sequestration of the 3’ tail of 16S rRNA in a pocket formed by bS21, bS18, and bS6 on the 30S platform. Interestingly, in many Flavobacteriales, the gene encoding bS21, rpsU, contains an extended SD sequence. In this work, we present genetic and biochemical evidence that bS21 synthesis in Flavobacterium johnsoniae is autoregulated via a subpopulation of ribosomes that specifically lack bS21. Mutation or depletion of bS21 in the cell increases translation of reporters with strong SD sequences, such as rpsU’-gfp, but has no effect on other reporters. Purified ribosomes lacking bS21 (or its C-terminal region) exhibit higher rates of initiation on rpsU mRNA and lower rates of initiation on other (SD-less) mRNAs than control ribosomes. The mechanism of autoregulation depends on extensive pairing between mRNA and 16S rRNA, and exceptionally strong SD sequences, with predicted pairing free energies of < –13 kcal/mol, are characteristic of rpsU across the Bacteroidota. This work uncovers a clear example of specialized ribosomes in bacteria.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract The ribosome serves as the universally conserved translator of the genetic code into proteins and supports life across diverse temperatures ranging from below freezing to above 120°C. Ribosomes are capable of functioning across this wide range of temperatures even though the catalytic site for peptide bond formation, the peptidyl transferase center, is nearly universally conserved. Here we find that Thermoproteota, a phylum of thermophilic Archaea, substitute cytidine for uridine at large subunit rRNA positions 2554 and 2555 (Escherichia coli numbering) in the A loop, immediately adjacent to the binding site for the 3′-end of A-site tRNA. We show by cryo-EM that E. coli ribosomes with uridine to cytidine mutations at these positions retain the proper fold and post-transcriptional modification of the A loop. Additionally, these mutations do not affect cellular growth, protect the large ribosomal subunit from thermal denaturation, and increase the mutational robustness of nucleotides in the peptidyl transferase center. This work identifies sequence variation across archaeal ribosomes in the peptidyl transferase center that likely confers stabilization of the ribosome at high temperatures and develops a stable mutant bacterial ribosome that can act as a scaffold for future ribosome engineering efforts. 
    more » « less
  4. Rubisco catalyses the first step in carbon fixation and is a strategic target to improve photosynthetic efficiency. In plants, Rubisco is composed of eight large and eight small subunits and its biogenesis requires multiple chaperones. We optimised a system to produce tobacco Rubisco in Escherichia coli by co-expressing chaperones in auto-induction medium. We successfully assembled tobacco Rubisco in E. coli with each small subunit that is normally encoded by the nuclear genome. Even though each enzyme carries only a single type of small subunit in E. coli, the enzymes exhibit carboxylation kinetics very similar to that of the native Rubisco. Tobacco Rubisco assembled with a recently discovered trichome small subunit has a higher catalytic rate and a lower CO2 affinity than those assembled with other small subunits. Our E. coli expression system will allow probing of features of both subunits of Rubisco that affect its kinetic properties. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Improved prodrug‐activating enzymes have the potential to increase the therapeutic efficacy of gene‐directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT). Yeast cytosine deaminase (yCD) is commonly used to convert the prodrug 5‐fluorocytosine (5‐FC) to the chemotherapeutic 5‐fluorouracil for GDEPT. Mutagenesis studies on yCD aimed at improving its application in GDEPT have been limited to subsets of residues or have sought to improve a single property of the enzyme. We performed comprehensive site‐saturation mutagenesis (CSM) on yCD designed to create all 2,983 possible unique protein mutants with a single amino acid substitution. We identified active variants throughEscherichia coligenetic complementation and screened these mutants, and combinations thereof, for increased ability to sensitizeE. coliand HT1080 fibrosarcoma cells to 5‐FC. Several mutants identified in this study showed increased sensitization ability for bothE. coliand HT1080 cells indicating that CSM is an effective directed evolution tool for identifying unexpectedly beneficial mutations.

    more » « less