DPS-Like Peroxide Resistance Protein: Structural and Functional Studies on a Versatile Nanocontainer
Haikarainen, Teemu (2011-12-09)
Annales Universitatis Turkuensis A I 431
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Oxidative stress is a constant threat to almost all organisms. It damages a number of biomolecules and leads to the disruption of many crucial cellular functions. It is caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide (H
2O2), superoxide (•O2 -), and hydroxyl radical (•OH). The most harmful of these compounds is •OH, which is only formed in cells in the presence of redox-cycling transition metals, such as iron and copper. Bacteria have developed a number of mechanisms to cope with ROS. One of the most widespread means employed by bacteria is the DNA-binding proteins from starved cells (Dps). Dps proteins protect the cells by binding and oxidizing Fe2+, thus greatly reducing the production of •OH. The oxidized iron is stored inside the protein as an iron core. In addition, Dps proteins bind directly to DNA forming a protective coating that shields DNA from harmful agents. Moreover, Dps proteins have been found to elicit other protective functions in cells and to participate in bacterial virulence. Dps proteins are of special importance to Streptococci owing to the lack of catalase in this genus of bacteria.This study was focused on structural and functional characterization of streptococcal Dpslike peroxide resistance (Dpr) proteins. Initially, crystal structures of Streptococcus pyogenes Dpr were determined. The data confirmed the presence of a di-metal ferroxidase center (FOC) in Dpr proteins and revealed the presence of a novel N-terminal helix as well as a surface metal-binding site. The crystal structures of Streptococcus suis Dpr complexed with transition metals demonstrated the metal specificity of the FOC. Solution binding studies also indicated the presence of a di-metal FOC. These results suggested a possible role for Dpr in the detoxification of various metals. Iron was found to mineralize inside the protein as ferrihydrite based on X-ray absorption spectroscopy data. The iron core was found to exhibit clear superparamagnetic behaviour using magnetic and Mössbauer measurements. The results from this study are expected to further increase our understanding on the binding, oxidation, and mineralization of iron and other metals in Dpr proteins. In particular, the structural and magnetic properties of the iron core can form a basis for potential new applications in nanotechnology. From the streptococcal viewpoint, the results would help in understanding better the complicated picture of bacterial pathogenesis. Dpr proteins may also provide a novel target for drug design due to their tight involvement in bacterial virulence.