Doctor of Philosophy, University of Michigan Ann Arbor (2011)
Theodore Jardetzky, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus of the gammaherpesvirinae sub-family that predominantly infects humans through epithelial cells and B cells. Three EBV glycoproteins, gH, gL and gp42, form a complex that targets EBV infection of B cells. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules expressed on B cells serve as the receptor for gp42, triggering membrane fusion and virus entry. The mechanistic role of gHgL in herpesvirus entry has been largely unresolved, but it is thought to regulate the activation of the virally-encoded gB protein, which acts as the primary fusogen. Here we study the assembly and function of the reconstituted B cell entry complex comprised of gHgL, gp42 and HLA class II. The structure from negative-stain electron microscopy provides a detailed snapshot of an intermediate state in EBV entry and highlights the potential for the triggering complex to bring the two membrane bilayers into proximity. Furthermore, gHgL interacts with a previously identified, functionally important hydrophobic pocket on gp42, defining the overall architecture of the complex and playing a critical role in membrane fusion activation. We propose a macroscopic model of the initiating events in EBV B cell fusion centered on the formation of the triggering complex in the context of both viral and host membranes. This model suggests how the triggering complex may bridge the two membrane bilayers, orienting critical regions of the N- and C- terminal ends of gHgL to promote the activation of gB and efficient membrane fusion.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004309
View details for Web of Science ID 000341576300031
View details for PubMedID 25144748
Capsules frequently play a key role in bacterial interactions with their environment. Escherichia coli capsules were categorized as groups 1 through 4, each produced by a distinct mechanism. Etk and Etp are members of protein families required for the production of group 1 and group 4 capsules. These members function as a protein tyrosine kinase and protein tyrosine phosphatase, respectively. We show that Etp dephosphorylates Etk in vivo, and mutations rendering Etk or Etp catalytically inactive result in loss of group 4 capsule production, supporting the notion that cyclic phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of Etk is required for capsule formation. Notably, Etp also becomes tyrosine phosphorylated in vivo and catalyzes rapid auto-dephosphorylation. Further analysis identified Tyr121 as the phosphorylated residue of Etp. Etp containing Phe, Glu or Ala in place of Tyr121 retained phosphatase activity and catalyzed dephosphorylation of Etp and Etk. Although EtpY121E and EtpY121A still supported capsule formation, EtpY121F failed to do so. These results suggest that cycles of phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of Etp, as well as Etk, are involved in the formation of group 4 capsule, providing an additional regulatory layer to the complex control of capsule production.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0037984
View details for Web of Science ID 000305341700030
View details for PubMedID 22675501
We report the 1.9 Å resolution crystal structure of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli GfcC, a periplasmic protein encoded by the gfc operon, which is essential for assembly of group 4 polysaccharide capsule (O-antigen capsule). Presumed gene orthologs of gfcC are present in capsule-encoding regions of at least 29 genera of Gram-negative bacteria. GfcC, a member of the DUF1017 family, is comprised of tandem ?-grasp (ubiquitin-like) domains (D2 and D3) and a carboxyl-terminal amphipathic helix, a domain arrangement reminiscent of that of Wza that forms an exit pore for group 1 capsule export. Unlike the membrane-spanning C-terminal helix from Wza, the GfcC C-terminal helix packs against D3. Previously unobserved in a ?-grasp domain structure is a 48-residue helical hairpin insert in D2 that binds to D3, constraining its position and sequestering the carboxyl-terminal amphipathic helix. A centrally located and invariant Arg115 not only is essential for proper localization but also forms one of two mostly conserved pockets. Finally, we draw analogies between a GfcC protein fused to an outer membrane ?-barrel pore in some species and fusion proteins necessary for secreting biofilm-forming exopolysaccharides.
View details for DOI 10.1021/bi101869h
View details for Web of Science ID 000291500200008
View details for PubMedID 21449614