Mutational analysis of the binding affinity and transport activity for N -acetylglucosamine of the novel ABC transporter Ngc in the chitin-degrader Streptomyces olivaceoviridis
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- Saito, A. & Schrempf, H. Mol Genet Genomics (2004) 271: 545. doi:10.1007/s00438-004-0981-0
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The highly differentiated bacterium Streptomyces olivaceoviridis efficiently hydrolyses chitin, a highly abundant natural polysaccharide, to low molecular weight products including N-acetylglucosamine (NAG) and N,N’ -diacetylchitobiose (chitobiose). NAG is taken up by a PTS (phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system) which includes the PtsC2 protein, and via the ABC (ATP-binding cassette) transporter Ngc, which itself includes the substrate-binding protein NgcE. This is at present the only ABC transporter which is known to mediate specific uptake of NAG (Km 0.48 μM, Vmax 1.3 nmol/min/mg dry weight) and is competitively inhibited by chitobiose (Ki 0.68 μM). The latter finding suggests that the Ngc system transports both NAG and chitobiose efficiently. To identify amino acid residues required for the function of NgcE, either the wild-type or one of several mutant forms of the ngcE gene was introduced into the strain S. olivaceoviridis ΔNgcE/ΔPtsC1/ΔPtsC2, which lacks both functional transport systems for NAG, and chromosomal recombinants were selected. Based on the in vivo transport parameters of the recombinants, and the in vitro binding characteristics of the corresponding purified proteins, the following conclusions can be drawn. (1) Replacement of the C-terminally located residue Y396 by A (Y396A) has little effect on ligand-binding or transport parameters. The W395A mutation also induced little change in the substrate affinity in vitro, but it led in vivo to a marked increase (11 fold) in Km, and enhanced Vmax (by 1.5 fold). (2) The amino acids Y201 and W280 both contribute (51% and 38%) to the ligand-binding capacity of NgcE. They are both very important for the in vivo function of the complete transport apparatus; strains expressing either Y201A or W280A show drastically (100 or 150 times) enhanced Km values. (3) The concomitant presence of either Y200 and W280 or Y201 and W280 is essential for the function of NgcE. (4) Y201 is located within a tyrosyl-rich motif. This has been found to share some features with the ligand-binding site of amelogenins (enamel matrix proteins), which interact with NAG residues in glycoconjugates. In addition, it is distantly related to the ligand-binding site(s) in the plant-lectins UDA ( Urtica dioica agglutinin, specific for NAG and its oligomers) and WGA (wheat germ agglutinin, which recognises a motif comprising three consecutive NAG residues).