3 years ago

Lethality of MalE-LacZ hybrid protein shares mechanistic attributes with oxidative component of antibiotic lethality [Microbiology]

Lethality of MalE-LacZ hybrid protein shares mechanistic attributes with oxidative component of antibiotic lethality [Microbiology]
Charley C. Gruber, Yoshikazu Furuta, Dana Braff, Graham C. Walker, Silvana Andreescu, Jason H. Yang, James J. Collins, Sakkarin Bhubhanil, Xiaobo Liu, Chittampalli N. Yashaswini, Noriko Takahashi

Downstream metabolic events can contribute to the lethality of drugs or agents that interact with a primary cellular target. In bacteria, the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been associated with the lethal effects of a variety of stresses including bactericidal antibiotics, but the relative contribution of this oxidative component to cell death depends on a variety of factors. Experimental evidence has suggested that unresolvable DNA problems caused by incorporation of oxidized nucleotides into nascent DNA followed by incomplete base excision repair contribute to the ROS-dependent component of antibiotic lethality. Expression of the chimeric periplasmic-cytoplasmic MalE-LacZ72–47 protein is an historically important lethal stress originally identified during seminal genetic experiments that defined the SecY-dependent protein translocation system. Multiple, independent lines of evidence presented here indicate that the predominant mechanism for MalE-LacZ lethality shares attributes with the ROS-dependent component of antibiotic lethality. MalE-LacZ lethality requires molecular oxygen, and its expression induces ROS production. The increased susceptibility of mutants sensitive to oxidative stress to MalE-LacZ lethality indicates that ROS contribute causally to cell death rather than simply being produced by dying cells. Observations that support the proposed mechanism of cell death include MalE-LacZ expression being bacteriostatic rather than bactericidal in cells that overexpress MutT, a nucleotide sanitizer that hydrolyzes 8-oxo-dGTP to the monophosphate, or that lack MutM and MutY, DNA glycosylases that process base pairs involving 8-oxo-dGTP. Our studies suggest stress-induced physiological changes that favor this mode of ROS-dependent death.

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