Molecular interactions: metal ions and protein chaperones in the urease system from Helicobacter pylori

Bellucci, Matteo (2010) Molecular interactions: metal ions and protein chaperones in the urease system from Helicobacter pylori, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare, molecolare e industriale/cellular, molecular and industrial biology: progetto n. 2 Biologia funzionale dei sistemi cellulari e molecolari, 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/2531.
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Although nickel is a toxic metal for living organisms in its soluble form, its importance in many biological processes recently emerged. In this view, the investigation of the nickel-dependent enzymes urease and [NiFe]-hydrogenase, especially the mechanism of nickel insertion into their active sites, represent two intriguing case studies to understand other analogous systems and therefore to lead to a comprehension of the nickel trafficking inside the cell. Moreover, these two enzymes have been demonstrated to ensure survival and colonization of the human pathogen H. pylori, the only known microorganism able to proliferate in the gastric niche. The right nickel delivering into the urease active site requires the presence of at least four accessory proteins, UreD, UreE, UreF and UreG. Similarly, analogous process is principally mediated by HypA and HypB proteins in the [NiFe]-hydrogenase system. Indeed, HpHypA and HpHypB also have been proposed to act in the activation of the urease enzyme from H. pylori, probably mobilizing nickel ions from HpHypA to the HpUreE-HpUreG complex. A complete comprehension of the interaction mechanism between the accessory proteins and the crosstalk between urease and hydrogenase accessory systems requires the determination of the role of each protein chaperone that strictly depends on their structural and biochemical properties. The availability of HpUreE, HpUreG and HpHypA proteins in a pure form is a pre-requisite to perform all the subsequent protein characterizations, thus their purification was the first aim of this work. Subsequently, the structural and biochemical properties of HpUreE were investigated using multi-angle and quasi-elastic light scattering, as well as NMR and circular dichroism spectroscopy. The thermodynamic parameters of Ni2+ and Zn2+ binding to HpUreE were principally established using isothermal titration calorimetry and the importance of key histidine residues in the process of binding metal ions was studied using site-directed mutagenesis. The molecular details of the HpUreE-HpUreG and HpUreE-HpHypA protein-protein assemblies were also elucidated. The interaction between HpUreE and HpUreG was investigated using ITC and NMR spectroscopy, and the influence of Ni2+ and Zn2+ metal ions on the stabilization of this association was established using native gel electrophoresis, light scattering and thermal denaturation scanning followed by CD spectroscopy. Preliminary HpUreE-HpHypA interaction studies were conducted using ITC. Finally, the possible structural architectures of the two protein-protein assemblies were rationalized using homology modeling and docking computational approaches. All the obtained data were interpreted in order to achieve a more exhaustive picture of the urease activation process, and the correlation with the accessory system of the hydrogenase enzyme, considering the specific role and activity of the involved protein players. A possible function for Zn2+ in the chaperone network involved in Ni2+ trafficking and urease activation is also envisaged.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Bellucci, Matteo
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Helicobacter pylori, urease, hydrogenase, protein-protein interactions, metal binding
Data di discussione
23 Aprile 2010

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