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Journal of Biological Chemistry
Volume 298 (2), 2022, 101580

Structural insights into the specific interaction between Geobacillus stearothermophilus tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase and antimicrobial Chuangxinmycin

Shuai Fan1, Guangxin Lv1, Xiao Feng1, Guangteng Wu2, Yuanyuan Jin1, Maocai Yan3

Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.


The potential antimicrobial compound Chuangxinmycin (CXM) targets the tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase (TrpRS) of both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. However, the specific steric recognition mode and interaction mechanism between CXM and TrpRS is unclear. Here, we studied this interaction using recombinant GsTrpRS from Geobacillus stearothermophilus by X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The crystal structure of the recombinant GsTrpRS in complex with CXM was experimentally determined to a resolution at 2.06 Å. After analysis using a complex-structure probe, MD simulations, and site-directed mutation verification through isothermal titration calorimetry, the interaction between CXM and GsTrpRS was determined to involve the key residues M129, D132, I133, and V141 of GsTrpRS. We further evaluated binding affinities between GsTrpRS WT/mutants and CXM; GsTrpRS was found to bind CXM through hydrogen bonds with D132 and hydrophobic interactions between the lipophilic tricyclic ring of CXM and M129, I133, and V141 in the substrate-binding pockets. This study elucidates the precise interaction mechanism between CXM and its target GsTrpRS at the molecular level and provides a theoretical foundation and guidance for the screening and rational design of more effective CXM analogs against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.

Keywords: tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase, Chuangxinmycin, crystal structure, molecular dynamic simulation.

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