Apr 24, 2020

Mechanism of NanR gene repression and allosteric induction of bacterial sialic acid metabolism

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
C. R. HorneRenwick C.J. Dobson


Bacteria respond to environmental changes by inducing transcription of some genes and repressing others. Sialic acids, which coat human cell surfaces, are a nutrient source for pathogenic and commensal bacteria. The Escherichia coli GntR-type transcriptional repressor, NanR, regulates sialic acid metabolism, but the mechanism is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that three NanR dimers bind a (GGTATA)3-repeat operator cooperatively and with high affinity. Truncation of an N-terminal extension abolishes cooperative binding. The effector, N-acetylneuraminate, binds NanR and attenuates DNA binding. Crystal structure data show that N-acetylneuraminate binding to NanR causes a domain rearrangement that locks the protein in a conformation that prevents DNA binding. Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy structures of NanR bound to DNA reveal the DNA binding domain is reorganized to engage DNA, while the three dimers assemble in close proximity across the (GGTATA)3-repeat operator allowing protein-protein interactions to form via the N-terminal extensions. Our data provides a molecular basis for the regulation of bacterial sialic acid metabolism.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cerebral Atrophy
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
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Disease Transmission
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