Publications by authors named "Anand K Bachhawat"

36 Publications

Heart failure and the glutathione cycle: an integrated view.

Biochem J 2020 09;477(17):3123-3130

Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, S.A.S. Nagar, Punjab 140306, India.

Heart failure results from the heart's inability to carryout ventricular contraction and relaxation, and has now become a worldwide problem. During the onset of heart failure, several signatures are observed in cardiomyocytes that includes fetal reprogramming of gene expression where adult genes are repressed and fetal genes turned on, endoplasmic reticulum stress and oxidative stress. In this short review and analysis, we examine these different phenomenon from the viewpoint of the glutathione cycle and the role of the recently discovered Chac1 enzyme. Chac1, which belongs to the family of γ-glutamylcyclotransferases, is a recently discovered member of the glutathione cycle, being involved in the cytosolic degradation of glutathione. This enzyme is induced during the Endoplasmic Stress response, but also in the developing heart. Owing to its exclusive action on reduced glutathione, its induction leads to an increase in the oxidative redox potential of the cell that also serves as signaling mechanism for calcium ions channel activation. The end product of Chac1 action is 5-oxoproline, and studies with 5-oxoprolinase (OPLAH), an enzyme of the glutathione cycle has revealed that down-regulation of OPLAH can lead to the accumulation of 5-oxproline which is an important factor in heart failure. With these recent findings, we have re-examined the roles and regulation of the enzymes in the glutathione cycle which are central to these responses. We present an integrated view of the glutathione cycle in the cellular response to heart failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20200429DOI Listing
September 2020

An inquiry-based approach in large undergraduate labs: Learning, by doing it the "wrong" way.

Biochem Mol Biol Educ 2020 05 3;48(3):227-235. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Punjab, India.

Undergraduate laboratory courses, owing to their larger sizes and shorter time slots, are often conducted in highly structured modes. However, this approach is known to interfere with students' engagement in the experiments. To enhance students' engagement, we propose an alternative mode of running laboratory courses by creating some "disorder" in a previously adopted structure. After performing an experiment in the right way, the students were asked to repeat the experiment but with a variation at certain steps leading to the experiment being done the "wrong" way. Although this approach led to fewer experiments being conducted in a semester, it significantly enhanced the students' involvement. This was also reflected in the students' feedback. The majority of students preferred repeating an experiment with a variant protocol than performing a new experiment. Although we have tested this inquiry-based approach only for an undergraduate laboratory course in molecular biology, we believe such an approach could also be extended to undergraduate laboratory courses of other subjects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bmb.21331DOI Listing
May 2020

A Genetic Screen for the Isolation of Mutants with Increased Flux in the Isoprenoid Pathway of Yeast.

Methods Mol Biol 2019 ;1927:231-246

Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, S.A.S Nagar, Punjab, India.

The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is one of the preferred hosts for the production of terpenoids through metabolic engineering. A genetic screen to identify novel mutants that can increase the flux in the isoprenoid pathway has been lacking. We present here the method that has led to the development of a carotenoid based visual screen by exploiting the carotenogenic genes from the red yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides, an organism known to have high levels of carotenoids. We also discuss the methods to use this screen for the identification of mutants that can lead to higher isoprenoid flux. The carotenoid based screen was developed in S. cerevisiae using phytoene synthase RtPSY1 and a hyperactive mutant of the enzyme phytoene dehydrogenase, RtCRTI(A393T) from Rhodosporidium toruloides. As validation of the genetic screen is critical at all stages, we describe the method to validate the screen using a known flux increasing gene, a truncated HMG1 (tHMG1). To demonstrate how this screen can be exploited to isolate mutants, we described how targeted mutagenesis of candidate gene, SPT15 a TATA binding protein involved in the global transcription machinery can be carried out to yield novel mutants with increased metabolic flux. Since it is also important to ensure that the isolated mutants are enhancing general isoprenoid flux, we describe how this can be established using an alternate isoprenoid, α-farnesene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-9142-6_16DOI Listing
June 2019

Role of phosphate limitation and pyruvate decarboxylase in rewiring of the metabolic network for increasing flux towards isoprenoid pathway in a TATA binding protein mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Microb Cell Fact 2018 Sep 21;17(1):152. Epub 2018 Sep 21.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai, India.

Background: Production of isoprenoids, a large and diverse class of commercially important chemicals, can be achieved through engineering metabolism in microorganisms. Several attempts have been made to reroute metabolic flux towards isoprenoid pathway in yeast. Most approaches have focused on the core isoprenoid pathway as well as on meeting the increased precursors and cofactor requirements. To identify unexplored genetic targets that positively influence the isoprenoid pathway activity, a carotenoid based genetic screen was previously developed and three novel mutants of a global TATA binding protein SPT15 was isolated for heightened isoprenoid flux in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Results: In this study, we investigated how one of the three spt15 mutants, spt15_Ala101Thr, was leading to enhanced isoprenoid pathway flux in S. cerevisiae. Metabolic flux analysis of the spt15_Ala101Thr mutant initially revealed a rerouting of the central carbon metabolism for the production of the precursor acetyl-CoA through activation of pyruvate-acetaldehyde-acetate cycle in the cytoplasm due to high flux in the reaction caused by pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC). This led to alternate routes of cytosolic NADPH generation, increased mitochondrial ATP production and phosphate demand in the mutant strain. Comparison of the transcriptomics of the spt15_Ala101Thr mutant cell with SPT15WT bearing cells shows upregulation of phosphate mobilization genes and pyruvate decarboxylase 6 (PDC6). Increasing the extracellular phosphate led to an increase in the growth rate and biomass but diverted flux away from the isoprenoid pathway. PDC6 is also shown to play a critical role in isoprenoid pathway flux under phosphate limitation conditions.

Conclusion: The study not only proposes a probable mechanism as to how a spt15_Ala101Thr mutant (a global TATA binding protein mutant) could increase flux towards the isoprenoid pathway, but also PDC as a new route of metabolic manipulation for increasing the isoprenoid flux in yeast.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12934-018-1000-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6149198PMC
September 2018

Redox regulation of the yeast voltage-gated Ca channel homolog Cch1p by glutathionylation of specific cysteine residues.

J Cell Sci 2017 Jul 2;130(14):2317-2328. Epub 2017 Jun 2.

Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER), Sector 81, Mohali, Punjab 140306, India

Cch1p, the yeast homolog of the pore-forming subunit α of the mammalian voltage-gated Ca channel (VGCC), is located on the plasma membrane and mediates the redox-dependent influx of Ca Cch1p is known to undergo both rapid activation (after oxidative stress and or a change to high pH) and slow activation (after ER stress and mating pheromone activation), but the mechanism of activation is not known. We demonstrate here that both the fast activation (exposure to pH 8-8.5 or treatment with HO) and the slow activation (treatment with tunicamycin or α-factor) are mediated through a common redox-dependent mechanism. Furthermore, through mutational analysis of all 18 exposed cysteine residues in the Cch1p protein, we show that the four mutants C587A, C606A, C636A and C642A, which are clustered together in a common cytoplasmic loop region, were functionally defective for both fast and slow activations, and also showed reduced glutathionylation. These four cysteine residues are also conserved across phyla, suggesting a conserved mechanism of activation. Investigations into the enzymes involved in the activation reveal that the yeast glutathione S-transferase Gtt1p is involved in the glutathionylation of Cch1p, while the thioredoxin Trx2p plays a role in the Cch1p deglutathionylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.202853DOI Listing
July 2017

Glutathione depletion activates the yeast vacuolar transient receptor potential channel, Yvc1p, by reversible glutathionylation of specific cysteines.

Mol Biol Cell 2016 12 5;27(24):3913-3925. Epub 2016 Oct 5.

Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali 140306, Punjab, India

Glutathione depletion and calcium influx into the cytoplasm are two hallmarks of apoptosis. We have been investigating how glutathione depletion leads to apoptosis in yeast. We show here that glutathione depletion in yeast leads to the activation of two cytoplasmically inward-facing channels: the plasma membrane, Cch1p, and the vacuolar calcium channel, Yvc1p. Deletion of these channels partially rescues cells from glutathione depletion-induced cell death. Subsequent investigations on the Yvc1p channel, a homologue of the mammalian TRP channels, revealed that the channel is activated by glutathionylation. Yvc1p has nine cysteine residues, of which eight are located in the cytoplasmic regions and one on the transmembrane domain. We show that three of these cysteines, Cys-17, Cys-79, and Cys-191, are specifically glutathionylated. Mutation of these cysteines to alanine leads to a loss in glutathionylation and a concomitant loss in calcium channel activity. We further investigated the mechanism of glutathionylation and demonstrate a role for the yeast glutathione S-transferase Gtt1p in glutathionylation. Yvc1p is also deglutathionylated, and this was found to be mediated by the yeast thioredoxin, Trx2p. A model for redox activation and deactivation of the yeast Yvc1p channel is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E16-05-0281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5170613PMC
December 2016

Charged/Polar-residue scanning of the hydrophobic face of transmembrane domain 9 of the yeast glutathione transporter, hgt1p, reveals a conformationally critical region for substrate transport.

G3 (Bethesda) 2015 Mar 16;5(5):921-9. Epub 2015 Mar 16.

Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH), Sector 39-A Chandigarh 160036, India

Unraveling the mechanistic workings of membrane transporters has remained a challenging task. We describe a novel strategy that involves subjecting the residues of the hydrophobic face of a transmembrane helix to a charged/polar scanning mutagenesis. TMD9 of the yeast glutathione transporter, Hgt1p, has been identified as being important in substrate binding, and two residues, F523 and Q526, are expected to line the substrate translocation channel while the other face is hydrophobic. The hydrophobic face of TMD9 helix consists of residues A509, V513, L517, L520, I524, and I528, and these were mutated to lysine, glutamine, and glutamic acid. Among the 16 charged mutants created, six were nonfunctional, revealing a surprising tolerance of charged residues in the hydrophobic part of TM helices. Furthermore, the only position that did not tolerate any charged residue was I524, proximal to the substrate binding residues. However, P525, also proximal to the substrate binding residues, did tolerate charged/polar residues, suggesting that mere proximity to the substrate binding residues was not the only factor. The I524K/E/Q mutants expressed well and localized correctly despite lacking any glutathione uptake capability. Isolation of suppressors for all nonfunctional mutants yielded second-site suppressors only for I524K and I524Q, and suppressors for these mutations appeared at G202K/I and G202K/Q, respectively. G202 is in the hydrophilic loop between TMD3 and TMD4. The results suggest that I524 in the hydrophobic face interacts with this region and is also in a conformationally critical region for substrate translocation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/g3.115.017079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4426376PMC
March 2015

Defining the cytosolic pathway of glutathione degradation in Arabidopsis thaliana: role of the ChaC/GCG family of γ-glutamyl cyclotransferases as glutathione-degrading enzymes and AtLAP1 as the Cys-Gly peptidase.

Biochem J 2015 May;468(1):73-85

*Department of Biological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, S.A.S. Nagar, Punjab 140306, India.

Glutathione homoeostasis is critical to plant life and its adaptation to stress. The γ-glutamyl cycle of glutathione biosynthesis and degradation plays a pre-eminent role in glutathione homoeostasis. The genes encoding two enzymatic steps of glutathione degradation, the γ-glutamyl cyclotransferase (GGCT; acting on γ-glutamyl amino acids) and the Cys-Gly dipeptidase, have, however, lacked identification. We have investigated the family of GGCTs in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show through in vivo functional assays in yeast that all three members of the ChaC/GCG subfamily show significant activity towards glutathione but no detectable activity towards γ-glutamyl methionine. Biochemical characterization of the purified recombinant enzymes GGCT2;2 and GGCT2;3 further confirmed that they act specifically to degrade glutathione to yield 5-oxoproline and Cys-Gly peptide and show no significant activity towards γ-glutamyl cysteine. The Km for glutathione was 1.7 and 4.96 mM for GGCT2;2 and GGCT2;3 respectively and was physiologically relevant. Evaluation of representative members of other subfamilies indicates the absence of GGCTs from plants showing significant activity towards γ-glutamyl-amino acids as envisaged in the classical γ-glutamyl cycle. To identify the Cys-Gly peptidase, we evaluated leucine aminopeptidases (LAPs) as candidate enzymes. The cytosolic AtLAP1 (A. thaliana leucine aminopeptidase 1) and the putative chloroplastic AtLAP3 displayed activity towards Cys-Gly peptide through in vivo functional assays in yeast. Biochemical characterization of the in vitro purified hexameric AtLAP1 enzyme revealed a Km for Cys-Gly of 1.3 mM that was physiologically relevant and indicated that AtLAP1 represents a cytosolic Cys-Gly peptidase activity of A. thaliana. The studies provide new insights into the functioning of the γ-glutamyl cycle in plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20141154DOI Listing
May 2015

New insights into the genetics of 5-oxoprolinase deficiency and further evidence that it is a benign biochemical condition.

Eur J Pediatr 2015 Mar 17;174(3):407-11. Epub 2014 Aug 17.

Program in Rare and Genetic Diseases, Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe (CIPF), Valencia, Spain,

Unlabelled: Inherited 5-oxoprolinase (OPLAH) deficiency is a rare inborn condition characterised by 5-oxoprolinuria. To date, three OPLAH mutations have been described: p.H870Pfs in a homozygous state, which results in a truncated protein, was reported in two siblings, and two heterozygous missense changes, p.S323R and p.V1089I, were independently identified in two unrelated patients. We describe the clinical context of a young girl who manifested 5-oxoprolinuria together with dusky episodes and who is compound heterozygote for two novel OPLAH variations: p.G860R and p.D1241V. To gain insight into the aetiology of the 5-oxoprolinase deficiency, we investigated the pathogenicity of all the reported missense mutations in the OPLAH gene. A yeast in vivo growth assay revealed that only p.S323R, p.G860R and p.D1241V affected the activity of the enzyme.

Conclusion: Taken together, this report further suggests that hereditary 5-oxoprolinase deficiency is a benign biochemical condition caused by mutations in the OPLAH gene, which are transmitted in an autosomal recessive manner, but 5-oxoprolinuria may be a chance association in other disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00431-014-2397-0DOI Listing
March 2015

Mutations in the N-terminal region of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe glutathione transporter pgt1⁺ allows functional expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Yeast 2013 Feb 20;30(2):45-54. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Institute of Microbial Technology-CSIR, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh 160036, India.

Pgt1p encodes a glutathione transporter in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, orthologous to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae glutathione transporter, Hgt1p. Despite high similarity to Hgt1p, Pgt1p failed to display functionality during heterologous expression in S. cerevisiae. In the present study we employed a genetic strategy to investigate the reason behind the non-functionality of pgt1⁺ in S. cerevisiae. Functional mutants were isolated after in vitro mutagenesis. Several mutants were obtained and four mutants analysed. Among these, three yielded different point mutations in the N-terminal region (301-350 bp) of the transporter before the first transmembrane domain, while one mutant contained a deletion of 42 nucleotides within the same region. The mutant pgt1⁺ proteins not only expressed and localized correctly, but displayed high-affinity glutathione transport capabilities in S. cerevisae. Comparison of wild-type pgt1⁺ with the functional mutants revealed that a loss in protein expression was responsible for lack of functionality of wild-type pgt1⁺ in S. cerevisiae. The mRNA levels in wild-type and mutants were comparable, suggesting that the block was in translation. The formation of a strong stem-loop structure appeared to be responsible for inefficient translation in pgt1⁺ and disruption of these structures in the mutants was probably permitting translation. This was confirmed by making silent mutations in this region of wild-type pgt1⁺, which led to their functionality in S. cerevisiae. This genetic strategy to relieve functional blocks in expression should greatly facilitate the study of these and other transporters from more intractable genetic organisms in a heterologous expression system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/yea.2939DOI Listing
February 2013

Glutathione transporters.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2013 May 30;1830(5):3154-64. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Punjab, India.

Background: Glutathione (GSH) is synthesized in the cytoplasm but there is a requirement for glutathione not only in the cytoplasm, but in the other organelles and the extracellular milieu. GSH is also imported into the cytoplasm. The transports of glutathione across these different membranes in different systems have been biochemically demonstrated. However the molecular identity of the transporters has been established only in a few cases.

Scope Of Review: An attempt has been made to present the current state of knowledge of glutathione transporters from different organisms as well as different organelles. These include the most well characterized transporters, the yeast high-affinity, high-specificity glutathione transporters involved in import into the cytoplasm, and the mammalian MRP proteins involved in low affinity glutathione efflux from the cytoplasm. Other glutathione transporters that have been described either with direct or indirect evidences are also discussed.

Major Conclusions: The molecular identity of a few glutathione transporters has been unambiguously established but there is a need to identify the transporters of other systems and organelles. There is a lack of direct evidence establishing transport by suggested transporters in many cases. Studies with the high affinity transporters have led to important structure-function insights.

General Significance: An understanding of glutathione transporters is critical to our understanding of redox homeostasis in living cells. By presenting our current state of understanding and the gaps in our knowledge the review hopes to stimulate research in these fields. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Cellular functions of glutathione.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbagen.2012.11.018DOI Listing
May 2013

Redox-dependent stability of the γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase enzyme of Escherichia coli: a novel means of redox regulation.

Biochem J 2013 Feb;449(3):783-94

Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR), Sector 39-A, Chandigarh 160 036, India.

Glutathione is a thiol-containing tripeptide that plays important roles in redox-related processes. The first step in glutathione biosynthesis is catalysed by γ-GCS (γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase). The crystal structure of Escherichia coli γ-GCS has revealed the presence of a disulfide bond. As the disulfide-bonding cysteine residues Cys372 and Cys395 are not well conserved among γ-GCS enzymes in this lineage, we have initiated a biochemical genetic strategy to investigate the functional importance of these and other cysteine residues. In a cysteine-free γ-GCS that was non-functional, suppressor analysis yielded combinations of cysteine and aromatic residues at the position of the disulfide bond, and one mutant that lacked any cysteine residues. Kinetic analysis of the wild-type and mutant enzymes revealed that the disulfide bond was not involved in determining the affinity of the enzyme towards its substrate, but had an important role in determining the stability of the protein, and its catalytic efficiency. We show that in vivo the γ-GCS enzyme can also exist in a reduced form and that the mutants lacking the disulfide bond show a decreased half-life. These results demonstrate a novel means of regulation of γ-GCS by the redox environment that works by an alteration in its stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20120204DOI Listing
February 2013

Glutathione degradation by the alternative pathway (DUG pathway) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is initiated by (Dug2p-Dug3p)2 complex, a novel glutamine amidotransferase (GATase) enzyme acting on glutathione.

J Biol Chem 2012 Mar 25;287(12):8920-31. Epub 2012 Jan 25.

Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India.

The recently identified, fungi-specific alternative pathway of glutathione degradation requires the participation of three genes, DUG1, DUG2, and DUG3. Dug1p has earlier been shown to function as a Cys-Gly-specific dipeptidase. In the present study, we describe the characterization of Dug2p and Dug3p. Dug3p has a functional glutamine amidotransferase (GATase) II domain that is catalytically important for glutathione degradation as demonstrated through mutational analysis. Dug2p, which has an N-terminal WD40 and a C-terminal M20A peptidase domain, has no peptidase activity. The previously demonstrated Dug2p-Dug3p interaction was found to be mediated through the WD40 domain of Dug2p. Dug2p was also shown to be able to homodimerize, and this was mediated by its M20A peptidase domain. In vitro reconstitution assays revealed that Dug2p and Dug3p were required together for the cleavage of glutathione into glutamate and Cys-Gly. Purification through gel filtration chromatography confirmed the formation of a Dug2p-Dug3p complex. The functional complex had a molecular weight that corresponded to (Dug2p-Dug3p)(2) in addition to higher molecular weight oligomers and displayed Michaelis-Menten kinetics. (Dug2p-Dug3p)(2) had a K(m) for glutathione of 1.2 mm, suggesting a novel GATase enzyme that acted on glutathione. Dug1p activity in glutathione degradation was found to be restricted to its Cys-Gly peptidase activity, which functioned downstream of the (Dug2p-Dug3p)(2) GATase. The DUG2 and DUG3 genes, but not DUG1, were derepressed by sulfur limitation. Based on these studies and the functioning of GATases, a mechanism is proposed for the functioning of the Dug proteins in the degradation of glutathione.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M111.327411DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308760PMC
March 2012

Glutathione utilization by Candida albicans requires a functional glutathione degradation (DUG) pathway and OPT7, an unusual member of the oligopeptide transporter family.

J Biol Chem 2011 Dec 12;286(48):41183-41194. Epub 2011 Oct 12.

Institute of Microbial Technology (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), Chandigarh 160036, India; Indian Institute of Science Education & Research Mohali, Knowledge City, S.A.S. Nagar, Punjab-140306, India. Electronic address:

Candida albicans lacks the ability to survive within its mammalian host in the absence of endogenous glutathione biosynthesis. To examine the ability of this yeast to utilize exogenous glutathione, we exploited the organic sulfur auxotrophy of C. albicans met15Δ strains. We observed that glutathione is utilized efficiently by the alternative pathway of glutathione degradation (DUG pathway). The major oligopeptide transporters OPT1-OPT5 of C. albicans that were most similar to the known yeast glutathione transporters were not found to contribute to glutathione transport to any significant extent. A genomic library approach to identify the glutathione transporter of C. albicans yielded OPT7 as the primary glutathione transporter. Biochemical studies on OPT7 using radiolabeled GSH uptake revealed a K(m) of 205 μm, indicating that it was a high affinity glutathione transporter. OPT7 is unusual in several aspects. It is the most remote member to known yeast glutathione transporters, lacks the two highly conserved cysteines in the family that are known to be crucial in trafficking, and also has the ability to take up tripeptides. The transporter was regulated by sulfur sources in the medium. OPT7 orthologues were prevalent among many pathogenic yeasts and fungi and formed a distinct cluster quite remote from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae HGT1 glutathione transporter cluster. In vivo experiments using a systemic model of candidiasis failed to detect expression of OPT7 in vivo, and strains disrupted either in the degradation (dug3Δ) or transport (opt7Δ) of glutathione failed to show a defect in virulence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M111.272377DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3308832PMC
December 2011

Glutathione revisited: a vital function in iron metabolism and ancillary role in thiol-redox control.

EMBO J 2011 May 8;30(10):2044-56. Epub 2011 Apr 8.

LSOC, DSV, IBITECS, CEA-Saclay, France.

Glutathione contributes to thiol-redox control and to extra-mitochondrial iron-sulphur cluster (ISC) maturation. To determine the physiological importance of these functions and sort out those that account for the GSH requirement for viability, we performed a comprehensive analysis of yeast cells depleted of or containing toxic levels of GSH. Both conditions triggered an intense iron starvation-like response and impaired the activity of extra-mitochondrial ISC enzymes but did not impact thiol-redox maintenance, except for high glutathione levels that altered oxidative protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum. While iron partially rescued the ISC maturation and growth defects of GSH-depleted cells, genetic experiments indicated that unlike thioredoxin, glutathione could not support by itself the thiol-redox duties of the cell. We propose that glutathione is essential by its requirement in ISC assembly, but only serves as a thioredoxin backup in cytosolic thiol-redox maintenance. Glutathione-high physiological levels are thus meant to insulate its cytosolic function in iron metabolism from variations of its concentration during redox stresses, a model challenging the traditional view of it as prime actor in thiol-redox control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/emboj.2011.105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3098478PMC
May 2011

The role of transmembrane domain 9 in substrate recognition by the fungal high-affinity glutathione transporters.

Biochem J 2010 Aug;429(3):593-602

Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India.

Hgt1p, a high-affinity glutathione transporter from Saccharomyces cerevisiae belongs to the recently described family of OPTs (oligopeptide transporters), the majority of whose members still have unknown substrate specificity. To obtain insights into substrate recognition and translocation, we have subjected all 21 residues of TMD9 (transmembrane domain 9) to alanine-scanning mutagenesis. Phe523 was found to be critical for glutathione recognition, since F523A mutants showed a 4-fold increase in Km without affecting expression or localization. Phe523 and the previously identified polar residue Gln526 were on the same face of the helix suggesting a joint participation in glutathione recognition, whereas two other polar residues, Ser519 and Asn522, of TMD9, although also orientated on the same face, did not appear to be involved. The size and hydrophobicity of Phe523 were both key features of its functionality, as seen from mutational analysis. Sequence alignments revealed that Phe523 and Gln526 were conserved in a cluster of OPT homologues from different fungi. A second cluster contained isoleucine and glutamate residues in place of phenylalanine and glutamine residues, residues that are best tolerated in Hgt1p for glutathione transporter activity, when introduced together. The critical nature of the residues at these positions in TMD9 for substrate recognition was exploited to assign substrate specificities of several putative fungal orthologues present in these and other clusters. The presence of either phenylalanine and glutamine or isoleucine and glutamate residues at these positions correlated with their function as high-affinity glutathione transporters based on genetic assays and the Km of these transporters towards glutathione.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20100240DOI Listing
August 2010

Gln-222 in transmembrane domain 4 and Gln-526 in transmembrane domain 9 are critical for substrate recognition in the yeast high affinity glutathione transporter, Hgt1p.

J Biol Chem 2009 Aug 9;284(35):23872-84. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh 160 036, India.

Hgt1p, a member of the oligopeptide transporter family, is a high affinity glutathione transporter from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We have explored the role of polar or charged residues in the putative transmembrane domains of Hgt1p to obtain insights into the structural features of Hgt1p that govern its substrate specificity. A total of 22 charged and polar residues in the predicted transmembrane domains and other conserved regions were subjected to alanine mutagenesis. Functional characterization of these 22 mutants identified 11 mutants which exhibited significant loss in functional activity. All 11 mutants except T114A had protein expression levels comparable with wild type, and all except E744A were proficient in trafficking to the cell surface. Kinetic analyses revealed differential contributions toward the functional activity of Hgt1p by these residues and identified Asn-124 in transmembrane domain 1 (TMD1), Gln-222 in TMD4, Gln-526 in TMD9, and Glu-544, Arg-554, and Lys-562 in the intracellular loop region 537-568 containing the highly conserved proline-rich motif to be essential for the transport activity of the protein. Furthermore, mutants Q222A and Q526A exhibited a nearly 4- and 8-fold increase in the K(m) for glutathione. Interestingly, although Gln-222 is widely conserved among other functionally characterized oligopeptide transporter family members including those having a different substrate specificity, Gln-526 is present only in Hgt1p and Pgt1, the only two known high affinity glutathione transporters. These results provide the first insights into the substrate recognition residues of a high affinity glutathione transporter and on residues/helices involved in substrate translocation in the structurally uncharacterized oligopeptide transporter family.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M109.029728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2749159PMC
August 2009

Differential roles played by the native cysteine residues of the yeast glutathione transporter, Hgt1p.

FEMS Yeast Res 2009 Sep 6;9(6):849-66. Epub 2009 May 6.

Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India.

Hgt1p, a high-affinity glutathione transporter from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, belongs to the structurally uncharacterized oligopeptide transporter (OPT) family. To initiate structural studies on Hgt1p, a cysteine-free (cys-free) Hgt1p was generated. This cys-free Hgt1p was nonfunctional and pointed to a critical role being played by the native cysteine residues of Hgt1p. To investigate their role, genetic and biochemical approaches were undertaken. Functional suppressors of the cys-free Hgt1p were isolated, and yielded double revertants bearing C622 and C632. Subsequent biochemical characterization of the individual C622S/A or C632S/A mutations revealed that both these cysteine residues were, in fact, individually indispensable for Hgt1p function and were required for trafficking to the plasma membrane. However, despite their essentiality, the presence of only these two native cysteines in Hgt1p generated a very weak glutathione transporter with minimal functional activity. Hence, the remaining 10 cysteines were also contributing towards Hgt1p activity, although they were not found to be singly responsible or crucial for Hgt1p functional activity. These residues, however, contributed cumulatively towards the stability and the functionality of Hgt1p, without affecting the trafficking to the cell surface. The study reveals differential roles for the cysteines of Hgt1p and provides first insights into the structural features of an OPT family member.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1567-1364.2009.00529.xDOI Listing
September 2009

Dug1p Is a Cys-Gly peptidase of the gamma-glutamyl cycle of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and represents a novel family of Cys-Gly peptidases.

J Biol Chem 2009 May 3;284(21):14493-502. Epub 2009 Apr 3.

Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh 160 036, India.

GSH metabolism in yeast is carried out by the gamma-glutamyl cycle as well as by the DUG complex. One of the last steps in the gamma-glutamyl cycle is the cleavage of Cys-Gly by a peptidase to the constitutent amino acids. Saccharomyces cerevisiae extracts carry Cys-Gly dipeptidase activity, but the corresponding gene has not yet been identified. We describe the isolation and characterization of a novel Cys-Gly dipeptidase, encoded by the DUG1 gene. Dug1p had previously been identified as part of the Dug1p-Dug2p-Dug3p complex that operates as an alternate GSH degradation pathway and has also been suggested to function as a possible di- or tripeptidase based on genetic studies. We show here that Dug1p is a homodimer that can also function in a Dug2-Dug3-independent manner as a dipeptidase with high specificity for Cys-Gly and no activity toward tri- or tetrapeptides in vitro. This activity requires zinc or manganese ions. Yeast cells lacking Dug1p (dug1Delta) accumulate Cys-Gly. Unlike all other Cys-Gly peptidases, which are members of the metallopeptidase M17, M19, or M1 families, Dug1p is the first to belong to the M20A family. We also show that the Dug1p Schizosaccharomyces pombe orthologue functions as the exclusive Cys-Gly peptidase in this organism. The human orthologue CNDP2 also displays Cys-Gly peptidase activity, as seen by complementation of the dug1Delta mutant and by biochemical characterization, which revealed a high substrate specificity and affinity for Cys-Gly. The results indicate that the Dug1p family represents a novel class of Cys-Gly dipeptidases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M808952200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2682898PMC
May 2009

A modified Western blot protocol for enhanced sensitivity in the detection of a membrane protein.

Anal Biochem 2009 Jan 11;384(2):348-9. Epub 2008 Oct 11.

Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh 160 036, India.

Membrane proteins, owing to their highly hydrophobic nature, have always posed a daunting challenge to biochemists and structural biologists working on the characterization of these "naughty" proteins. Here we describe a problem that we encountered in the immunodetection of a hemagglutinin (HA) epitope-tagged membrane protein, Hgt1p (high-affinity glutathione transporter from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae), for which little or no signal was observed on the blots with monoclonal antibody, on following the standard Western blot protocol. The introduction of a single step that involved posttransfer incubation of the blots with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)/beta-mercaptoethanol solution at 55 degrees C for 15 min enabled us to detect a strong, stable, and reproducible signal for the membrane protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ab.2008.10.005DOI Listing
January 2009

Pgt1, a glutathione transporter from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

FEMS Yeast Res 2008 Sep 24;8(6):916-29. Epub 2008 Jul 24.

Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India.

The Schizosaccharomyces pombe ORF, SPAC29B12.10c, a predicted member of the oligopeptide transporter (OPT) family, was identified as a gene encoding the S. pombe glutathione transporter (Pgt1) by a genetic strategy that exploited the requirement of the cys1aDelta strain of S. pombe (which is defective in cysteine biosynthesis) for either cysteine or glutathione, for growth. Disruption of the ORF in the cys1aDelta strain led to an inability to grow on glutathione as a source of cysteine. Cloning and subsequent biochemical characterization of the ORF revealed that a high-affinity transporter for glutathione (K(m)=63 microM) that was found to be localized to the plasma membrane. The transporter was specific for glutathione, as significant inhibition in glutathione uptake could be observed only by either reduced or oxidized glutathione, or glutathione conjugates, but not by dipeptides or tripeptides. Furthermore, although glu-cys-gly, an analogue of glutathione (gamma-glu-cys-gly), could be utilized as a sulphur source, the growth was not Pgt1 dependent. This further underlined the specificity of this transporter for glutathione. The strong repression of pgt1(+) expression by cysteine suggested a role in scavenging glutathione from the extracellular environment for the maintenance of sulphur homeostasis in this yeast.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1567-1364.2008.00423.xDOI Listing
September 2008

Yct1p, a novel, high-affinity, cysteine-specific transporter from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Genetics 2007 Jun 15;176(2):877-90. Epub 2007 Apr 15.

Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh 160036, India.

Cysteine transport in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is mediated by at least eight different permeases, none of which are specific for cysteine. We describe a novel, high-affinity, (K(m) = 55 microM), cysteine-specific transporter encoded by the ORF YLL055w that was initially identified by a combined strategy of data mining, bioinformatics, and genetic analysis. Null mutants of YLL055w, but not of the other genes encoding for transporters that mediate cysteine uptake such as GAP1, GNP1, MUP1, or AGP1 in a met15Delta background, resulted in a growth defect when cysteine, at low concentrations, was provided as the sole sulfur source. Transport experiments further revealed that Yll055wp was the major contributor to cysteine transport under these conditions. The contributions of the other transporters became relevant only at higher concentrations of cysteine or when YLL055w was either deleted or repressed. YLL055w expression was repressed by organic sulfur sources and was mediated by the Met4p-dependent sulfur regulatory network. The results reveal that YLL055w encodes the principal cysteine transporter in S. cerevisiae, which we have named YCT1 (yeast cysteine transporter). Interestingly, Yct1p belongs to the Dal5p family of transporters rather than the amino acid permease family to which all the known amino acid transporters belong.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1534/genetics.107.070342DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1894615PMC
June 2007

PCR-based identification and strain typing of Pichia anomala using the ribosomal intergenic spacer region IGS1.

J Med Microbiol 2007 Feb;56(Pt 2):185-189

Department of Medical Microbiology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India.

Frequent outbreaks of Pichia anomala fungaemia in paediatric patients have warranted the development of a rapid identification system for this organism. This study describes a specific PCR-based method targeting the rRNA gene intergenic spacer region 1 (IGS1) for rapid identification of Pichia anomala isolates and characterization at the strain level. These methods of species identification and strain typing were used on 106 isolates of Pichia anomala (77 from a previously described outbreak and 29 isolated post-outbreak from the same hospital). Using conventional morphological and biochemical methods, 11 strains isolated during the outbreak were misidentified as P. anomala. blast analysis of sequences of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of rRNA genes confirmed that they were Pichia guilliermondii (eight isolates) and Debaryomyces hansenii (three isolates). Strain typing of Pichia anomala isolates confirmed the previous finding of a point-source outbreak. The results suggest that IGS sequences and their polymorphisms could be exploited for similar typing methods in other organisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.46790-0DOI Listing
February 2007

Multiple cis-regulatory elements and the yeast sulphur regulatory network are required for the regulation of the yeast glutathione transporter, Hgt1p.

Curr Genet 2005 Jun 9;47(6):345-58. Epub 2005 Apr 9.

Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh, 160 036, India.

HGT1 encodes a high-affinity glutathione transporter in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is induced under sulphur limitation. The present work demonstrates that repression by organic sulphur sources is under the control of the classic sulphur regulatory network, as seen by the absence of expression in a met4delta background. Cysteine appeared to be the principal regulatory molecule, since elevated levels were seen in str4delta strains (deficient in cysteine biosynthesis) that could be repressed by elevated levels of cysteine, but not by methionine or glutathione. Investigations into cis-regulatory elements revealed that the previously described motif, a 9-bp cis element, CCGCCACAC, located at the -356 to -364 region of the promoter could in fact be refined to a 7-bp CGCCACA motif that is also repeated at -333 to -340. The second copy of this motif was essential for activity, since mutations in the core region of the second copy completely abolished activity and regulation by sulphur sources. Activity, but not regulation, could be restored by reintroducing an additional copy upstream of the first copy. A third region, GCCGTCTGCAAGGCA, conserved in the HGT1 promoters of the different Saccharomyces spp, was observed at -300 to -285 but, while mutations in this region did not lead to any loss in repression, the basal and induced levels were significantly increased. In contrast to a previous report, no evidence was found for regulation by the VDE endonuclease. The strong repression at the transport level by glutathione seen in strains overexpressing HGT1 was due to a glutathione-dependent toxicity in these cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00294-005-0571-7DOI Listing
June 2005

Acetaminophen toxicity and resistance in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Microbiology (Reading) 2005 Jan;151(Pt 1):99-111

Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh - 160 036, India.

Acetaminophen (paracetamol), one of the most widely used analgesics, is toxic under conditions of overdose or in certain disease conditions, but the mechanism of acetaminophen toxicity is still not entirely understood. To obtain fresh insights into acetaminophen toxicity, this phenomenon was investigated in yeast. Acetaminophen was found to be toxic to yeast cells, with erg mutants displaying hypersensitivity. Yeast cells grown in the presence of acetaminophen were found to accumulate intracellular acetaminophen, but no metabolic products of acetaminophen could be detected in these extracts. The toxicity response did not lead to an oxidative stress response, although it did involve Yap1p. The cytochrome P450 enzymes of yeast, Erg5p and Erg11p, did not appear to participate in this process, unlike the mammalian systems. Furthermore, we could not establish a central role for glutathione depletion or the cellular glutathione redox status in acetaminophen toxicity, suggesting differences from mammalian systems in the pathways causing toxicity. Investigations of the resistance mechanisms revealed that deletion of the glutathione-conjugate pumps Ycf1p (a target of Yap1p) and Bpt1p, surprisingly, led to acetaminophen resistance, while overexpression of the multidrug resistance pumps Snq2p and Flr1p (also targets of Yap1p) led to acetaminophen resistance. The Yap1p-dependent resistance to acetaminophen required a functional Pdr1p or Pdr3p protein, but not a functional Yrr1p. In contrast, resistance mediated by Pdr1p/Pdr3p did not require a functional Yap1p, and revealed a distinct hierarchy in the resistance to acetaminophen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/mic.0.27374-0DOI Listing
January 2005

A search tool for identification and analysis of conserved sequence patterns in Saccharomyces spp. orthologous promoter.

In Silico Biol 2004 ;4(4):411-5

Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh-160 036, India.

We describe a web-based resource to identify, search and analyze sequence patterns conserved in the multiple sequence alignments of orthologous promoters from closely related / distant Saccharomyces spp. The webtool interfaces with a database where conserved sequence patterns (greater than 4 bp) have been previously extracted from genome-wide promoter alignments, allowing one to carry out user-defined genome-wide searches for conserved sequences to assist in the discovery of novel promoter elements based on comparative genomics. The web-based server can be accessed at http://www2.imtech.res.in/ anand/sacch_prom_pat.html.
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June 2005

A novel family of transporters mediating the transport of glutathione derivatives in plants.

Plant Physiol 2004 Jan;134(1):482-91

Unité Mixte de Recherche Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 6161, Transport des Assimilats, Laboratoire de Physiologie, Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaires Végétales, Unité de Formation et de Recherche Sciences, Poitiers, France.

Uptake and compartmentation of reduced glutathione (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), and glutathione conjugates are important for many functions including sulfur transport, resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses, and developmental processes. Complementation of a yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) mutant (hgt1) deficient in glutathione transport was used to characterize a glutathione transporter cDNA (OsGT1) from rice (Oryza sativa). The 2.58-kb full-length cDNA (AF393848, gi 27497095), which was obtained by screening of a cDNA library and 5'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends-polymerase chain reaction, contains an open reading frame encoding a 766-amino acid protein. Complementation of the hgt1 yeast mutant strain with the OsGT1 cDNA restored growth on a medium containing GSH as the sole sulfur source. The strain expressing OsGT1 mediated [3H]GSH uptake, and this uptake was significantly competed not only by unlabeled GSSG and GS conjugates but also by some amino acids and peptides, suggesting a wide substrate specificity. OsGT1 may be involved in the retrieval of GSSG, GS conjugates, and nitrogen-containing peptides from the cell wall.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.103.030940DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC316327PMC
January 2004

Comparison of ITS and IGS1 regions for strain typing of clinical and non-clinical isolates of Pichia anomala.

J Med Microbiol 2004 Feb;53(Pt 2):119-123

Institute of Microbial Technology, Sector 39-A, Chandigarh, India 160 036 2Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India 160 012.

Pichia anomala is an emerging nosocomial pathogen and there is a need for methods that distinguish between different P. anomala strains. In the typing of several clinical as well as non-clinical P. anomala strains, the sequence variation of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) was found to be inadequate for typing purposes. The intergenic spacer 1 (IGS1) region of the rDNA of several P. anomala strains was therefore investigated in detail. The IGS1 region (which varied from 1213 to 1231 bp in length) was interspersed with repeats and had more variation than the ITS regions. Comparative analysis in cases where analysis by the ITS was ambiguous clearly revealed the IGS1 region to be a more discriminatory tool in the typing of P. anomala strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.05436-0DOI Listing
February 2004
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