Publications by authors named "P Kast"

65 Publications

Evolving the naturally compromised chorismate mutase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis to top performance.

J Biol Chem 2020 12;295(51):17514-17534

Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Chorismate mutase (CM), an essential enzyme at the branch-point of the shikimate pathway, is required for the biosynthesis of phenylalanine and tyrosine in bacteria, archaea, plants, and fungi. MtCM, the CM from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has less than 1% of the catalytic efficiency of a typical natural CM and requires complex formation with 3-deoxy-d-arabino-heptulosonate 7-phosphate synthase for high activity. To explore the full potential of MtCM for catalyzing its native reaction, we applied diverse iterative cycles of mutagenesis and selection, thereby raising k/K 270-fold to 5 × 10ms, which is even higher than for the complex. Moreover, the evolutionarily optimized autonomous MtCM, which had 11 of its 90 amino acids exchanged, was stabilized compared with its progenitor, as indicated by a 9 °C increase in melting temperature. The 1.5 Å crystal structure of the top-evolved MtCM variant reveals the molecular underpinnings of this activity boost. Some acquired residues (e.g. Pro and Asp) are conserved in naturally efficient CMs, but most of them lie beyond the active site. Our evolutionary trajectories reached a plateau at the level of the best natural enzymes, suggesting that we have exhausted the potential of MtCM. Taken together, these findings show that the scaffold of MtCM, which naturally evolved for mediocrity to enable inter-enzyme allosteric regulation of the shikimate pathway, is inherently capable of high activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA120.014924DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7762937PMC
December 2020

An evolution-based model for designing chorismate mutase enzymes.

Science 2020 07;369(6502):440-445

Center for Physics of Evolving Systems, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

The rational design of enzymes is an important goal for both fundamental and practical reasons. Here, we describe a process to learn the constraints for specifying proteins purely from evolutionary sequence data, design and build libraries of synthetic genes, and test them for activity in vivo using a quantitative complementation assay. For chorismate mutase, a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids, we demonstrate the design of natural-like catalytic function with substantial sequence diversity. Further optimization focuses the generative model toward function in a specific genomic context. The data show that sequence-based statistical models suffice to specify proteins and provide access to an enormous space of functional sequences. This result provides a foundation for a general process for evolution-based design of artificial proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aba3304DOI Listing
July 2020

Inter-Enzyme Allosteric Regulation of Chorismate Mutase in Corynebacterium glutamicum: Structural Basis of Feedback Activation by Trp.

Biochemistry 2018 02 21;57(5):557-573. Epub 2017 Dec 21.

Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo , NO-0315 Oslo, Norway.

Corynebacterium glutamicum is widely used for the industrial production of amino acids, nucleotides, and vitamins. The shikimate pathway enzymes DAHP synthase (CgDS, Cg2391) and chorismate mutase (CgCM, Cgl0853) play a key role in the biosynthesis of aromatic compounds. Here we show that CgCM requires the formation of a complex with CgDS to achieve full activity, and that both CgCM and CgDS are feedback regulated by aromatic amino acids binding to CgDS. Kinetic analysis showed that Phe and Tyr inhibit CgCM activity by inter-enzyme allostery, whereas binding of Trp to CgDS strongly activates CgCM. Mechanistic insights were gained from crystal structures of the CgCM homodimer, tetrameric CgDS, and the heterooctameric CgCM-CgDS complex, refined to 1.1, 2.5, and 2.2 Å resolution, respectively. Structural details from the allosteric binding sites reveal that DAHP synthase is recruited as the dominant regulatory platform to control the shikimate pathway, similar to the corresponding enzyme complex from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biochem.7b01018DOI Listing
February 2018

Remote Control by Inter-Enzyme Allostery: A Novel Paradigm for Regulation of the Shikimate Pathway.

J Mol Biol 2016 Mar 8;428(6):1237-1255. Epub 2016 Jan 8.

Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo, NO-0315 Oslo, Norway. Electronic address:

DAHP synthase and chorismate mutase catalyze key steps in the shikimate biosynthetic pathway en route to aromatic amino acids. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, chorismate mutase (MtCM; Rv0948c), located at the branch point toward phenylalanine and tyrosine, has poor activity on its own. However, it is efficiently activated by the first enzyme of the pathway, DAHP synthase (MtDS; Rv2178c), through formation of a non-covalent MtCM-MtDS complex. Here, we show how MtDS serves as an allosteric platform for feedback regulation of both enzymes, using X-ray crystallography, small-angle X-ray scattering, size-exclusion chromatography, and multi-angle light scattering. Crystal structures of the fully inhibited MtDS and the allosterically down-regulated MtCM-MtDS complex, solved at 2.8 and 2.7Å, respectively, reveal how effector binding at the internal MtDS subunit interfaces regulates the activity of MtDS and MtCM. While binding of all three metabolic end products to MtDS shuts down the entire pathway, the binding of phenylalanine jointly with tyrosine releases MtCM from the MtCM-MtDS complex, hence suppressing MtCM activation by 'inter-enzyme allostery'. This elegant regulatory principle, invoking a transient allosteric enzyme interaction, seems to be driven by dynamics and is likely a general strategy used by nature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2016.01.001DOI Listing
March 2016

Functional mapping of protein-protein interactions in an enzyme complex by directed evolution.

PLoS One 2014 31;9(12):e116234. Epub 2014 Dec 31.

Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, ETH Zurich, CH-8093, Zurich, Switzerland.

The shikimate pathway enzyme chorismate mutase converts chorismate into prephenate, a precursor of Tyr and Phe. The intracellular chorismate mutase (MtCM) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is poorly active on its own, but becomes >100-fold more efficient upon formation of a complex with the first enzyme of the shikimate pathway, 3-deoxy-d-arabino-heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase (MtDS). The crystal structure of the enzyme complex revealed involvement of C-terminal MtCM residues with the MtDS interface. Here we employed evolutionary strategies to probe the tolerance to substitution of the C-terminal MtCM residues from positions 84-90. Variants with randomized positions were subjected to stringent selection in vivo requiring productive interactions with MtDS for survival. Sequence patterns identified in active library members coincide with residue conservation in natural chorismate mutases of the AroQδ subclass to which MtCM belongs. An Arg-Gly dyad at positions 85 and 86, invariant in AroQδ sequences, was intolerant to mutation, whereas Leu88 and Gly89 exhibited a preference for small and hydrophobic residues in functional MtCM-MtDS complexes. In the absence of MtDS, selection under relaxed conditions identifies positions 84-86 as MtCM integrity determinants, suggesting that the more C-terminal residues function in the activation by MtDS. Several MtCM variants, purified using a novel plasmid-based T7 RNA polymerase gene expression system, showed that a diminished ability to physically interact with MtDS correlates with reduced activatability and feedback regulatory control by Tyr and Phe. Mapping critical protein-protein interaction sites by evolutionary strategies may pinpoint promising targets for drugs that interfere with the activity of protein complexes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0116234PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4281200PMC
May 2016