Structural Studies on Heat Shock Protein 90 from Dictyostelium Discoideum and Oryza Sativa
Molecular chaperones are proteins that interact with and aid in stabilization and activation of other proteins. Chaperones help proteins attain their three dimensional conformation, without forming a part of the final structure. Many of the chaperones are stress proteins known as Heat shock proteins (Hsps). Their expression is upregulated in response to various kinds of stress such as heat stress, oxidative stress etc., which threaten the protein homeostasis, by structurally destabilizing cellular proteins, and increasing the concentration of aggregation-prone folding intermediates. The Hsps are classified according to their molecular weight into Hsp40, Hsp60, Hsp70, Hsp90, Hsp100, and the small Hsp families. Some of them are constitutively expressed and play a fundamental role in de novo protein folding. They further aid in proteome maintenance by assisting in oligomeric assembly, protein trafficking, refolding of stress denatured protein, preventing protein aggregation and protein degradation. Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) are one of the important representatives of this class of proteins. Hsp90 are highly conserved class of molecular chaperones. They are found in bacteria, eukaryotes, but not in archaea. In contrast to the eukaryotes which require a functional cytoplasmic Hsp90 for viability, the bacterial counterpart (HtpG) is typically nonessential. Hsp90 is an ATP dependent chaperone. Hsp90 form dimers, with each protomer consisting of three functional domains: N- terminal, ATP binding domain, Middle domain and C-terminal domain. Hsp90 is a dynamic protein, and undergoes an elaborate conformational cycle during its ATPase cycle, which is essential for its chaperoning activity. The Hsp90 chaperone cycle is regulated by interaction with diverse cochaperones. Hsp90 interacts with specific set of substrate proteins. Many of these substrate proteins function at the heart of several cellular processes like signalling, cell cycle, apoptosis. Studies from protozoans like Leishmania, Plasmodium, Trypanosoma etc. have also implicated the role of Hsp90 in their growth and stage transitions. Thus, selective inhibition of Hsp90 has been explored as an intervention strategy against important human diseases such as cancer, malaria and other protozoan diseases. The ATP binding N-terminal domain (NTD), has been explored as the target domain for inhibition of Hsp90 using competitive inhibitors of ATP. Several chemical classes of Hsp90 inhibitors are known, including ansamycins, macrolides, purines, pyrazoles, and coumarin antibiotics. However, many inhibitors are observed to be toxic, less soluble and unstable. Hence, there is a requirement for new approach to design inhibitors which are more soluble and less toxic and serve as effective therapeutic drugs.inhibitors are observed to be toxic, less soluble and unstable. Hence, there is a requirement for new approach to design inhibitors which are more soluble and less toxic and serve as effective therapeutic drugs. The work presented in this thesis mainly concerns with the structural studies and biochemical and biophysical characterization of Hsp90 from two different sources viz. Dictyostelium discoideum, a cellular slime mould and a plant source Oryza sativa (rice). The structural analyses of these two proteins have been carried out by X-ray crystallography. Though yeast has been explored extensively as a model system to understand the different roles of Hsp90, it lacks the various signalling pathways essential for growth and development present in case of higher eukaryotes. D. discoideum has been employed as a model system to understand multicellular development, which occurs in response to starvation induced stress. D. discoideum has the advantages due to its ease of manipulation. The organism's genome also shows many signalling pathway for growth and differentiation that are conserved between D. discoideum and mammals. With this motivation, we have studied several structural aspects of the cytosolic isoform of Hsp90 from D. discoideum called HspD. HspD was also observed to play a role in the multicellular development of D. discoideum. It has been demonstrated that the treatment of D. discoideum with inhibitors like Geldanamycin or Radicicol causes an arrest in the multicellular development at the mound stage, and the few which escaped this arrest gave rise to abnormal fruiting bodies. A subset of the proteins involved in this mound arrest phenotype, were observed to have homologs in humans, which are clients of Hsp90. Therefore, a structural perspective of HspD can aid in better understanding of the role of this protein in the organism, as well as, elucidate any structural differences observed as compared to other species, which may have an impact on its activity. Studies on the physiological role of Hsp90 in plants began much later as compared to fungi and humans. In plants Hsp90 are involved in various abiotic stress responses. In addition, their roles have also been implicated in plant growth and development, innate immune response and buffering genetic variations. However, the molecular mechanisms of these various actions are not clearly understood. Also, the structural aspects of plant Hsp90 are yet to be explored. The structure of the NTD of Hsp90 from barley is the only one available from a plant source till now. We have initiated the studies on rice Hsp90 with the objective to understand the mechanism of Hsp90 in plants, which may aid in improving stress tolerance in plants. The thesis has been divided into five chapters. The first chapter introduces the various aspects of Hsp90 protein. The chapter starts with a general overview of concept of molecular chaperones and describes briefly the different classes of molecular chaperones. This is followed by a detailed description of different aspects of Hsp90 with main emphasis on the structure and its conformational flexibility. The chapter describes the association of Hsp90 with other accessory proteins like cochaperones and its interaction with its substrate proteins and explains the functional significance of Hsp90 as a drug target and the need for the development of new class of inhibitors, followed by the significance of the study of Hsp90 in the two model systems (D. discoideum and rice) chosen to be studied. The second chapter gives a brief overview of the principles behind the different experimental methods employed during the course of this research, which includes the tools of X-ray crystallography and other biochemical and biophysical techniques employed for the characterization of the protein. Chapter 3 describes the crystal structure of NTD of Hsp90 from D. discoideum. The structure of NTD was solved in two different native (ligand-free) forms viz. monoclinic and hexagonal. The two forms differed in local structural rearrangement of a segment of NTD known as the lid region. The lid region in the hexagonal form showed a shift in its position as compared to the other solved structures of NTD. The structure of NTD was also solved in complex with various ligands which include ADP, substrate analogs and an inhibitor molecule. A comparison of all the structures showed that the overall structure is well-conserved. One of the crystal structures of NTD showed a heptapeptide (part of the vector) bound at the active site. The peptide was observed to make several complementary interactions with the residues of the ATP binding pocket and retain several interactions which the nucleotide makes with the NTD. The NTD showed subtle conformational differences when compared with the NTD of Hsp90 from yeast. Chapter 4 details the structural and functional characteristics of full length Hsp90 protein from D. discoideum. Due to the large size and flexibility, the full length protein did not crystallize in spite of several attempts. Hence, HspD was studied using different solution studies like Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) and Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS). Both the studies showed the presence of higher oligomers. The SAXS data showed the presence of tetramers and hexamers while, the addition of the ligand shifts the protein from a dimer to a higher oligomer as observed from DLS studies. The chapter also describes the study of interaction of HspD with a cochaperone protein p23. The interactions were studied using ITC, which showed a strong binding. The ATPase activity was also evaluated in the presence of increasing concentrations of p23, which was observed to decline with increasing concentrations of p23. In chapter 5, we describe the biochemical characterization of Hsp90 from Oryza sativa (rice) and the crystallographic analysis of its NTD. Binding of the rice Hsp90 to ATP and an inhibitor were studied by fluorescence. The ATPase activity of rice Hsp90 was checked by radioactive assay and the protein was observed to be active. The NTD of rice Hsp90 crystallized as a monomer in complex with a substrate analog AMPPCP and the structure was determined.
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