Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24907274
J. Biol. Chem. 2014 Jul;289(30):21131-41
Adenylyl cyclase (AC) toxin is an essential toxin that allows Bordetella pertussis to invade eukaryotic cells, where it is activated after binding to calmodulin (CaM). Based on the crystal structure of the AC catalytic domain in complex with the C-terminal half of CaM (C-CaM), our previous molecular dynamics simulations (Selwa, E., Laine, E., and Malliavin, T. (2012) Differential role of calmodulin and calcium ions in the stabilization of the catalytic domain of adenyl cyclase CyaA from Bordetella pertussis. Proteins 80, 1028–1040) suggested that three residues (i.e. Arg(338), Asn(347), and Asp(360)) might be important for stabilizing the AC/CaM interaction. These residues belong to a loop-helix-loop motif at the C-terminal end of AC, which is located at the interface between CaM and the AC catalytic loop. In the present study, we conducted the in silico and in vitro characterization of three AC variants, where one (Asn(347); ACm1A), two (Arg(338) and Asp(360); ACm2A), or three residues (Arg(338), Asn(347), and Asp(360); ACm3A) were substituted with Ala. Biochemical studies showed that the affinities of ACm1A and ACm2A for CaM were not affected significantly, whereas that of ACm3A was reduced dramatically. To understand the effects of these modifications, molecular dynamics simulations were performed based on the modified proteins. The molecular dynamics trajectories recorded for the ACm3AC-CaM complex showed that the calcium-binding loops of C-CaM exhibited large fluctuations, which could be related to the weakened interaction between ACm3A and its activator. Overall, our results suggest that the loop-helix-loop motif at the C-terminal end of AC is crucial during CaM binding for stabilizing the AC catalytic loop in an active configuration.