Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30377256
J. Biol. Chem. 2018 12;293(51):19785-19796
Bacterial nucleotidyl cyclase toxins are potent virulence factors that upon entry into eukaryotic cells are stimulated by endogenous cofactors to catalyze the production of large amounts of 3’5′-cyclic nucleoside monophosphates. The activity of the effector ExoY from is stimulated by the filamentous form of actin (F-actin). Utilizing yeast phenotype analysis, site-directed mutagenesis, functional biochemical assays, and confocal microscopy, we demonstrate that the last nine amino acids of the C terminus of ExoY are crucial for the interaction with F-actin and, consequently, for ExoY’s enzymatic activity and toxicity in a yeast model. We observed that isolated C-terminal sequences of ExoY that had been fused to a carrier protein bind to F-actin and that synthetic peptides corresponding to the extreme ExoY C terminus inhibit ExoY enzymatic activity and compete with the full-length enzyme for F-actin binding. Interestingly, we noted that various isolates of the PA14 family, including highly virulent strains, harbor ExoY variants with a mutation altering the C terminus of this effector. We found that these naturally occurring ExoY variants display drastically reduced enzymatic activity and toxicity. Our findings shed light on the molecular basis of the ExoY-F-actin interaction, revealing that the extreme C terminus of ExoY is critical for binding to F-actin in target cells and that some isolates carry C-terminally mutated, low-activity ExoY variants.