The McbB Component of Microcin B17 Synthetase Is a Zinc Metalloprotein†
The microcin B17 synthetase converts glycine, serine, and cysteine residues in a polypeptide precursor into oxazoles and thiazoles during the maturation of the Escherichia coli antibiotic Microcin B17. This multimeric enzyme is composed of three subunits (McbB, McbC, and McbD), and it employs both ATP and FMN as cofactors. The McbB subunit was purified as a fusion with the maltose-binding protein (MBP), and metal analysis revealed that this protein binds 0.91 ( 0.17 zinc atoms. Upon incubation
... s. Upon incubation of MBP-McbB with excess zinc, the stoichiometry increased to two atoms of zinc bound, but metal binding to the second site resulted in a decrease in the heterocyclization activity when MBP-McbB was reconstituted with the other components of the synthetase. Apo-protein was prepared by using p-hydroxymercuriphenylsulfonic acid (PMPS), and loss of the metal caused a severe reduction in enzymatic activity. However, if dithiothreitol was added to the PMPS reactions within a few minutes, enzymatic activity was retained and MBP-McbB could be reconstituted with zinc. Spectroscopic analysis of the cobalt-containing protein and extended X-ray absorption fine structure analysis of the zinc-containing protein both provide evidence for a tetrathiolate coordination sphere. Site-directed mutants of MBP-McbB as well as the synthetase tagged with the calmodulin-binding peptide were constructed. Activity assays and metal analysis were used to determine which of the six cysteines in McbB are metal ligands. These results suggest that the zinc cofactor in McbB plays a structural role.