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© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. How ultra-high-affinity protein-protein interactions retain high specificity is still poorly understood. The interaction between colicin DNase domains and their inhibitory immunity (Im) proteins is an ultra-high-affinity interaction that is essential for the neutralisation of endogenous DNase catalytic activity and for protection against exogenous DNase bacteriocins. The colicin DNase-Im interaction is a model system for the study of high-affinity protein-protein interactions. However, despite the fact that closely related colicin-like bacteriocins are widely produced by Gram-negative bacteria, this interaction has only been studied using colicins from Escherichia coli. In this work, we present the first crystal structures of two pyocin DNase-Im complexes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, pyocin S2 DNase-ImS2 and pyocin AP41 DNase-ImAP41. These structures represent divergent DNase-Im subfamilies and are important in extending our understanding of protein-protein interactions for this important class of high-affinity protein complex. A key finding of this work is that mutations within the immunity protein binding energy hotspot, helix III, are tolerated by complementary substitutions at the DNase-Immunity protein binding interface. Im helix III is strictly conserved in colicins where an Asp forms polar interactions with the DNase backbone. ImAP41 contains an Asp-to-Gly substitution in helix III and our structures show the role of a co-evolved substitution where Pro in DNase loop 4 occupies the volume vacated and removes the unfulfilled hydrogen bond. We observe the co-evolved mutations in other DNase-Immunity pairs that appear to underpin the split of this family into two distinct groups.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jmb.2015.07.014

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of Molecular Biology

Publication Date

17/08/2015

Volume

427

Pages

2852 - 2866