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Three-Dimensional Structure and Biophysical Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus Cell Surface Antigen–Manganese Transporter MntC

Gribenko, Alexey, Mosyak, Lidia, Ghosh, Sharmistha, Parris, Kevin, Svenson, Kristine, Moran, Justin, Chu, Ling, Li, Sheng, Liu, Tong, Woods, Virgil L., Jansen, Kathrin U., Green, Bruce A., Anderson, Annaliesa S., Matsuka, Yury V.
Journal of Molecular Biology 2013 v.425 pp. 3429-3445
Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, X-ray diffraction, animal models, antigens, clinical trials, differential scanning calorimetry, humans, manganese, mass spectrometry, mice, pathogens, protein structure, titration
MntC is a metal-binding protein component of the Mn2+-specific mntABC transporter from the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. The protein is expressed during the early stages of infection and was proven to be effective at reducing both S. aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis infections in a murine animal model when used as a vaccine antigen. MntC is currently being tested in human clinical trials as a component of a multiantigen vaccine for the prevention of S. aureus infections. To better understand the biological function of MntC, we are providing structural and biophysical characterization of the protein in this work. The three-dimensional structure of the protein was solved by X-ray crystallography at 2.2Å resolution and suggests two potential metal binding modes, which may lead to reversible as well as irreversible metal binding. Precise Mn2+-binding affinity of the protein was determined from the isothermal titration calorimetry experiments using a competition approach. Differential scanning calorimetry experiments confirmed that divalent metals can indeed bind to MntC reversibly as well as irreversibly. Finally, Mn2+-induced structural and dynamics changes have been characterized using spectroscopic methods and deuterium–hydrogen exchange mass spectroscopy. Results of the experiments show that these changes are minimal and are largely restricted to the structural elements involved in metal coordination. Therefore, it is unlikely that antibody binding to this antigen will be affected by the occupancy of the metal-binding site by Mn2+.