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Effect of Mutations on the Binding of Kanamycin-B to RNA Hairpins Derived from the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ribosomal A-Site

Truitt, Amber R., Choi, Bok-Eum, Li, Jenny, Soto, Ana Maria
Biochemistry 2015 v.54 no.51 pp. 7425-7437
Escherichia coli, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, antibiotic resistance, binding capacity, circular dichroism spectroscopy, fluorescence emission spectroscopy, kanamycin, mutants, mutation, ribosomal RNA, tuberculosis, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
Kanamycin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic used in the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Mutations at the rRNA A-site have been associated with kanamycin resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates. Understanding the effect of these mutations on the conformation of the M. tuberculosis A-site is critical for understanding the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in M. tuberculosis. In this work, we have studied RNA hairpins derived from the M. tuberculosis A-site, the wild type and three mutants at the following positions (M. tuberculosis/Escherichia coli numbering): A1400/1408 → G, C1401/1409 → U, and the double mutant G1483/1491 C1401/1409 → UA. Specifically, we used circular dichroism, ultraviolet spectroscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy to characterize the conformation, stability, and binding affinity of kanamycin-B and other aminoglycoside antibiotics for these RNA hairpins. Our results show that the mutations affect the conformation of the decoding site, with the mutations at position 1401/1409 resulting in significant destabilizations. Interestingly, the mutants bind paromomycin with weaker affinity than the wild type, but they bind kanamycin-B with similar affinity than the wild type. The results suggest that the presence of mutations does not prevent kanamycin-B from binding. Instead, kanamycin may promote different interactions with a third partner in the mutants compared to the wild type. Furthermore, our results with longer and shorter hairpins suggest that the region of the A-site that varies among organisms may have modulating effects on the binding and interactions of the A-site.