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Cholesterol promotes Cytolysin A activity by stabilizing the intermediates during pore formation

Sathyanarayana, Pradeep and Maurya, Satyaghosh and Behera, Amit and Ravichandran, Monisha and Visweswariah, Sandhya S and Ayappa, KG and Roy, Rahul (2018) Cholesterol promotes Cytolysin A activity by stabilizing the intermediates during pore formation. In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 115 (31). E7323-E7330.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1721228115


Pore-forming toxins (PFTs) form nanoscale pores across target membranes causing cell death. Cytolysin A (ClyA) from Escherichia coli is a prototypical alpha-helical toxin that contributes to cytolytic phenotype of several pathogenic strains. It is produced as a monomer and, upon membrane exposure, undergoes conformational changes and finally oligomerizes to form a dodecameric pore, thereby causing ion imbalance and finally cell death. However, our current understanding of this assembly process is limited to studies in detergents, which do not capture the physicochemical properties of biological membranes. Here, using single-molecule imaging and molecular dynamics simulations, we study the ClyA assembly pathway on phospholipid bilayers. We report that cholesterol stimulates pore formation, not by enhancing initial ClyA binding to the membrane but by selectively stabilizing a protomer-like conformation. This was mediated by specific interactions by cholesterol-interacting residues in the N-terminal helix. Additionally, cholesterol stabilized the oligomeric structure using bridging interactions in the protomer-protomer interfaces, thereby resulting in enhanced ClyA oligomerization. This dual stabilization of distinct intermediates by cholesterol suggests a possible molecular mechanism by which ClyA achieves selective membrane rupture of eukaryotic cell membranes. Topological similarity to eukaryotic membrane proteins suggests evolution of a bacterial alpha-toxin to adopt eukaryotic motifs for its activation. Broad mechanistic correspondence between pore-forming toxins hints at a wider prevalence of similar protein membrane insertion mechanisms.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belong to NATL ACAD SCIENCES, 2101 CONSTITUTION AVE NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20418 USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2018 14:15
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2019 05:41
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/60444

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