Structural insights into fusidic acid resistance and sensitivity in EF-G

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Abstract

Fusidic acid (FA) is a steroid antibiotic commonly used against Gram positive bacterial infections. It inhibits protein synthesis by stalling elongation factor G (EF-G) on the ribosome after translocation. A significant number of the mutations conferring strong FA resistance have been mapped at the interfaces between domains G, III and V of EF-G. However, direct information on how such mutations affect the structure has hitherto not been available. Here we present the crystal structures of two mutants of Thermus thermophilus EF-G, G16V and T84A, which exhibit FA hypersensitivity and resistance in vitro, respectively. These mutants also have higher and lower affinity for GTP respectively than wild-type EF-G. The mutations cause significant conformational changes in the switch 11 loop that have opposite effects on the position of a key residue, Phe90, which undergoes large conformational changes. This correlates with the importance of Phe90 in FA sensitivity reported in previous studies. These structures substantiate the importance of the domain G/domain III/domain V interfaces as a key component of the FA binding site. The mutations also cause subtle changes in the environment of the "P-loop lysine", Lys25. This led us to examine the conformation of the equivalent residue in all structures of translational GTPases, which revealed that EF-G and eEF2 form a group separate from the others and suggested that the role of Lys25 may be different in the two groups. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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  • Biological Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-949
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume348
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes