The resistant-nodulation-division (RND) superfamily member tripartite AcrA-AcrB-TolC efflux pump is a major contributor to the multidrug resistance in Escherichia coli. AcrB is the inner membrane protein of the efflux complex and is responsible for the recognition and binding of compounds before their transportation out of the cell. Understanding the dynamics of AcrB during functional rotation in the process of drug efflux is the focus of this study. For this purpose, we introduced six inter-subunit disulfide bonds into the periplasmic domain of AcrB using site-directed mutagenesis to study the importance of the relative flexibility at the inter-subunit interface. Western blot analysis revealed the formation of disulfide bond-linked AcrB oligomers, which were reduced into monomers under reducing conditions. The impact of mutation and formation of disulfide bond on efflux were evaluated via comparison of the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of an acrB knockout strain expressing different mutants. The double Cys mutants tested led to equal or higher susceptibility to AcrB substrates compared to their corresponding single mutants. To determine if the reduction of activity in a double mutant is due to restriction on conformational changes by the disulfide bond formation, ethidium bromide accumulation assays were conducted utilizing dithiothreitol (DTT) as the reducing agent. In two cases, the activities of the double Cys mutants were partially restored by DTT reduction, confirming the importance of relative movement in the respective location for function. These findings provide new insights into the dynamics of the AcrAB-TolC efflux pump in E. coli.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2020|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Attilio Vittorio Vargiu (Università degli studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy) for critical reading and suggestions of this manuscript. This work is supported by NIH (Grant Numbers 1R56AI137020 and 1R21AI142063-01) and NSF (Grant Number CHE-1709381).
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemistry (all)
- Chemical Engineering (all)