Background: The scavenging ability of sufficient divalent metal ions is pivotal for pathogenic bacteria to survive in the host. ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-type metal transporters provide a considerable amount of different transition metals for bacterial growth. TroA is a substrate binding protein for uptake of multiple metal ions. However, the function and structure of the TroA homologue from the epidemic Streptococcus suis isolates (SsTroA) have not been characterized. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we determined the crystal structure of SsTroA from a highly pathogenic streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS)-causing Streptococcus suis in complex with zinc. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis revealed that apo-SsTroA binds Zn2+ and Mn2+. Both metals bind to SsTroA with nanomolar affinity and stabilize the protein against thermal unfolding. Zn2+ and Mn2+ induce distinct conformational changes in SsTroA compared with the apo form as confirmed by both circular dichroism (CD) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra. NMR data also revealed that Zn2+/Mn2+ bind to SsTroA in either the same site or an adjacent region. Finally, we found that the folding of the metal-bound protein is more compact than the corresponding apoprotein. Conclusions/Significance: Our findings reveal a mechanism for uptake of metal ions in S. suis and this mechanism provides a reasonable explanation as to how SsTroA operates in metal transport. © 2011 Zheng et al.
Zheng, B., Zhang, Q., Gao, J., Han, H., Li, M., Zhang, J., … Gao, G. F. (2011). Insight into the interaction of metal ions with TroA from streptococcus suis. PLoS ONE, 6(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0019510