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Iron is an essential metal ion required for the various physiological activities of bacteria. The pathogenic bacteria remain dependent on the host cell for their iron requirements and evolved with specialized scavenging machinery in the form of iron chelating siderophores. Mycobacterium tuberculosis has two types of siderophore molecules, mycobactin and carboxymycobactin. These are synthesized inside bacterial cells and need to be transported outside by specialized membrane associated proteins. MmpL5-MmpS5 (mycobacterial membrane protein large5-mycobacterial membrane protein small5) complex has been linked to the export of non-ferrated siderophores to extracellular environment but the precise molecular mechanism involved was largely unknown. We have investigated the association of MmpL5 with mycobactin synthesis and transport associated proteins using system wide protein-protein interaction network. Insights of mycobactin transport mechanism by MmpL5-MmpS5 complex was explored using docking and molecular dynamics simulations. The MmpL5 has association with many proteins with reported roles in iron acquisition or mycobactin biosynthesis. The molecular dynamics simulation analysis after mycobactin docking into MmpL5 binding pockets showed that at cytoplasmic binding site, mycobactin could move towards the central channel of efflux pump and at periplasmic binding site towards the periplasm. MmpL5 was observed to carry out uptake of mycobactin from the cytoplasm and its release into the periplasmic space and MmpS5 was found to facilitate the periplasmic release of mycobactin and enhancement in the transport function of MmpL5. The mycobactin export is an attractive target for drug discovery and it may be carried out by inhibiting the MmpL5 protein's transport function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Padmani Sandhu, Yusuf Akhter. Siderophore transport by MmpL5-MmpS5 protein complex in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Journal of inorganic biochemistry. 2017 May;170:75-84

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PMID: 28231453

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