Molecular insight into the activity of LasR protein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the regulation of virulence gene expression by this organism.Gene. 2016 Apr 10; 580(1):80-7.GENE
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen. This organism attacks human patients suffering from diseases like AIDS, cancer, cystic fibrosis, etc. One of the important virulent factors produced by this organism is Hydrogen Cyanide. This is expressed from the genes encoded by the hcnABC operon. The expressions of the genes encoded by hcnABC operon are mediated mainly by the interactions of LasR protein with the corresponding promoter region of the hcnABC operon. The LasR protein acts as a dimer and binds to the promoter DNA with the help of an autoinducer ligand. However, till date the detailed molecular mechanism of how the LasR protein interacts with the promoter DNA is not clearly known. Therefore, in this work, an attempt has been made to analyze the mode of interactions of the LasR protein with the promoter DNA region of the hcnABC operon. We analyzed the three dimensional structure of the LasR protein from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and docked the protein with the autoinducer ligand. We then docked the ligand-bound-LasR-protein as well the LasR-protein-without-the-autoinducer-ligand on to the promoter DNA region of hcnABC operon. We analyzed the details of the interaction profiles of LasR protein with the autoinducer ligand. We also deciphered the details of the LasR promoter-DNA interactions. We compared the modes of DNA bindings by the LasR protein in presence and absence of the autoinducer ligand and tried to analyze the molecular details of the binding of LasR protein with the promoter DNA region of hcnABC operon during hcnABC gene expression. This study may therefore pave the pathway for future experiments to determine the relative effects of the amino acid residues of LasR protein in DNA binding during the transcription of hcnABC operon.