National Center for
4RYR: Crystal structure of BcTSPO, type 2 at 1.7 Angstrom with DMSO
Science (2015) 347 p.551-555
Translocator proteins (TSPOs) bind steroids and porphyrins, and they are implicated in many human diseases, for which they serve as biomarkers and therapeutic targets. TSPOs have tryptophan-rich sequences that are highly conserved from bacteria to mammals. Here we report crystal structures for Bacillus cereus TSPO (BcTSPO) down to 1.7 A resolution, including a complex with the benzodiazepine-like inhibitor PK11195. We also describe BcTSPO-mediated protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) reactions, including catalytic degradation to a previously undescribed heme derivative. We used structure-inspired mutations to investigate reaction mechanisms, and we showed that TSPOs from Xenopus and man have similar PpIX-directed activities. Although TSPOs have been regarded as transporters, the catalytic activity in PpIX degradation suggests physiological importance for TSPOs in protection against oxidative stress.