The Drosophila peptidoglycan recognition protein SA (PGRP-SA) is critically involved in sensing bacterial infection and activating the Toll signaling pathway, which induces the expression of specific antimicrobial peptide genes. We have determined the crystal structure of PGRP-SA to 2.2-Å resolution and analyzed its peptidoglycan (PG) recognition and signaling activities. We found an extended surface groove in the structure of PGRP-SA, lined with residues that are highly diverse among different PGRPs. Mutational analysis identified it as a PG docking groove required for Toll signaling and showed that residue Ser158 is essential for both PG binding and Toll activation. Contrary to the general belief that PGRPSA has lost enzyme function and serves primarily for PG sensing, we found that it possesses an intrinsic L,D-carboxypeptidase activity for diaminopimelic acid-type tetrapeptide PG fragments but not lysinetype PG fragments, and that Ser158 and His42 may participate in the hydrolytic activity. As L,D-configured peptide bonds exist only in prokaryotes, this work reveals a rare enzymatic activity in a eukaryotic protein known for sensing bacteria and provides a possible explanation of how PGRP-SA mediates Toll activation specifically in response to lysine-type PG.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)