Nuclease-Resistant c-di-AMP Derivatives That Differentially Recognize RNA and Protein Receptors

Robert E. Meehan, Chad D. Torgerson, Barbara L. Gaffney, Roger A. Jones, Scott A. Strobel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The ability of bacteria to sense environmental cues and adapt is essential for their survival. The use of second-messenger signaling molecules to translate these cues into a physiological response is a common mechanism employed by bacteria. The second messenger 3′-5′-cyclic diadenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP) has been linked to a diverse set of biological processes involved in maintaining cell viability and homeostasis, as well as pathogenicity. A complex network of both protein and RNA receptors inside the cell activates specific pathways and mediates phenotypic outputs in response to c-di-AMP. Structural analysis of these RNA and protein receptors has revealed the different recognition elements employed by these effectors to bind the same small molecule. Herein, using a series of c-di-AMP analogues, we probed the interactions made with a riboswitch and a phosphodiesterase protein to identify the features important for c-di-AMP binding and recognition. We found that the ydaO riboswitch binds c-di-AMP in two discrete sites with near identical affinity and a Hill coefficient of 1.6. The ydaO riboswitch distinguishes between c-di-AMP and structurally related second messengers by discriminating against an amine at the C2 position more than a carbonyl at the C6 position. We also identified phosphate-modified analogues that bind both the ydaO RNA and GdpP protein with high affinity, whereas symmetrically modified ribose analogues exhibited a substantial decrease in ydaO affinity but retained high affinity for GdpP. These ligand modifications resulted in increased resistance to enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis by the GdpP enzyme. Together, these data suggest that these c-di-AMP analogues could be useful as chemical tools to specifically target subsections of second-messenger signaling pathways. (Chemical Equation Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)837-849
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 16 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry


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