The EccC enzyme of Mycobacterium tuberculosis ESX-1 secretion system is involved in EsxAB virulence factor secretion and offers an attractive target for antivirulence inhibitors development against M. tuberculosis. The EccCb1 polypeptide of the EccC enzyme contains two Ftsk/SpoIIIE type ATPase domains (D2 and D3) and binds to the EsxAB factor at the C-terminal region of the D3 domain. In the current study, we have determined a low-resolution structure of EccCb1, and its mechanism involved in ATPase activity and EsxAB factor binding. Small-angle X-ray scattering data yielded a double hexameric ring structure of EccCb1 in solution and was further confirmed by SEC-MALS and dynamic light scattering. ATPase activity of wild-type, D2, and D3 mutants showed that D2-K90A and D3-K382A mutations led to a complete loss of enzyme activity. The full-length EccCb1 showed ∼3.7-fold lower catalytic efficiency than D2 domain and ∼1.7 fold lower than D3 domain. The EsxAB factor binds EccCb1 with Kd∼ 11.3 ± 0.6 nM and its affinity is enhanced ∼2 fold in presence of ATP + Mg2+. These data indicate the involvement of ATPase activity in EsxAB factor translocation. Molecular dynamics simulation on wild-type, ATP + Mg2+, and EsxAB + ATP + Mg2+ bound EccCb1 double-ring structure showed enhanced stability of enzyme upon ATP + Mg2+ and EsxAB binding. Overall, our study showed a low-resolution structure of EccCb1, and the mechanism involved in ATPase activity and EsxAB factor recognition, which can be targeted for the development of antivirulence drugs against M. tuberculosis.

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