The antigen 43 structure reveals a molecular Velcro-like mechanism of autotransporter-mediated bacterial clumping.Heras, B., Totsika, M., Peters, K.M., Paxman, J.J., Gee, C.L., Jarrott, R.J., Perugini, M.A., Whitten, A.E., Schembri, M.A.
(2014) Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA 111: 457-462
- PubMed: 24335802
- DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1311592111
- PubMed Abstract:
Aggregation and biofilm formation are critical mechanisms for bacterial resistance to host immune factors and antibiotics. Autotransporter (AT) proteins, which represent the largest group of outer-membrane and secreted proteins in Gram-negative bacte ...
Aggregation and biofilm formation are critical mechanisms for bacterial resistance to host immune factors and antibiotics. Autotransporter (AT) proteins, which represent the largest group of outer-membrane and secreted proteins in Gram-negative bacteria, contribute significantly to these phenotypes. Despite their abundance and role in bacterial pathogenesis, most AT proteins have not been structurally characterized, and there is a paucity of detailed information with regard to their mode of action. Here we report the structure-function relationships of Antigen 43 (Ag43a), a prototypic self-associating AT protein from uropathogenic Escherichia coli. The functional domain of Ag43a displays a twisted L-shaped β-helical structure firmly stabilized by a 3D hydrogen-bonded scaffold. Notably, the distinctive Ag43a L shape facilitates self-association and cell aggregation. Combining all our data, we define a molecular "Velcro-like" mechanism of AT-mediated bacterial clumping, which can be tailored to fit different bacterial lifestyles such as the formation of biofilms.
Department of Biochemistry, La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia.