X-ray crystal structure of Bacillus subtilis ComEA

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 3.20 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.276 
  • R-Value Work: 0.254 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.256 

wwPDB Validation   3D Report Full Report

This is version 1.0 of the entry. See complete history


Structure-function studies reveal ComEA contains an oligomerization domain essential for transformation in gram-positive bacteria.

Ahmed, I.Hahn, J.Henrickson, A.Khaja, F.T.Demeler, B.Dubnau, D.Neiditch, M.B.

(2022) Nat Commun 13: 7724-7724

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-35129-0
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    8DFK, 8DSS

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    An essential step in bacterial transformation is the uptake of DNA into the periplasm, across the thick peptidoglycan cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria, or the outer membrane and thin peptidoglycan layer of Gram-negative bacteria. ComEA, a DNA-binding protein widely conserved in transformable bacteria, is required for this uptake step. Here we determine X-ray crystal structures of ComEA from two Gram-positive species, Bacillus subtilis and Geobacillus stearothermophilus, identifying a domain that is absent in Gram-negative bacteria. X-ray crystallographic, genetic, and analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) analyses reveal that this domain drives ComEA oligomerization, which we show is required for transformation. We use multi-wavelength AUC (MW-AUC) to characterize the interaction between DNA and the ComEA DNA-binding domain. Finally, we present a model for the interaction of the ComEA DNA-binding domain with DNA, suggesting that ComEA oligomerization may provide a pulling force that drives DNA uptake across the thick cell walls of Gram-positive bacteria.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Genetics, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences, Newark, NJ, 07103, USA.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
ComE operon protein 1
A, B, C, D, E
A, B, C, D, E, F, G
157Bacillus subtilis subsp. subtilis str. 168Mutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: comEAcomE1BSU25590
Find proteins for P39694 (Bacillus subtilis (strain 168))
Explore P39694 
Go to UniProtKB:  P39694
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupP39694
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 3.20 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.276 
  • R-Value Work: 0.254 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.256 
  • Space Group: I 2 2 2
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 114.525α = 90
b = 116.482β = 90
c = 183.268γ = 90
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
HKL-3000data reduction
HKL-3000data scaling

Structure Validation

View Full Validation Report

Entry History & Funding Information

Deposition Data

Funding OrganizationLocationGrant Number
National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH/NIGMS)United StatesR01GM057720

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2022-12-28
    Type: Initial release