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Title: A slow-forming isopeptide bond in the structure of the major pilin SpaD from Corynebacterium diphtheriae has implications for pilus assembly

Two crystal structures of the major pilin SpaD from C. diphtheriae have been determined at 1.87 and 2.5 Å resolution. The N-terminal domain is found to contain an isopeptide bond that forms slowly over time in the recombinant protein. Given its structural context, this provides insight into the relationship between internal isopeptide-bond formation and pilus assembly. The Gram-positive organism Corynebacterium diphtheriae, the cause of diphtheria in humans, expresses pili on its surface which it uses for adhesion and colonization of its host. These pili are covalent protein polymers composed of three types of pilin subunit that are assembled by specific sortase enzymes. A structural analysis of the major pilin SpaD, which forms the polymeric backbone of one of the three types of pilus expressed by C. diphtheriae, is reported. Mass-spectral and crystallographic analysis shows that SpaD contains three internal Lys–Asn isopeptide bonds. One of these, shown by mass spectrometry to be located in the N-terminal D1 domain of the protein, only forms slowly, implying an energy barrier to bond formation. Two crystal structures, of the full-length three-domain protein at 2.5 Å resolution and of a two-domain (D2-D3) construct at 1.87 Å resolution, show that each of the three Ig-like domainsmore » contains a single Lys–Asn isopeptide-bond cross-link, assumed to give mechanical stability as in other such pili. Additional stabilizing features include a disulfide bond in the D3 domain and a calcium-binding loop in D2. The N-terminal D1 domain is more flexible than the others and, by analogy with other major pilins of this type, the slow formation of its isopeptide bond can be attributed to its location adjacent to the lysine used in sortase-mediated polymerization during pilus assembly.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ; ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142 (New Zealand)
  2. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)
  3. University of Texas–Houston Medical School, Houston, TX 77030 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22347795
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Acta Crystallographica. Section D: Biological Crystallography; Journal Volume: 70; Journal Issue: Pt 5; Other Information: PMCID: PMC4014117; PMID: 24816089; PUBLISHER-ID: dw5089; OAI: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:4014117; Copyright (c) Kang et al. 2014; This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are cited.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
Denmark
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ADHESION; CALCIUM; CRYSTAL STRUCTURE; CRYSTALS; LENGTH; LYSINE; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; POLYMERIZATION; POLYMERS; RESOLUTION; SPECTRA; STABILITY; SURFACES