The antigen 43 structure reveals a molecular velcro-like mechanism of autotransporter-mediated bacterial clumping

Heras, B., Totsika, Makrina, Peters, K. M., Paxman, J. J., Gee, C. L., Jarrott, R. J., Perugini, M. A., Whitten, A. E., & Schembri, M. A. (2014) The antigen 43 structure reveals a molecular velcro-like mechanism of autotransporter-mediated bacterial clumping. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(1), pp. 457-462.

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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.

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29 citations in Scopus
30 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 77379
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1311592111
ISSN: 1091-6490
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The authors
Deposited On: 10 Oct 2014 01:04
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 22:02

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