Characterization of a novel intramolecular chaperone domain conserved in endosialidases and other bacteriophage tail spike and fiber proteins

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
David SchwarzerMartina Mühlenhoff


Folding and assembly of endosialidases, the trimeric tail spike proteins of Escherichia coli K1-specific bacteriophages, crucially depend on their C-terminal domain (CTD). Homologous CTDs were identified in phage proteins belonging to three different protein families: neck appendage proteins of several Bacillus phages, L-shaped tail fibers of coliphage T5, and K5 lyases, the tail spike proteins of phages infecting E. coli K5. By analyzing a representative of each family, we show that in all cases, the CTD is cleaved off after a strictly conserved serine residue and alanine substitution prevented cleavage. Further structural and functional analyses revealed that (i) CTDs are autonomous domains with a high alpha-helical content; (ii) proteolytically released CTDs assemble into hexamers, which are most likely dimers of trimers; (iii) highly conserved amino acids within the CTD are indispensable for CTD-mediated folding and complex formation; (iv) CTDs can be exchanged between proteins of different families; and (v) proteolytic cleavage is essential to stabilize the native protein complex. Data obtained for full-length and proteolytically processed endosialidase variants suggest that release of the CTD increases the unfolding barri...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Endo-N-acetylneuraminidase F
Tailspike protein, bacteriophage
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
Proteins, Recombinant DNA
Viral Proteins
Phage phi 29
Conserved Sequence
Viral Tail Proteins

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