Mar 7, 2019

Global biochemical and structural analysis of the type IV pilus from the Gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus sanguinis

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Jamie-Lee BerryVladimir Pelicic


Type IV pili (Tfp) are functionally versatile filaments, widespread in prokaryotes, that belong to a large class of filamentous nanomachines known as type IV filaments (Tff). Although Tfp have been extensively studied in several Gram-negative pathogens where they function as key virulence factors, many aspects of their biology remain poorly understood. Here, we performed a global biochemical and structural analysis of Tfp in a recently emerged Gram-positive model, Streptococcus sanguinis In particular, we focused on the five pilins and pilin-like proteins involved in Tfp biology in S. sanguinis We found that the two major pilins, PilE1 and PilE2, (i) follow widely conserved principles for processing by the prepilin peptidase PilD and for assembly into filaments; (ii) display only one of the post-translational modifications frequently found in pilins, i.e. a methylated N terminus; (iii) are found in the same heteropolymeric filaments; and (iv) are not functionally equivalent. The 3D structure of PilE1, solved by NMR, revealed a classical pilin-fold with a highly unusual flexible C terminus. Intriguingly, PilE1 more closely resembles pseudopilins forming shorter Tff than bona fide Tfp-forming major pilins, underlining the evoluti...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Gram-Positive Bacteria
PilB protein, Bacteria
Type IV Pilus Biogenesis
Filamentous fungus
Arthrobacter sanguinis
Gram-Negative Bacteria

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