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Nature. 2003 May 8;423(6936):177-81.

Pathogenic bacteria attach to human fibronectin through a tandem beta-zipper.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, UK.

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, two important human pathogens, target host fibronectin (Fn) in their adhesion to and invasion of host cells. Fibronectin-binding proteins (FnBPs), anchored in the bacterial cell wall, have multiple Fn-binding repeats in an unfolded region of the protein. The bacterium-binding site in the amino-terminal domain (1-5F1) of Fn contains five sequential Fn type 1 (F1) modules. Here we show the structure of a streptococcal (S. dysgalactiae) FnBP peptide (B3) in complex with the module pair 1F12F1. This identifies 1F1- and 2F1-binding motifs in B3 that form additional antiparallel beta-strands on sequential F1 modules-the first example of a tandem beta-zipper. Sequence analyses of larger regions of FnBPs from S. pyogenes and S. aureus reveal a repeating pattern of F1-binding motifs that match the pattern of F1 modules in 1-5F1 of Fn. In the process of Fn-mediated invasion of host cells, therefore, the bacterial proteins seem to exploit the modular structure of Fn by forming extended tandem beta-zippers. This work is a vital step forward in explaining the full mechanism of the integrin-dependent FnBP-mediated invasion of host cells.

PMID:
12736686
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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