Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2011 Mar 1;6(3):e17403. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017403.

Crystal structure analysis of the polysialic acid specific O-acetyltransferase NeuO.

Author information

  • 1Abteilung für Molekulare Strukturbiologie, Institut für Mikrobiologie und Genetik, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.


The major virulence factor of the neuroinvasive pathogen Escherichia coli K1 is the K1 capsule composed of α2,8-linked polysialic acid (polySia). K1 strains harboring the CUS-3 prophage modify their capsular polysaccharide by phase-variable O-acetylation, a step that is associated with increased virulence. Here we present the crystal structure of the prophage-encoded polysialate O-acetyltransferase NeuO. The homotrimeric enzyme belongs to the left-handed β-helix (LβH) family of acyltransferases and is characterized by an unusual funnel-shaped outline. Comparison with other members of the LβH family allowed the identification of active site residues and proposal of a catalytic mechanism and highlighted structural characteristics of polySia specific O-acetyltransferases. As a unique feature of NeuO, the enzymatic activity linearly increases with the length of the N-terminal poly-ψ-domain which is composed of a variable number of tandem copies of an RLKTQDS heptad. Since the poly-ψ-domain was not resolved in the crystal structure it is assumed to be unfolded in the apo-enzyme.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk