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Structure. 2011 Sep 7;19(9):1307-16. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2011.05.015.

Atomic resolution insights into curli fiber biogenesis.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Biosciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK.

Abstract

Bacteria produce functional amyloid fibers called curli in a controlled, noncytotoxic manner. These extracellular fimbriae enable biofilm formation and promote pathogenicity. Understanding curli biogenesis is important for appreciating microbial lifestyles and will offer clues as to how disease-associated human amyloid formation might be ameliorated. Proteins encoded by the curli specific genes (csgA-G) are required for curli production. We have determined the structure of CsgC and derived the first structural model of the outer-membrane subunit translocator CsgG. Unexpectedly, CsgC is related to the N-terminal domain of DsbD, both in structure and oxido-reductase capability. Furthermore, we show that CsgG belongs to the nascent class of helical outer-membrane macromolecular exporters. A cysteine in a CsgG transmembrane helix is a potential target of CsgC, and mutation of this residue influences curli assembly. Our study provides the first high-resolution structural insights into curli biogenesis.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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