4QQ1: Crystal structure of the isotype 1 Transferrin binding protein B (TbpB) from serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis

Neisseria meningitidis inhabits the human upper respiratory tract and is an important cause of sepsis and meningitis. A surface receptor comprised of transferrin-binding proteins A and B (TbpA and TbpB), is responsible for acquiring iron from host transferrin. Sequence and immunological diversity divides TbpBs into two distinct lineages; isotype I and isotype II. Two representative isotype I and II strains, B16B6 and M982, differ in their dependence on TbpB for in vitro growth on exogenous transferrin. The crystal structure of TbpB and a structural model for TbpA from the representative isotype I N. meningitidis strain B16B6 were obtained. The structures were integrated with a comprehensive analysis of the sequence diversity of these proteins to probe for potential functional differences. A distinct isotype I TbpA was identified that co-varied with TbpB and lacked sequence in the region for the loop 3 alpha-helix that is proposed to be involved in iron removal from transferrin. The tightly associated isotype I TbpBs had a distinct anchor peptide region, a distinct, smaller linker region between the lobes and lacked the large loops in the isotype II C-lobe. Sequences of the intact TbpB, the TbpB N-lobe, the TbpB C-lobe, and TbpA were subjected to phylogenetic analyses. The phylogenetic clustering of TbpA and the TbpB C-lobe were similar with two main branches comprising the isotype 1 and isotype 2 TbpBs, possibly suggesting an association between TbpA and the TbpB C-lobe. The intact TbpB and TbpB N-lobe had 4 main branches, one consisting of the isotype 1 TbpBs. One isotype 2 TbpB cluster appeared to consist of isotype 1 N-lobe sequences and isotype 2 C-lobe sequences, indicating the swapping of N-lobes and C-lobes. Our findings should inform future studies on the interaction between TbpB and TbpA and the process of iron acquisition.
PDB ID: 4QQ1Download
MMDB ID: 128220
PDB Deposition Date: 2014/6/26
Updated in MMDB: 2017/12
Experimental Method:
x-ray diffraction
Resolution: 3.33  Å
Source Organism:
Similar Structures:
Biological Unit for 4QQ1: monomeric; determined by author
Molecular Components in 4QQ1
Label Count Molecule
Protein (1 molecule)
Transferrin-binding Protein 2
Molecule annotation
Chemicals (5 molecules)
* Click molecule labels to explore molecular sequence information.

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