National Center for
5COM: Crystal Structure Of Uncharacterized Protein Q187f5 From Clostridium Difficile 630
J. Mol. Biol. (2016) 428 p.554-560
Bacteria have developed a variety of mechanisms for surviving harsh environmental conditions, nutrient stress and overpopulation. Paenibacillus dendritiformis produces a lethal protein (Slf) that is able to induce cell death in neighbouring colonies and a phenotypic switch in more distant ones. Slf is derived from the secreted precursor protein, DfsB, after proteolytic processing. Here, we present new crystal structures of DfsB homologues from a variety of bacterial species and a surprising version present in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Adopting a four-helix bundle decorated with a further three short helices within intervening loops, DfsB belongs to a non-enzymatic class of the DinB fold. The structure suggests that the biologically active Slf fragment may possess a C-terminal helix rich in basic and aromatic residues that suggest a functional mechanism akin to that for cationic antimicrobial peptides.