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Science. 1999 Jul 30;285(5428):760-3.

Staphylococcus aureus sortase, an enzyme that anchors surface proteins to the cell wall.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UCLA School of Medicine, University of California, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Surface proteins of Gram-positive bacteria are linked to the bacterial cell wall by a mechanism that involves cleavage of a conserved Leu-Pro-X-Thr-Gly (LPXTG) motif and that occurs during assembly of the peptidoglycan cell wall. A Staphylococcus aureus mutant defective in the anchoring of surface proteins was isolated and shown to carry a mutation in the srtA gene. Overexpression of srtA increased the rate of surface protein anchoring, and homologs of srtA were found in other pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria. The protein specified by srtA, sortase, may be a useful target for the development of new antimicrobial drugs.

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