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Trends Microbiol. 2001 Mar;9(3):97-102.

An embarrassment of sortases - a richness of substrates?

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Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK BT12 6BN.


A range of surface proteins is anchored to the cell walls of Gram-positive pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus by the transpeptidase sortase. Until now, sortase-like proteins and their substrates appeared to be limited mainly to such pathogens. However, by searching for sortase homologues among complete and incomplete genome sequences, we have found them to be present in almost all Gram-positives, a single Gram-negative bacterium and an archaean. There is usually more than one sortase-like protein encoded in each Gram-positive genome, and the genes encoding the sortase-like proteins are often clustered with genes encoding their likely substrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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