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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jul 23;279(30):31599-605. Epub 2004 May 24.

NMR structure of a type IVb pilin from Salmonella typhi and its assembly into pilus.

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Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543.


The structure of the N-terminal-truncated Type IVb structural pilin (t-PilS) from Salmonella typhi was determined by NMR. Although topologically similar to the recently determined x-ray structure of pilin from Vibrio cholerae toxin-coregulated pilus, the only Type IVb pilin with known structure, t-PilS contains many distinct structural features. The protein contains an extra pair of beta-strands in the N-terminal alphabeta loop that align with the major beta-strands to form a continuous 7-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet. The C-terminal disulfide-bonded region of t-PilS is only half the length of that of toxin-coregulated pilus pilin. A model of S. typhi pilus has been proposed and mutagenesis studies suggested that residues on both the alphabeta loop and the C-terminal disulfide-bonded region of PilS might be involved in binding specificity of the pilus. This model structure reveals an exposed surface between adjacent subunits of PilS that could be a potential binding site for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator.

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