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J Biol Chem. 2008 Nov 14;283(46):31279-83. doi: 10.1074/jbc.C800150200. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

The structural basis for T-antigen hydrolysis by Streptococcus pneumoniae: a target for structure-based vaccine design.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Centre for Blood Research and Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z3.


Streptococcus pneumoniae endo-alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase is a cell surface-anchored glycoside hydrolase from family GH101 involved in the breakdown of mucin type O-linked glycans. The 189-kDa mature enzyme specifically hydrolyzes the T-antigen disaccharide from extracellular host glycoproteins and is representative of a broadly important class of virulence factors that have remained structurally uncharacterized due to their large size and highly modular nature. Here we report a 2.9 angstroms resolution crystal structure that remarkably captures the multidomain architecture and characterizes a catalytic center unexpectedly resembling that of alpha-amylases. Our analysis presents a complete model of glycoprotein recognition and provides a basis for the structure-based design of novel Streptococcus vaccines and therapeutics.

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