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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Nov 6;389(1):57-62. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.08.089. Epub 2009 Aug 21.

A novel fibronectin type III module binding motif identified on C-terminus of Leptospira immunoglobulin-like protein, LigB.

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Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Infection by pathogenic strains of Leptospira hinges on the pathogen's ability to adhere to host cells via extracellular matrix such as fibronectin (Fn). Previously, the immunoglobulin-like domains of Leptospira Lig proteins were recognized as adhesins binding to N-terminal domain (NTD) and gelatin binding domain (GBD) of Fn. In this study, we identified another Fn-binding motif on the C-terminus of the Leptospira adhesin LigB (LigBCtv), residues 1708-1712 containing sequence LIPAD with a beta-strand and nascent helical structure. This motif binds to 15th type III modules (15F(3)) (K(D)=10.70 microM), and association (k(on)=600 M(-1)s(-1)) and dissociation (k(off)=0.0129 s(-1)) rate constants represents a slow binding kinetics in this interaction. Moreover, pretreatment of MDCK cells with LigB(1706-1716) blocked the binding of Leptospira by 39%, demonstrating a significant role of LigB(1706-1716) in cellular adhesion. These data indicate that the LIPAD residues (LigB(1708-1712)) of the Leptospira interrogans LigB protein bind 15F(3) of Fn at a novel binding site, and this interaction contributes to adhesion to host cells.

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