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Mol Microbiol. 2012 Feb;83(4):866-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.07970.x. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Gap1 functions as a molecular chaperone to stabilize its interactive partner Gap3 during biogenesis of serine-rich repeat bacterial adhesin.

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Departments of Pediatric Dentistry and Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


Serine-rich repeat glycoproteins (SRRPs) are important bacterial adhesins that are conserved in streptococci and staphylococci. Fimbriae-associated protein (Fap1) from Streptococcus parasanguinis, was the first SRRP identified; it plays an important role in bacterial biofilm formation. A gene cluster encoding glycosyltransferases and accessory secretion components is required for Fap1 biogenesis. Two glycosylation-associated proteins, Gap1 and Gap3 within the cluster, interact with each other and function in concert in Fap1 biogenesis. Here we report the new molecular events underlying contribution of the interaction to Fap1 biogenesis. The Gap1-deficient mutant rendered Gap3 unstable and degraded in vitro and in vivo. Inactivation of a gene encoding protease ClpP reversed the phenotype of the gap1 mutant, suggesting that ClpP is responsible for degradation of Gap3. Molecular chaperone GroEL was co-purified with Gap3 only when Gap1 was absent and also reacted with Gap1 monoclonal antibody, suggesting that Gap1 functions as a specific chaperone for Gap3. The N-terminal interacting domains of Gap1 mediated the Gap3 stability and Fap1 biogenesis. Gap1 homologues from Streptococcus agalactiae and Staphylococcus aureus also interacted with and stabilized corresponding Gap3 homologues, suggesting that the chaperone activity of the Gap1 homologues is common in biogenesis of SRRPs.

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