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J Biol Chem. 2013 May 10;288(19):13762-74. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.459974. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

An intramolecular interaction involving the N terminus of a streptococcal adhesin affects its conformation and adhesive function.

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Department of Oral Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32610, USA.



P1 is an adhesin on the surface of Streptococcus mutans.


Destroying the high affinity interaction between the N and C termini of S. mutans P1 creates a non-adherent phenotype.


The N terminus facilitates proper folding, function, and stability within recombinant P1.


The relationship between folding, maturation, and cell surface assembly is critical to understanding the P1 mechanism of action. The adhesin P1 is localized on the surface of the oral pathogen Streptococcus mutans and facilitates an interaction with the glycoprotein complex salivary agglutinin that is comprised primarily of the scavenger receptor gp340. Recent crystal structures of P1 display an unusual structure in which the protein folds back upon itself to form an elongated hybrid helical stalk with a globular head at the apex and a globular C-terminal region at the base. The N terminus of P1 has not yet been characterized. In this report we describe the contribution of an interaction between the N-terminal and C-terminal portions of the protein that is required for proper function of P1 on the surface of S. mutans. Utilizing recombinant N-terminal and C-terminal fragments, we employed isothermal titration calorimetry and native gel electrophoresis to demonstrate that these fragments form a high affinity and stable complex in solution. Furthermore, circular dichroism and surface plasmon resonance measurements indicated that the N-terminal fragment contributes to the folding and increases the functionality of the C-terminal fragment in trans. Finally, we utilized circular dichroism, surface plasmon resonance, and differential scanning calorimetry to show that an N-terminal 106-amino acid segment within P1 contributes to the proper folding and function of the full-length recombinant molecule and increases the stability of its elongated hybrid helical stalk.


Bacterial Adhesion; Cell Surface Protein; Circular Dichroism (CD); Isothermal Titration Calorimetry; Protein Conformation; Protein Folding; Streptococcus; Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR)

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