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J Mol Biol. 1983 Jul 15;167(4):823-48.

Three-dimensional arrangement of the cell wall protein of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius.


The three-dimensional structure of the S-layer that surrounds the bacterium Sulfolobus acidocaldarius is described in detail. Pieces of the S-layer, which are two-dimensional crystals with p6 symmetry, have been studied by crystallographic analysis of electron micrographs of tilted specimens. In the density map, each asymmetric unit appears to consist of several domains connected by strong hinges. On the basis of the ragged appearance of the structure at torn edges, we now suggest that the single species of polypeptide is in a highly extended conformation, with much overlap between different molecules, and show how such molecules might be weaved together to produce the morphological domains. We show that the closed surface lattice of the intact cell wall contains 5-fold and 7-fold vertices and show how the subunit structure appears to be well suited to form 5-fold and 7-fold symmetric rings at these points in place of the 6-fold rings of the hexagonal lattice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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