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Biochemistry. 1995 Oct 10;34(40):12963-72.

Structure-function analysis of the adherence-binding domain on the pilin of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains PAK and KB7.

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Protein Engineering Network of Centers of Excellence, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


The pili of Pseudomonas aeruginosa mediate bacterial binding to human epithelial cell surfaces. We have previously shown that a 17-residue synthetic peptide, KCTSDQDEQFIPKGCSK, corresponding to the C-terminal sequence of the PAK pilin protein (residues 128-144) contains the adherence binding domain. Another pilin strain, KB7, has been cloned and sequenced [Paranchych et al. (1990) in Pseudomonas Biotransformations, Pathogenesis and Evolving Biotechnology, pp 343-351, American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC]. The C-terminal 17-residue sequence of the KB7 pilin is SCATTVDAKFRPNGCTD, which is semiconserved as compared to the PAK sequence. In this study, the interactions between the A549 human lung carcinoma cells and the two P. aeruginosa pilin strains were elucidated using a single alanine replacement analysis on the C-terminal 17-residue synthetic peptide of the pilins. The ability of these peptide analogs to inhibit the binding of the biotinylated PAK pili to A549 cells was assessed. Six PAK amino acid side chains (Ser131, Gln136, Ile138, Pro139, Gly141, and Lys144) and nine KB7 side chains (Ala130, Thr131, Thr132, Val133, Asp134, Ala135, Lys136, Arg138, and Pro139) were found to be important in mediating the pilus adhesin binding to A549 cells. In addition, a flexible peptide analog with both cysteine residues replaced by alanine failed to inhibit the binding of PAK pili to A549 cells. This suggests that the interactions between the pilin ligand and the A549 cell surface receptors are dependent on the conformation mediated by the disulfide bridge (Cys129 and Cys142). The residues considered to contribute to bacterial adherence are referred to as the "adhesintope". Four PAK and three KB7 side chains were located in a structurally more rigid region of the disulfide-bridged peptide as revealed by two-dimensional NMR studies [McInnes et al. (1993) Biochemistry 32, 13432-13440]. The structural aspects of the pilin-receptor interactions related to the mapped adhesintope sequences are discussed. The dissimilarities between the PAK and KB7 adhesintopes may suggest that compensatory mutations could occur among different pilin strains so as to allow the pilin adhesins to interact with the same receptor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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