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FEBS Lett. 1994 Mar 28;342(1):23-8.

Binding site-shaped repeated sequences of bacterial wall peptidoglycan hydrolases.

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Centre d'Ingénierie des Protéines, Université de Liège, Sart Tilman (Liège 1), Belgium.


The non-catalytic C-terminal regions of the N-acetylmuramidase (lysozyme) of Clostridium acetobutylicum and N-acetylmuramoyl(D-lactyl)-L-alanine amidases CwlA of Bacillus subtilis, ORFL3 and CwlL of Bacillus licheniformis were previously reported to have similarities with the amino acid sequence of the non-catalytic N-terminal module of the Streptomyces albus G Zn DD-peptidase. This peptidase is a bipartite protein of known three-dimensional structure. Its non-catalytic N-terminal module possesses, exposed at the surface, an elongated crevice which is defined by a loop-helix-loop-helix motif that consists of two repeats, each 16 amino acid residues long, connected by a heptapeptide and whose design is compatible with its possible functioning as a substrate recognition and binding site. Amino acid alignments suggest that cavities nearly identical in shape to that present in the non-catalytic module of the S. albus peptidase, are borne by the C-terminal regions of the CwlA amidase (in one copy), the lysozyme and the ORFL3 and CwlL amidases (in two copies). Since a common feature of the five enzymes is their substrate, the bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan, we interpret the striking similarity of their non-catalytic N- or C-terminal modules to suggest that these modules are involved in the binding of these exocellular enzymes to their insoluble wall substrate.

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