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Mol Microbiol. 1997 Feb;23(3):483-92.

The S-layer protein of Corynebacterium glutamicum is anchored to the cell wall by its C-terminal hydrophobic domain.

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Laboratoire des Biomembranes, URA 1116 CNRS, Université de Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.


PS2 is the S-layer protein of Corynebacterium glutamicum. The S-layer may be detached from the cell as organized sheets by detergents at room temperature. The solubilization of PS2 in the form of monomers requires detergent treatment at high temperature (70 degrees C), conditions under which the protein is denatured. Treatment of the cells with proteinase K or trypsin results in the detachment of the organized S-layer, which remains organized. Because we show that trypsin cleaves the C-terminal part of the protein, we conclude that this domain is involved in the association of the S-layer to the cell but is not essential in the interaction between individual PS2 proteins within the S-layer. A modified form of PS2, deleted of its C-terminal hydrophobic sequence, was constructed. The protein is almost unable to form an organized S-layer and is mainly released into the medium. We suggest that PS2 is anchored via its C-terminal hydrophobic sequence to a hydrophobic layer of the wall of the bacterium located some distance above the cytoplasmic membrane.

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