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Proteins. 1997 Dec;29(4):517-27.

Species-specificity of the cohesin-dockerin interaction between Clostridium thermocellum and Clostridium cellulolyticum: prediction of specificity determinants of the dockerin domain.

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Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IBSM-IFR1, Marseille, France.


The cross-species specificity of the cohesin-dockerin interaction, which defines the incorporation of the enzymatic subunits into the cellulosome complex, has been investigated. Cohesin-containing segments from the cellulosomes of two different species, Clostridium thermocellum and Clostridium cellulolyticum, were allowed to interact with cellulosomal (dockerin-containing) enzymes from each species. In both cases, the cohesin domain of one bacterium interacted with enzymes from its own cellulosome in a calcium-dependent manner, but the same cohesin failed to recognize enzymes from the other species. Thus, in the case of these two bacteria, the cohesin-dockerin interaction seems to be species-specific. Based on intra- and cross-species sequence comparisons among the different dockerins together with their known specificities, we tender a prediction as to the amino-acid residues critical to recognition of the cohesins. The suspected residues were narrowed down to only four, which comprise a repeated pair located within the calcium-binding motif of two duplicated sequences, characteristic of the dockerin domain. According to the proposed model, these four residues do not participate in the binding of calcium per se; instead, they appear to serve as recognition codes in promoting interaction with the cohesin surface.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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