The crystal structure of escherichia coli group 4 capsule protein GfcC reveals a domain organization resembling that of Wza

Karthik Sathiyamoorthy, Erez Mills, Titus M. Franzmann, Ilan Rosenshine, Mark A. Saper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the 1.9 Å resolution crystal structure of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli GfcC, a periplasmic protein encoded by the gfc operon, which is essential for assembly of group 4 polysaccharide capsule (O-antigen capsule). Presumed gene orthologs of gfcC are present in capsule-encoding regions of at least 29 genera of Gram-negative bacteria. GfcC, a member of the DUF1017 family, is comprised of tandem ß-grasp (ubiquitin-like) domains (D2 and D3) and a carboxyl-terminal amphipathic helix, a domain arrangement reminiscent of that of Wza that forms an exit pore for group 1 capsule export. Unlike the membrane-spanning C-terminal helix from Wza, the GfcC C-terminal helix packs against D3. Previously unobserved in a ß-grasp domain structure is a 48-residue helical hairpin insert in D2 that binds to D3, constraining its position and sequestering the carboxyl-terminal amphipathic helix. A centrally located and invariant Arg115 not only is essential for proper localization but also forms one of two mostly conserved pockets. Finally, we draw analogies between a GfcC protein fused to an outer membrane ß-barrel pore in some species and fusion proteins necessary for secreting biofilm-forming exopolysaccharides.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5465-5476
Number of pages12
JournalBiochemistry
Volume50
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jun 2011

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