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Journal Article

Pathogenic bacteria attach to human fibronectin through a tandem beta-zipper

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Schwarz-Linek, U., Werner, J. M., Pickford, A. R., Gurusiddappa, S., Kim, J. H., Pilka, E. S., et al. (2003). Pathogenic bacteria attach to human fibronectin through a tandem beta-zipper. Nature, 423(6936), 177-181. doi:10.1038/nature01589.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-707D-D
Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, two important human pathogens, target host fibronectin (Fn) in their adhesion to and invasion of host cells(1,2). Fibronectin-binding proteins (FnBPs), anchored in the bacterial cell wall, have multiple Fn-binding repeats(3) in an unfolded(4,5) region of the protein. The bacterium-binding site in the amino-terminal domain ((1-5)F1) of Fn contains five sequential Fn type 1 (F1) modules. Here we show the structure of a streptococcal (S. dysgalactiae) FnBP peptide (B3)(6,7) in complex with the module pair (1)F1(2)F1. This identifies (1)F1-and (2)F1-binding motifs in B3 that form additional antiparallel beta-strands on sequential F1 modules-the first example of a tandem beta-zipper. Sequence analyses of larger regions of FnBPs from S. pyogenes and S. aureus reveal a repeating pattern of F1-binding motifs that match the pattern of F1 modules in (1-5)F1 of Fn. In the process of Fn-mediated invasion of host cells, therefore, the bacterial proteins seem to exploit the modular structure of Fn by forming extended tandem beta-zippers. This work is a vital step forward in explaining the full mechanism of the integrin-dependent(2,8) FnBP-mediated invasion of host cells.