Staphylococcal bap proteins build amyloid scaffold biofilm matrices in response to environmental signals

Taglialegna, A., Navarro, S., Ventura, S., Garnett, J. A., Matthews, S., Penades, J. R. , Lasa, I. and Valle, J. (2016) Staphylococcal bap proteins build amyloid scaffold biofilm matrices in response to environmental signals. PLoS Pathogens, 12(6), e1005711. (doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005711) (PMID:27327765) (PMCID:PMC4915627)

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Abstract

Biofilms are communities of bacteria that grow encased in an extracellular matrix that often contains proteins. The spatial organization and the molecular interactions between matrix scaffold proteins remain in most cases largely unknown. Here, we report that Bap protein of Staphylococcus aureus self-assembles into functional amyloid aggregates to build the biofilm matrix in response to environmental conditions. Specifically, Bap is processed and fragments containing at least the N-terminus of the protein become aggregation-prone and self-assemble into amyloid-like structures under acidic pHs and low concentrations of calcium. The molten globule-like state of Bap fragments is stabilized upon binding of the cation, hindering its self-assembly into amyloid fibers. These findings define a dual function for Bap, first as a sensor and then as a scaffold protein to promote biofilm development under specific environmental conditions. Since the pH-driven multicellular behavior mediated by Bap occurs in coagulase-negative staphylococci and many other bacteria exploit Bap-like proteins to build a biofilm matrix, the mechanism of amyloid-like aggregation described here may be widespread among pathogenic bacteria.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness grants AGL2011-23954, BIO2014-53530-R and BFU2013-44763-P. JV was supported by Ramon y Cajal (RYC-2009-03948) contract from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Penades, Professor Jose R
Authors: Taglialegna, A., Navarro, S., Ventura, S., Garnett, J. A., Matthews, S., Penades, J. R., Lasa, I., and Valle, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:PLoS Pathogens
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1553-7366
ISSN (Online):1553-7374
Published Online:21 June 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS Pathogens 12(6):e1005711
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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