Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37953437
Link to HAL – hal-04290267
Link to DOI – 10.1111/febs.17001
FEBS J 2023 Nov; ():
Poly-proline II helices are secondary structure motifs frequently found in ligand-binding sites. They exhibit increased flexibility and solvent exposure compared to the strongly hydrogen-bonded α-helices or β-strands and can therefore easily be misinterpreted as completely unstructured regions with an extremely high rotational freedom. Here, we show that the adhesin YadA of Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:9 contains a poly-proline II helix interaction motif in the N-terminal region. The motif is involved in the interaction of YadAO:9 with heparin, a host glycosaminoglycan. We show that the basic residues within the N-terminal motif of YadA are required for electrostatic interactions with the sulfate groups of heparin. Biophysical methods including CD spectroscopy, solution-state NMR and SAXS all independently support the presence of a poly-proline helix allowing YadAO:9 binding to the rigid heparin. Lastly, we show that host cells deficient in sulfation of heparin and heparan sulfate are not targeted by YadAO:9 -mediated adhesion. We speculate that the YadAO:9 -heparin interaction plays an important and highly strain-specific role in the pathogenicity of Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:9.