Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10970841
EMBO J. 2000 Sep;19(17):4473-84
Several bacterial proteins are non-covalently anchored to the cell surface via an S-layer homology (SLH) domain. Previous studies have suggested that this cell surface display mechanism involves a non-covalent interaction between the SLH domain and peptidoglycan-associated polymers. Here we report the characterization of a two-gene operon, csaAB, for cell surface anchoring, in Bacillus anthracis. Its distal open reading frame (csaB) is required for the retention of SLH-containing proteins on the cell wall. Biochemical analysis of cell wall components showed that CsaB was involved in the addition of a pyruvyl group to a peptidoglycan-associated polysaccharide fraction, and that this modification was necessary for binding of the SLH domain. The csaAB operon is present in several bacterial species that synthesize SLH-containing proteins. This observation and the presence of pyruvate in the cell wall of the corresponding bacteria suggest that the mechanism described in this study is widespread among bacteria.