Dimeric Structure of the Bacterial Extracellular Foldase PrsA [Enzymology]

December 17th, 2014 by Jakob, R. P., Koch, J. R., Burmann, B. M., Schmidpeter, P. A. M., Hunkeler, M., Hiller, S., Schmid, F. X., Maier, T.

Secretion of proteins into the membrane-cell wall space is essential for cell wall biosynthesis and pathogenicity in Gram-positive bacteria. Folding and maturation of many secreted proteins depend on a single extracellular foldase, the PrsA protein. PrsA is a 30 kDa protein, lipid-anchored to the outer leaflet of the cell membrane. The crystal structure of Bacillus subtilis PrsA reveals a central catalytic parvulin-type prolyl isomerase domain, which is inserted into a larger composite NC domain formed by the N- and C-terminal regions. This domain architecture resembles, despite a lack of sequence conservation, both trigger factor, a ribosome-binding bacterial chaperone, and SurA, a periplasmic chaperone in Gram-negative bacteria. Two main structural differences are observed in that the N-terminal arm of PrsA is substantially shortened relative to trigger factor and SurA and in that PrsA is found to dimerize in a unique fashion via its NC domain. Dimerization leads to a large, bowl-shaped crevice, which might be involved in vivo in protecting substrate proteins from aggregation. NMR experiments reveal a direct, dynamic interaction of both the parvulin and the NC domain with secretion propeptides, which have been implicated in substrate targeting to PrsA.