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Crystallization and preliminary X‐ray diffraction analysis of PsaA, the adhesive pilin subunit that forms the pH 6 antigen on the surface of

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Yersinia pestis has been responsible for a number of high‐mortality epidemics throughout human history. Like all other bacterial infections, the pathogenesis of Y. pestis begins with the attachment of bacteria to the surface of host cells. At least five surface proteins from Y. pestis have been shown to interact with host cells. Psa, the pH 6 antigen, is one of them and is deployed on the surface of bacteria as thin flexible fibrils that are the result of the polymerization of a single PsaA pilin subunit. Here, the crystallization of recombinant donor‐strand complemented PsaA by the hanging‐drop vapor‐diffusion method is reported. X‐ray diffraction data sets were collected to 1.9 Å resolution from a native crystal and to 1.5 Å resolution from a bromide‐derivatized crystal. These crystals displayed the symmetry of the orthorhombic space group P2221, with unit‐cell parameters a = 26.3, b = 54.6, c = 102.1 Å. Initial phases were derived from single isomorphous replacement with anomalous scattering experiments, resulting in an electron‐density map that showed a single molecule in the crystallographic asymmetric unit. Sequence assignment was aided by residues binding to bromide ions of the heavy‐atom derivative.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2012


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