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Molecular organization of selected prokaryotic S-layer proteins

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Regular crystalline surface layers (S-layers) are widespread among prokaryotes and probably represent the earliest cell wall structures. S-layer genes have been found in approximately 400 different species of the prokaryotic domains bacteria and archaea. S-layers usually consist of a single (glyco-)protein species with molecular masses ranging from about 40 to 200 kDa that form lattices of oblique, tetragonal, or hexagonal architecture. The primary sequen ces of hyperthermophilic archaeal species exhibit some characteristic signatures. Further adaptations to their specific environments occur by various post-translational modifications, such as linkage of glycans, lipids, phosphate, and sulfate groups to the protein or by proteolytic processing. Specific domains direct the anchoring of the S-layer to the underlying cell wall components and transport across the cytoplasma membrane. In addition to their presumptive original role as protective coats in archaea and bacteria, they have adapted new functions, e.g., as molecular sieves, attachment sites for extracellular enzymes, and virulence factors.Key words: prokaryotes, cell walls, S-layer (glyco-) proteins, protein stabilization.

Les couches de surface (couches S) cristallines régulières sont répandues parmi les procaryotes et représentent probablement les structures de parois cellulaires primitives. Des gènes de couches S ont été retrouvés chez environ 400 espèces différentes des domaines procaryotes bacteria et archaea. Les couches S sont habituellement constituées d'un seul type de glycoprotéine de masses moléculaires allant de 40 à 200 kDa qui forment des réseaux ayant une architecture oblique, tétragonale ou hexagonale. Les séquences primaires des espPces achéales hyperthermophiles présentent certaines caractéristiques distinctives. Des adaptations subséquentes à leurs environnements spécifiques furent facilitées par diverses modifications post-traductionnelles telles que des liens de la protéine à des glycanes, des lipides, des groupes phosphates et sulfates ou par une transformation protéolytique. Des domaines spécifiques sont responsables de l'ancrage de la couche S aux composantes de la paroi cellulaire inférieure et au transport à travers la membrane cytoplasmique. En plus de leur rôle original présumé comme couche protectrice des archéobactéries et des eubactéries, elles ont adopté de nouvelles fonctions, p. ex. des tamis moléculaires, des sites d'attachement pour des enzymes extracellulaires et des facteurs de virulence.Mots clés : procaryotes, paroi cellulaire, glycoprotéines de la couches S, stabilisation protéique.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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