Glycosylation substrate specificity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa 1244 pilin

Joseph Horzempa, Jason E. Comer, Sheila A. Davis, Peter Castric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The β-carbon of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa 1244 pilin C-terminal Ser is a site of glycosylation. The present study was conducted to determine the pilin structures necessary for glycosylation. It was found that although Thr could be tolerated at the pilin C terminus, the blocking of the Ser carboxyl group with the addition of an Ala prevented glycosylation. Pilin from strain PA103 was not glycosylated by P. aeruginosa 1244, even when the C-terminal residue was converted to Ser. Substituting the disulfide loop region of strain PA103 pilin with that of strain 1244 allowed glycosylation to take place. Neither conversion of 1244 pilin disulfide loop Cys residues to Ala nor the deletion of segments of this structure prevented glycosylation. It was noted that the PA103 pilin disulfide loop environment was electronegative, whereas that of strain 1244 pilin had an overall positive charge. Insertion of a positive charge into the PA103 pilin disulfide loop of a mutant containing Ser at the C terminus allowed glycosylation to take place. Extending the "tail" region of the PA103 mutant pilin containing Ser at its terminus resulted in robust glycosylation. These results suggest that the terminal Ser is the major pilin glycosylation recognition feature and that this residue cannot be substituted at its carboxyl group. Although no other specific recognition features are present, the pilin surface must be compatible with the reaction apparatus for glycosylation to occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1128-1136
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 13 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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