Author(s): Burgos R, Pich OQ, Querol E, Piol J
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Abstract The human pathogen Mycoplasma genitalium is known to mediate cell adhesion to target cells by the attachment organelle, a complex structure also implicated in gliding motility. The gliding mechanism of M. genitalium cells is completely unknown, but recent studies have begun to elucidate the components of the gliding machinery. We report the study of MG312, a cytadherence-related protein containing in the N terminus a box enriched in aromatic and glycine residues (EAGR), which is also exclusively found in MG200 and MG386 gliding motility proteins. Characterization of an MG_312 deletion mutant obtained by homologous recombination has revealed that the MG312 protein is required for the assembly of the M. genitalium terminal organelle. This finding is consistent with the intermediate-cytadherence phenotype and the complete absence of gliding motility exhibited by this mutant. Reintroduction of several MG_312 deletion derivatives into the MG_312 null mutant allowed us to identify two separate functional domains: an N-terminal domain implicated in gliding motility and a C-terminal domain involved in cytadherence and terminal organelle assembly functions. In addition, our results also provide evidence that the EAGR box has a specific contribution to mycoplasma cell motion. Finally, the presence of a conserved ATP binding site known as a Walker A box in the MG312 N-terminal region suggests that this structural protein could also play an active function in the gliding mechanism.
This article was published in J Bacteriol
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology