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Fibronectin-binding proteins (FnBPs) of Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes mediate invasion of human endothelial and epithelial cells in a process likely to aid the persistence and/or dissemination of infection. In addition to binding sites for the N-terminal domain (NTD) of fibronectin (Fn), a number of streptococcal FnBPs also contain an upstream region (UR) that is closely associated with an NTD-binding region; UR binds to the adjacent gelatin-binding domain (GBD) of Fn. Previously, UR was shown to be required for efficient streptococcal invasion of epithelial cells. Here we show, using a Streptococcus zooepidemicus FnBP, that the UR-binding site in GBD resides largely in the (8)F1(9)F1 module pair. We also show that UR inhibits binding of a peptide from the α1 chain of type I collagen to (8)F1(9)F1 and that UR binding to (8)F1 is likely to occur through anti-parallel β-zipper formation. Thus, we propose that streptococcal proteins that contain adjacent NTD- and GBD-binding sites form a highly unusual extended tandem β-zipper that spans the two domains and mediates high affinity binding to Fn through a large intermolecular interface. The proximity of the UR- and NTD-binding sequences in streptococcal FnBPs is consistent with a non-linear arrangement of modules in the tertiary structure of the GBD of Fn.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





36977 - 36983


Amino Acid Sequence, Binding Sites, Crystallography, X-Ray, Fibronectins, Gelatin, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Protein Binding, Protein Conformation, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Recombinant Proteins, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Streptococcus equi