Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, Vol.129, No.4, 412-417, 2020
Native display of a huge homotrimeric protein fiber on the cell surface after precise domain deletion
AtaA, a trimeric autotransporter adhesin from Acinetobacter sp. Tol 5, exhibits nonspecific, high adhesiveness to abiotic surfaces. For identification of the functional domains of AtaA, precise design of domain-deletion mutants is necessary so as not to cause undesirable structural distortion. Here, we designed and constructed three types of AtaA mutants from which the same domain, FGG1, was deleted. The first mutant was designed to preserve the periodicity of hydrophobic residues in the coiled-coil segments sandwiching the deleted region. After the deletion, the protein was properly displayed on the cell surface and had the same adhesive function as the wild type. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy showed that its isolated passenger domain had the same fiber structure as in the AtaA wild type. In contrast, a mutant designed to disturb the coiled-coil periodicity at the deletion site failed to reach the cell surface. Although secretion occurred for the mutant designed with a flexible connector between the coiled coils, the cells exhibited a decrease in adhesiveness. Furthermore, TEM imaging of the mutant fibers showed bending at the fiber tip and changes in their CD spectrum indicated a decrease in secondary structure content. Thus, we succeeded to natively display the huge homotrimeric fiber structure of AtaA on the cell surface after precise deletion of a domain, maintaining the proper folding state and adhesive function by preserving its coiled-coil periodicity. This strategy enables us to construct various domain-deletion mutants of AtaA without structural distortion for complete functional mapping. (C) 2019, The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. All rights reserved.