Studies of the structure and function of a fibrinogen binding MSCRAMM from Staphylococcus epidermidis

Stacey Lee Davis, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) are recognized as important pathogens and are particularly associated with foreign body infections. S. epidermidis accounts for approximately 75% of the infections caused by CNS. Three genes, sdrF, sdrG, and sdrH, were identified by screening a S. epidermidis genomic library with a probe encompassing the serine-aspartate dipeptide repeat-encoding region (region R) of clfA from S. aureus. SdrG has significant amino acid identity to ClfA, ClfB and other surface proteins of S. aureus. SdrG is also similar to a protein (Fbe) recently described by Nilsson, et al. (Infection and Immunity, 1998, 66:2666–73) from S. epidermidis. The N-terminal domain (A region) of SdrG was expressed as a his-tag fusion protein in E. coli. In an ELISA, this protein, rSdrG(50-597) was shown to bind specifically to fibrinogen (Fg). Western ligand blot analysis showed that SdrG binds the Bβ chain of Fg. To further characterize the rSdrG(50-597)-Fg interaction, truncates of the Fg Bβ chain were made and expressed as recombinant proteins in E. coli. SdrG was shown to bind the full-length Bβ chain (1462), as well as the N-terminal three-quarters (1-341), the N-terminal one-half (1-220) and the N-terminal one-quarter (1-95) Bβ chain constructs. rSdrG(50-597) failed to bind to the recombinant truncates that lacked the N-terminal 25 amino acid residues of this polypeptide suggesting that SdrG recognizes a site within this region of the Bβ chain. Inhibition ELISAs have shown that peptide mimetics, including β1–25, and β6–20, encompassing this 25 residue region can inhibit binding of rSdrG(50-597) to Fg coated wells. Using fluorescence polarization we were able to determine an equilibrium constant (KD) for the interaction of rSdrG(50-597) with the Fg Bβ chain peptide β1–25. The labeled peptide was shown to bind to rSdrG(50-597) with a KD of 0.14 ± 0.01μM. Because rSdrG(50-597) recognizes a site in the Fg Bβ chain close to the thrombin cleavage site, we investigated the possibility of the rSdrG(50-597) site either overlapping or lying close to this cleavage site. An ELISA showed that rSdrG(50-597) binding to thrombin-treated Fg was significantly reduced. In a clot inhibition assay rSdrG(50-597) was able to inhibit fibrin clot formation in a concentration dependent manner. Furthermore, rSdrG(50-597) was able to inhibit clot formation by preventing the release of fibrinopeptide B as determined by HPLC. To further define the interaction between rSdrG(50-597) and peptide β6–20, we utilized an alanine amino acid replacement strategy. The residues in β6–20 that appear to be important in rSdrG(50-597) binding to Fg, were confirmed by the rSdrG(273-597)-β6–20 co-crystal structure that was recently solved by our collaborators at University of Alabama-Birmingham. Additionally, rSdrG(50-597) was not able to bind to Fg from different animal species, rather it bound specifically to human Fg in an ELISA. This suggests that the sequence variation between Fg Bβ chains of different species, specifically with in the N-terminal 25 residues, affects the ability of rSdrG(50-597) binding to Fg, and this may explain why S. epidermidis is primarily a human pathogen.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Microbiology|Pathology

Recommended Citation

Davis, Stacey Lee, "Studies of the structure and function of a fibrinogen binding MSCRAMM from Staphylococcus epidermidis" (2002). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3046054.