- FimA is the main structural subunit of adhesive type 1 pili from uropathogenic Escherichia coli strains. Up to 3000 copies of FimA assemble to the helical pilus rod through a mechanism termed donor strand complementation, in which the incomplete immunoglobulin-like fold of each FimA subunit is complemented by the N-terminal extension (Nte) of the next subunit. The Nte of FimA, which exhibits a pseudo-palindromic sequence, is inserted in an antiparallel orientation relative to the last β-strand of the preceding subunit in the pilus.
- Thioredoxin (Trx) is a conserved, cytosolic reductase in all known organisms. The enzyme receives two electrons from NADPH via thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) and passes them on to multiple cellular reductases via disulfide exchange. Despite the ubiquity of thioredoxins in all taxa, little is known about the functions of resurrected ancestral thioredoxins in the context of a modern mesophilic organism. Here, we report on functional in vitro and in vivo analyses of seven resurrected Precambrian thioredoxins, dating back 1–4 billion years, in the Escherichia coli cytoplasm.
- Adhesive type 1 pili from enteroinvasive, Gram-negative bacteria mediate attachment to host cells. Up to 3000 copies of the main pilus subunit, FimA, assemble into the filamentous, helical quaternary structure of the pilus rod via a mechanism termed donor-strand complementation, in which the N-terminal extension of each subunit, the donor strand, is inserted into the incomplete immunoglobulin-like fold of the preceding FimA subunit. For FimA from Escherichia coli, it has been previously shown that the protein can also adopt a monomeric, self-complemented conformation in which the donor strand is inserted intramolecularly in the opposite orientation relative to that observed for FimA polymers.
- The α-pore-forming toxin Cytolysin A (ClyA) is responsible for the hemolytic activity of various Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica strains. Soluble ClyA monomers spontaneously assemble into annular dodecameric pore complexes upon contact with membranes or detergent. At ClyA monomer concentrations above ∼100 nm, the rate-limiting step in detergent- or membrane- induced pore assembly is the unimolecular reaction from the monomer to the assembly-competent protomer, which then oligomerizes rapidly to active pore complexes.