Adhesion of Streptococcus parasanguinis to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite (SHA), an in vitro tooth model, is mediated by long peritrichous fimbriae. Fap1, a fimbria-associated serine-rich glycoprotein, is required for fimbrial assembly. Biogenesis of Fap1 is controlled by an 11-gene cluster that contains gly, nss, galT1 and -2, secY2, gap1 to -3, secA2, and gtf1 and -2. We had previously isolated a collection of nine nonadherent mutants using random chemical mutagenesis approaches. These mutants fail to adhere to the in vitro tooth model and to form fimbriae. In this report, we further characterized these randomly selected nonadherent mutants and classified them into three distinct groups. Two groups of genes were previously implicated in Fap1 biogenesis. One group has a mutation in a glycosyltransferase gene, gtf1, that is essential for the first step of Fap1 glycosylation, whereas the other group has defects in the fap1 structural gene. The third group mutant produces an incompletely glycosylated Fap1 and exhibits a mutant phenotype similar to that of a glycosylation-associated protein 1 (Gap1) mutant. Analysis of this new mutant revealed that a conserved C-terminal 13-amino-acid motif was missing in Gap1. Site-directed mutagenesis of a highly conserved amino acid tryptophan within this motif recapitulated the deletion phenotype, demonstrating the importance of the Gap1 C-terminal motif for Fap1 biogenesis. Furthermore, the C-terminal mutation does not affect Gap1-Gap3 protein-protein interaction, which has been shown to mediate Fap1 glycosylation, suggesting the C-terminal motif has a distinct function related to Fap1 biogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases