Serine-rich repeat glycoproteins (SRRPs) are important bacterial adhesins conserved in streptococci and staphylococci. Fap1, a SRRP identified in Streptococcus parasanguinis, is the major constituent of bacterial fimbriae and is required for adhesion and biofilm formation. An 11-gene cluster is required for Fap1 glycosylation and secretion; however, the exact mechanism of Fap1 biogenesis remains a mystery. Two glycosylation-associated proteins within this cluster-Gap1 and Gap3-function together in Fap1 biogenesis. Here we report the role of the third glycosylation-associated protein, Gap2. A gap2 mutant exhibited the same phenotype as the gap1 and gap3 mutants in terms of Fap1 biogenesis, fimbrial assembly, and bacterial adhesion, suggesting that the three proteins interact. Indeed, all three proteins interacted with each other independently and together to form a stable protein complex. Mechanistically, Gap2 protected Gap3 from degradation by ClpP protease, and Gap2 required the presence of Gap1 for expression at the wild-type level. Gap2 augmented the function of Gap1 in stabilizing Gap3; this function was conserved in Gap homologs from Streptococcus agalactiae. Our studies demonstrate that the three Gap proteins work in concert in Fap1 biogenesis and reveal a new function of Gap2. This insight will help us elucidate the molecular mechanism of SRRP biogenesis in this bacterium and in pathogenic species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology