Gajdos, L, Blakeley, MP, Haertlein, M, Forsyth, VT, Devos, JM and Imberty, A (2022) Neutron crystallography reveals mechanisms used by Pseudomonas aeruginosa for host-cell binding. Nature Communications, 13 (1). ISSN 2041-1723

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Pseudomonas aeruginosa employs lectins to bind to its host cells, and is known to be the major cause of lung infections. Lectin B (LecB) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa binds specifically to galactose and fucose and is important for pathogenicity, adhesion and biofilm formation. In this work, the neutron crystal structure (1.9 angstrom) of the deuterated LecB/Ca/fucose complex is reported. The structure, in combination with perdeuteration of the ligand and the receptor allowed the observation of hydrogen atoms, protonation states and hydrogen bonds involved in the interaction between pathogenic bacteria and host cells. Thus the study provides structural insights into the mechanism of high affinity binding of LecB to its targets.

The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a major cause of nosocomial infections, uses carbohydrate-binding proteins (lectins) as part of its binding to host cells. The fucose-binding lectin, LecB, displays a unique carbohydrate-binding site that incorporates two closely located calcium ions bridging between the ligand and protein, providing specificity and unusually high affinity. Here, we investigate the mechanisms involved in binding based on neutron crystallography studies of a fully deuterated LecB/fucose/calcium complex. The neutron structure, which includes the positions of all the hydrogen atoms, reveals that the high affinity of binding may be related to the occurrence of a low-barrier hydrogen bond induced by the proximity of the two calcium ions, the presence of coordination rings between the sugar, calcium and LecB, and the dynamic behaviour of bridging water molecules at room temperature. These key structural details may assist in the design of anti-adhesive compounds to combat multi-resistance bacterial infections.

Item Type: Article
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Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R735 Medical education. Medical schools. Research
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2022 16:25
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2022 12:47

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