Revisiting the host adhesion determinants of Streptococcus thermophilus siphophages

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Lavelle, Katherine
Goulet, Adeline
McDonnell, Brian
Spinelli, Silvia
van Sinderen, Douwe
Mahony, Jennifer
Cambillau, Christian
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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Available 3D structures of bacteriophage modules combined with predictive bioinformatic algorithms enabled the identification of adhesion modules in 57 siphophages infecting Streptococcus thermophilus (St). We identified several carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) in so-called evolved distal tail (Dit) and tail-associated lysozyme (Tal) proteins of St phage baseplates. We examined the open reading frame (ORF) downstream of the Tal-encoding ORF and uncovered the presence of a putative p2-like receptor-binding protein (RBP). A 21 Å resolution electron microscopy structure of the baseplate of cos-phage STP1 revealed the presence of six elongated electron densities, surrounding the core of the baseplate, that harbour the p2-like RBPs at their tip. To verify the functionality of these modules, we expressed GFP- or mCherry-coupled Tal and putative RBP CBMs and observed by fluorescence microscopy that both modules bind to their corresponding St host, the putative RBP CBM with higher affinity than the Tal-associated one. The large number of CBM functional domains in St phages suggests that they play a contributory role in the infection process, a feature that we previously described in lactococcal phages and beyond, possibly representing a universal feature of the siphophage host-recognition apparatus.
Streptococcus thermophilus siphophages , 3D structures , Bacteriophage modules , Carbohydrate-binding modules , CBMs
Lavelle, K., Goulet, A., McDonnell, B., Spinelli, S., van Sinderen, D., Mahony, J. and Cambillau, C. (2020) 'Revisiting the host adhesion determinants of Streptococcus thermophilus siphophages', Microbial Biotechnology, 13(6), pp.1765-1779. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.13593
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