Formation of functional, non-amyloidogenic fibres by recombinant Bacillus subtilis TasA

Erskine, Elliot, Morris, Ryan J, Schor, Marieke, Earl, Chris, Gillespie, Rachel M C, Bromley, Keith, Sukhodub, Tetyana, Clark, Lauren, Fyfe, Paul, Serpell, Louise C, Stanley-Wall, Nicola R and MacPhee, Cait E (2018) Formation of functional, non-amyloidogenic fibres by recombinant Bacillus subtilis TasA. Molecular Microbiology. ISSN 0950-382X

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Bacterial biofilms are communities of microbial cells encased within a self-produced polymeric matrix. In the Bacillus subtilis biofilm matrix the extracellular fibres of TasA are essential. Here a recombinant expression system allows interrogation of TasA, revealing that monomeric and fibre forms of TasA have identical secondary structure, suggesting that fibrous TasA is a linear assembly of globular units. Recombinant TasA fibres form spontaneously, and share the biological activity of TasA fibres extracted from B. subtilis, whereas a TasA variant restricted to a monomeric form is inactive and subjected to extracellular proteolysis. The biophysical properties of both native and recombinant TasA fibres indicate that they are not functional amyloid-like fibres. A gel formed by TasA fibres can recover after physical shear force, suggesting that the biofilm matrix is not static and that these properties may enable B. subtilis to remodel its local environment in response to external cues. Using recombinant fibres formed by TasA orthologues we uncover species variability in the ability of heterologous fibres to cross-complement the B. subtilis tasA deletion. These findings are indicative of specificity in the biophysical requirements of the TasA fibres across different species and/or reflect the precise molecular interactions needed for biofilm matrix assembly.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biochemistry
Research Centres and Groups: Dementia Research Group
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR0075 Bacteria
Depositing User: Louise Serpell
Date Deposited: 03 May 2018 15:10
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2018 09:55

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