A novel glucosyltransferase is required for glycosylation of a serine-rich adhesin and biofilm formation by Streptococcus parasanguinis

Academic Article


  • Fap1-like serine-rich glycoproteins are conserved in streptococci, staphylococci, and lactobacilli, and are required for bacterial biofilm formation and pathogenesis. Glycosylation of Fap1 is mediated by a gene cluster flanking the fap1 locus. The key enzymes responsible for the first step of Fap1 glycosylation are glycosyltransferases Gtf1 and Gtf2. They form a functional enzyme complex that catalyzes the transfer of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) residues to the Fap1 polypeptide. However, until now nothing was known about the subsequent step in Fap1 glycosylation. Here, we show that the second step in Fap1 glycosylation is catalyzed by nucleotide-sugar synthetase-like (Nss) protein. The nss gene located upstream of fap1 is also highly conserved in streptococci and lactobacilli. Nss-deficient mutants failed to catalyze the second step of Fap1 glycosylation in vivo in Streptococcus parasanguinis and in a recombinant Fap1 glycosylation system. Nss catalyzed the direct transfer of the glucosyl residue to the GlcNAc-modified Fap1 substrate in vitro, demonstrating that Nss is a glucosyltransferase. Thus we renamed Nss as glucosyltransferase 3 (Gtf3). A gtf3 mutant exhibited a biofilm defect. Taken together, we conclude that this new glucosyltransferase mediates the second step of Fap1 glycosylation and is required for biofilm formation. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zhou M; Zhu F; Dong S; Pritchard DG; Wu H
  • Start Page

  • 12140
  • End Page

  • 12148
  • Volume

  • 285
  • Issue

  • 16