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Staphylococcus aureus Sortase, an Enzyme that Anchors Surface Proteins to the Cell Wall

Science  30 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5428, pp. 760-763
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5428.760

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Abstract

Surface proteins of Gram-positive bacteria are linked to the bacterial cell wall by a mechanism that involves cleavage of a conserved Leu-Pro-X-Thr-Gly (LPXTG) motif and that occurs during assembly of the peptidoglycan cell wall. A Staphylococcus aureus mutant defective in the anchoring of surface proteins was isolated and shown to carry a mutation in the srtA gene. Overexpression of srtA increased the rate of surface protein anchoring, and homologs of srtA were found in other pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria. The protein specified bysrtA, sortase, may be a useful target for the development of new antimicrobial drugs.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: olafs{at}ucla.edu

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