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Super-resolution fluorescence microscopy reveals clustering behaviour of Chlamydia pneumoniae’s major outer membrane protein

DOI: 10.3390/biology9100344 DOI Help

Authors: Amy E. Danson (University of Reading; Diamond Light Source; Research Complex at Harwel) , Alex Mcstea (Central Laser Facility, Research Complex at Harwell) , Lin Wang (Central Laser Facility, Research Complex at Harwell) , Alice Y. Pollitt (University of Reading) , Marisa L. Martin-fernandez (Central Laser Facility, Research Complex at Harwell) , Isabel Moraes (Research Complex at Harwell; National Physical Laboratory) , Martin A. Walsh (Diamond Light Source; Research Complex at Harwell) , Sheila Macintyre (University of Reading) , Kimberly A. Watson (University of Reading)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Biology , VOL 9

State: Published (Approved)
Published: October 2020

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Chlamydia pneumoniae is a Gram-negative bacterium responsible for a number of human respiratory diseases and linked to some chronic inflammatory diseases. The major outer membrane protein (MOMP) of Chlamydia is a conserved immunologically dominant protein located in the outer membrane, which, together with its surface exposure and abundance, has led to MOMP being the main focus for vaccine and antimicrobial studies in recent decades. MOMP has a major role in the chlamydial outer membrane complex through the formation of intermolecular disulphide bonds, although the exact interactions formed are currently unknown. Here, it is proposed that due to the large number of cysteines available for disulphide bonding, interactions occur between cysteine-rich pockets as opposed to individual residues. Such pockets were identified using a MOMP homology model with a supporting low-resolution (~4 Å) crystal structure. The localisation of MOMP in the E. coli membrane was assessed using direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM), which showed a decrease in membrane clustering with cysteine-rich regions containing two mutations. These results indicate that disulphide bond formation was not disrupted by single mutants located in the cysteine-dense regions and was instead compensated by neighbouring cysteines within the pocket in support of this cysteine-rich pocket hypothesis.

Journal Keywords: membrane proteins; Chlamydia pneumoniae; fluorescence microscopy; bacterial structures

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials


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biology-09-00344.pdf