1887

Abstract

Flagellin of is extensively modified with (derivatives of) pseudaminic acid. The flagellar glycosylation locus contains several genes with homopolymeric G-tracts prone to slipped-strand mispairing, some of which belong to the gene family. We investigated the function of the putative phase-variable gene of strain 108. A constructed mutant displayed unaltered flagella assembly and bacterial motility. 2D-PAGE analysis revealed that the flagellin of strain 108 migrated at a more acidic pI than the protein of the Maf4 mutant. MS-MS in combination with high-resolution matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron MS (MALDI-FT-ICR-MS) on flagellin-derived glycopeptides showed that the flagellins of the mutant lacked two previously unidentified modifications of pseudaminic acid. These glycoforms carried additional CO and CHO groups, consistent with the more acidic pI of the wild-type flagellin. Phenotypically, the mutant displayed strongly delayed bacterial autoagglutination. Collectively, our results suggest that the presence of a functional Maf4 expands the flagellin glycan repertoire with novel glycoforms of pseudaminic acid and, in the event of phase variation, alters the population behaviour of .

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2008-11-01
2019-11-17
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