Spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi is the causative agent of Lyme disease and is transmitted from infected Ixodes ticks to a mammalian host after a tick bite. The outer surface protein BB0689 from B. burgdorferi is up-regulated when the tick feeds, which indicates a potential role for BB0689 in Lyme disease pathogenesis. We have determined the crystal structure of BB0689, which revealed that the protein belongs to the CAP superfamily. Though the CAP domain is widespread in all three cellular domains of life, thus far the CAP domain has been studied only in eukaryotes, in which it is usually linked to certain other domains to form a multi-domain protein and is associated with the mammalian reproductive tract, the plant response to pathogens, venom allergens from insects and reptiles, and the growth of human brain tumors. Though the exact function of the isolated CAP domain remains ambiguous, several functions, including the binding of cholesterol, lipids and heparan sulfate, have been recently attributed to different CAP domain proteins. In this study, the bacterial CAP domain structure was analyzed and compared with the previously solved crystal structures of representative CAPs, and the function of BB0689 was examined. To determine the potential function of BB0689 and ascertain whether the functions that have been attributed to the CAP domain proteins are conserved, the binding of previously reported CAP domain interaction partners was analyzed, and the results suggested that BB0689 has a unique function that is yet to be discovered.
Journal of Structural Biology – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2015
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