Ruminococcus flavefaciens produces a cellulosomal enzyme complex, based on the structural proteins ScaA, -B, and -C, that was recently shown to attach to the bacterial cell surface via the wall-anchored protein ScaE. ScaA, -B, -C, and -E are all cohesin-bearing proteins encoded by linked genes in the sca cluster. The product of an unknown open reading frame within the sea cluster, herein designated CttA, is similar in sequence at its C terminus to the corresponding region of ScaB, which contains an X module together with a dockerin sequence. The ScaB-XDoc dyad was shown previously to interact tenaciously with the cohesin of ScaE. Likewise, avid binding was confirmed between purified recombinant fragments of the CttA-XDoc dyad and the ScaE cohesin. In addition, the N-terminal regions of CttA were shown to bind to cellulose, thus suggesting that CttA is a cell wall-anchored, cellulose-binding protein. Proteomic analysis showed that the native CttA protein (similar to 130 kDa) corresponds to one of the three most abundant polypeptides binding tightly to insoluble cellulose in cellulose-grown R. flavefaciens 17 cultures. Interestingly, this protein was also detected among cellulose-bound proteins in the related strain R. flavefaciens 007C but not in a mutant derivative, 007S, that was previously shown to have lost the ability to grow on dewaxed cotton fibers. In R. flavefaciens, the presence of CttA on the cell surface is likely to provide an important mechanism for substrate binding, perhaps compensating for the absence of an identified cellulose-binding module in the major cellulosomal scaffolding proteins of this species.
- herbivore gastrointestinal-tract