Unique Organization of Extracellular Amylases into Amylosomes in the Resistant Starch-Utilizing Human Colonic Firmicutes Bacterium Ruminococcus bromii

Xiaolei Ze, Ben David, Jenny Laverde Gomez, Bareket Dassa, Paul Sheridan, Sylvia H Duncan, Petra Gisela Helen Louis, Bernard Henrissat, Natahlie Juge, Nicole M Koropatkin, Edward A. Bayer, Harry J Flint

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Ruminococcus bromii is a dominant member of the human gut microbiota that plays a key role in releasing energy from dietary starches that escape digestion by host enzymes via its exceptional activity against particulate “resistant” starches. Genomic analysis of R. bromii shows that it is highly specialized, with 15 of its 21 glycoside hydrolases belonging to one family (GH13). We found that amylase activity in R. bromii is expressed constitutively, with the activity seen during growth with fructose as an energy source being similar to that seen with starch as an energy source. Six GH13 amylases that carry signal peptides were detected by proteomic analysis in R. bromii cultures. Four of these enzymes are among 26 R. bromii proteins predicted to carry dockerin modules, with 1, Amy4, also carrying a cohesin module. Since cohesin-dockerin interactions are known to mediate the formation of protein complexes in cellulolytic ruminococci, the binding interactions of four cohesins and 11 dockerins from R. bromii were investigated after overexpressing them as recombinant fusion proteins. Dockerins possessed by the enzymes Amy4 and Amy9 are predicted to bind a cohesin present in protein scaffoldin 2 (Sca2), which resembles the ScaE cell wallanchoring protein of a cellulolytic relative, R. flavefaciens. Further complexes are predicted between the dockerin-carrying amylases Amy4, Amy9, Amy10, and Amy12 and two other cohesin-carrying proteins, while Amy4 has the ability to autoaggregate, as its dockerin can recognize its own cohesin. This organization of starch-degrading enzymes is unprecedented and provides the first example of cohesin-dockerin interactions being involved in an amylolytic system, which we refer to as an “amylosome.”
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01058-15
Number of pages11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2015

Bibliographical note

We acknowledge support from BBSRC grant no. BB/L009951/1, from the Scottish government Food, Land and People program, and from the Society for Applied Microbiology. E.A.B. is supported by a grant (no. 1349/13) from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), Jerusalem, Israel, and by a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF). E.A.B. is the incumbent of the Maynard I. and Elaine Wishner Chair of Bio-organic Chemistry.
Thanks are due to Fergus Nicol for proteomic analysis and to Auriane Bernard for enzyme assays on stationary-phase cultures. We also thank Julian Parkhill and Keith Turner (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom) for making the R. bromii L2-63 genome sequence available for analysis.


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