Pseudopilins form the central pseudopilus of the sophisticated bacterial type 2 secretion systems. The crystallization of the EpsI:EpsJ pseudopilin heterodimer from Vibrio vulnificus was greatly accelerated by the use of nanobodies, which are the smallest antigen-binding fragments derived from heavy-chain only camelid antibodies. Seven anti-EpsI:EpsJ nanobodies were generated and co-crystallization of EpsI:EpsJ nanobody complexes yielded several crystal forms very rapidly. In the structure solved, the nanobodies are arranged in planes throughout the crystal lattice, linking layers of EpsI:EpsJ heterodimers. The EpsI:EpsJ dimer observed confirms a right-handed architecture of the pseudopilus, but, compared to a previous structure of the EpsI:EpsJ heterodimer, EpsI differs 6 degrees in orientation with respect to EpsJ; one loop of EpsJ is shifted by similar to 5 angstrom due to interactions with the nanobody; and a second loop of EpsJ underwent a major change of 17 angstrom without contacts with the nanobody. Clearly, nanobodies accelerate dramatically the crystallization of recalcitrant protein complexes and can reveal conformational flexibility not observed before. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Structural Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2009|
- General secretory pathway
- Single-chain antibody
- Crystallization chaperones