The pilin O-glycosylation pathway of pathogenic Neisseria is a general system that glycosylates AniA, an outer membrane nitrite reductase
O-Glycosylation is emerging as a common posttranslational modification of surface exposed proteins in bacterial mucosal pathogens. In pathogenic Neisseria an O-glycosylation pathway modifies a single abundant protein, pilin, the subunit protein that forms pili. Here, we identify an additional outer membrane glycoprotein in pathogenic Neisseria, the nitrite reductase AniA, that is glycosylated in its C-terminal repeat region by the pilin glycosylation pathway. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a general O-glycosylation pathway in a prokaryote. We also show that AniA displays polymorphisms in residues that map to the surface of the protein. A frame-shift mutation abolishes AniA expression in 34% of Neisseria meningitidis strains surveyed, however, all Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains examined are predicted to express AniA, implying a crucial role for AniA in gonococcal biology.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications