The Factor H Binding Protein of Neisseria meningitidis Interacts with Xenosiderophores in Vitro
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The factor H binding protein (fHbp) is a key virulence factor of Neisseria meningitidis that confers to the bacterium the ability to resist killing by human serum. The determination of its three-dimensional structure revealed that the carboxyl terminus of the protein folds into an eight-stranded ߠbarrel. The structural similarity of this part of the protein to lipocalins provided the rationale for exploring the ability of fHbp to bind siderophores. We found that fHbp was able to bind in vitro siderophores belonging to the cathecolate family and mapped the interaction site by nuclear magnetic resonance. Our results indicated that the enterobactin binding site was distinct from the site involved in binding to human factor H and stimulates new hypotheses about possible multiple activities of fHbp.
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Structural Biology (incl. Macromolecular Modelling)