Biogenesis and functions of bacterial S-layers
At 2014-03-01 08:20:03 PM | 159
The outer surface of many archaea and bacteria is coated with a proteinaceous surface layer (known as an S-layer), which is formed by the self-assembly of monomeric proteins into a regularly spaced, two-dimensional array. Bacteria possess dedicated pathways for the secretion and anchoring of the S-layer to the cell wall, and some Gram-positive species have large S-layer-associated gene families. S-layers have important roles in growth and survival, and their many functions include the maintenance of cell integrity, enzyme display and, in pathogens and commensals, interaction with the host and its immune system. In this Review, we discuss our current knowledge of S-layer and related proteins, including their structures, mechanisms of secretion and anchoring and their diverse functions.