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Structural and Biochemical Characterization of a Nonbinding SusD-Like Protein Involved in Xylooligosaccharide Utilization by an Uncultured Human Gut Bacteroides Strain

Abstract : The metabolization of dietary fiber is a crucial function for many gut bacteria, especially Bacteroidetes, which are particularly well adapted for recognizing, binding, transporting, and degrading glycosides. In this study, we report the functional and structural characterization of a SusD-like protein involved in xylooligosaccharide utilization by an uncultured gut Bacteroides strain. In the human gut microbiota, Bacteroidetes break down dietary and endogenous glycosides through highly specific polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs). PULs encode a variety of sensor regulators, binding proteins, transporters, and carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). Surface glycan-binding proteins (SGBPs) are essential for the efficient capture of the glycosides present on the cell surface, providing Bacteroidetes with a competitive advantage in colonizing their habitats. Here, we present the functional and structural characterization of a SusD-like protein encoded by a xylooligosaccharide (XOS) PUL from an uncultured human gut Bacteroides strain. This locus is also conserved in Bacteroides vulgatus, thereby providing new mechanistic insights into the role of SGBPs in the metabolism of dietary fiber of importance for gut health. Various in vitro analyses, including saturation transfer difference nuclear magnetic resonance (STD-NMR) spectroscopy, revealed that the SusD-like protein cannot bind to the cognate substrate of the XOS PUL, although its presence is essential for the PUL to function. Analysis of the crystal structure of the SusD-like protein reveals an unfolded binding surface and the absence or inappropriate orientation of several key residues compared with other known SusD-like structures. These results highlight the critical role of the SusD-like protein in the transport of oligosaccharides and provide fundamental knowledge about the structure-function of SusC/D-like transporters, revealing that the binding specificity of SusD-like SGBPs does not necessarily reflect the uptake specificity of the transporter. IMPORTANCE The metabolization of dietary fiber is a crucial function for many gut bacteria, especially Bacteroidetes, which are particularly well adapted for recognizing, binding, transporting, and degrading glycosides. In this study, we report the functional and structural characterization of a SusD-like protein involved in xylooligosaccharide utilization by an uncultured gut Bacteroides strain. We demonstrate that while this protein is structurally similar to many canonical Bacteroidetes surface glycan-binding proteins, it cannot bind the substrate taken up by the cognate SusC-like transporter. This lack of binding might be explained by the absence of several key residues known to be involved in oligosaccharide binding and/or the possible necessity of the SusC-like protein to be present to create a cooperative binding site. The term "surface glycan-binding proteins" generally used for SusD-like proteins is thus not generic. Overall, this study allowed us to revisit the concept of glycoside utilization by Bacteroidetes, in particular those strains that feed on the short fibers naturally present in some dietary compounds or on the leftovers of other microbes.
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03796391
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 27, 2022 - 5:32:44 PM
Last modification on : Friday, November 18, 2022 - 3:20:59 PM

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Alexandra Tauzin, Zhi Wang, Gianluca Cioci, Xiaoqian Li, Aurore Labourel, et al.. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of a Nonbinding SusD-Like Protein Involved in Xylooligosaccharide Utilization by an Uncultured Human Gut Bacteroides Strain. MSphere, 2022, ⟨10.1128/msphere.00244-22⟩. ⟨hal-03796391⟩

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