The Journal of biological chemistry

Structure of peptostreptococcal protein L and identification of a repeated immunoglobulin light chain-binding domain.

PMID 1618782


The gene for protein L, an immunoglobulin (Ig) light chain-binding protein expressed by some strains of the anaerobic bacterial species Peptostreptococcus magnus, was cloned and sequenced. The gene translates into a protein of 719 amino acid residues. Following a signal sequence of 18 amino acids and a NH2-terminal region ("A") of 79 residues, the molecule contains five homologous "B" repeats of 72-76 amino acids each. Further, toward the COOH terminus, two additional repeats ("C") were found. These are not related to the "B" repeats, but are highly homologous to each other. After the C repeats (52 amino acids each), a hydrophilic, proline-rich putative cell wall-spanning region ("W") was found, followed at the COOH-terminal end by a hydrophobic membrane anchor ("M"). Fragments of the gene were expressed, and the corresponding peptides were analyzed for Ig-binding activity. The B repeats were found to be responsible for the interaction with Ig light chains. An Escherichia coli high level expression system was adapted for the production of large amounts of two Ig-binding protein L fragments comprising one and four B repeats, respectively.