PloS one

Redefining the PF06864 Pfam family based on Burkholderia pseudomallei PilO2(Bp) S-SAD crystal structure.

PMID 24728008


Type IV pili are surface-exposed filaments and bacterial virulence factors, represented by the Tfpa and Tfpb types, which assemble via specific machineries. The Tfpb group is further divided into seven variants, linked to heterogeneity in the assembly machineries. Here we focus on PilO2(Bp), a protein component of the Tfpb R64 thin pilus variant assembly machinery from the pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei. PilO2(Bp) belongs to the PF06864 Pfam family, for which an improved definition is presented based on newly derived Hidden Markov Model (HMM) profiles. The 3D structure of the N-terminal domain of PilO2(Bp) (N-PilO2(Bp)), here reported, is the first structural representative of the PF06864 family. N-PilO2(Bp) presents an actin-like ATPase fold that is shown to be present in BfpC, a different variant assembly protein; the new HMM profiles classify BfpC as a PF06864 member. Our results provide structural insight into the PF06864 family and on the Type IV pili assembly machinery.