BACKGROUND: Pediocin-like bacteriocins, ribosomally-synthesized antimicrobial peptides, are generally coexpressed with cognate immunity proteins in order to protect the bacteriocin-producer from its own bacteriocin. As a step for understanding the mode of action of immunity proteins, we determined the crystal structure of PedB, a pediocin-like immunity protein conferring immunity to pediocin PP-1. RESULTS: The 1.6 A crystal structure of PedB reveals that PedB consists of an antiparallel four-helix bundle with a flexible C-terminal end. PedB shows structural similarity to an immunity protein against enterocin A (EntA-im) but some disparity to an immunity protein against carnobacteriocin B2 (ImB2) in both the C-terminal conformation and the local structure constructed by alpha3, alpha4, and their connecting loop. Structure-inspired mutational studies reveal that deletion of the last seven residues of the C-terminus of PedB almost abolished its immunity activity. CONCLUSION: The fact that PedB, EntA-im, and ImB2 share a four-helix bundle structure strongly suggests the structural conservation of this motif in the pediocin-like immunity proteins. The significant difference in the core structure and the C-terminal conformation provides a structural basis for the classification of pediocin-like immunity proteins. Our mutational study using C-terminal-shortened PedBs and the investigation of primary sequence of the C-terminal region, propose that several polar or charged residues in the extreme C-terminus of PedB which is crucial for the immunity are involved in the specific recognition of pediocin PP-1.
Kim, I. K., Kim, M. K., Kim, J. H., Yim, H. S., Cha, S. S., & Kang, S. O. (2007). High resolution crystal structure of PedB: A structural basis for the classification of pediocin-like immunity proteins. BMC Structural Biology, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6807-7-35