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Bacterial capsules are not only important virulence factors, but also provide attachment sites for bacteriophages that possess capsule degrading enzymes as tailspike proteins. To gain insight into the evolution of these specialized viruses, we studied a panel of tailed phages specific for Escherichia coli K1, a neuroinvasive pathogen with a polysialic acid(More)
Bacteriophage phi92 is a large, lytic myovirus isolated in 1983 from pathogenic Escherichia coli strains that carry a polysialic acid capsule. Here we report the genome organization of phi92, the cryoelectron microscopy reconstruction of its virion, and the reinvestigation of its host specificity. The genome consists of a linear, double-stranded 148,612-bp(More)
Folding and assembly of endosialidases, the trimeric tail spike proteins of Escherichia coli K1-specific bacteriophages, crucially depend on their C-terminal domain (CTD). Homologous CTDs were identified in phage proteins belonging to three different protein families: neck appendage proteins of several Bacillus phages, L-shaped tail fibers of coliphage T5,(More)
Restorative medicine has a constant need for improved scaffold materials. Degradable biopolymers often suffer from uncontrolled chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis by the host. The need for a second surgery on the other hand is a major drawback for nondegradable scaffold materials. In this paper we report the design and synthesis of a novel polysialic(More)
With the aim to develop new biomaterials for peripheral nerve grafts, the current study used bioidentical polysialic acid (polySia) as complement in synthetic conduits. polySia provides an important guidance cue during nervous system development and regeneration. First in vivo results on the use of cell-free and Schwann cell-containing synthetic peripheral(More)
UNLABELLED In severe liver injury, ductular reactions (DRs) containing bipotential hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) branch from the portal tract. Neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) marks bile ducts and DRs, but not mature hepatocytes. NCAM mediates interactions between cells and surrounding matrix; however, its role in liver development and regeneration is(More)
Polysialic acid is an α2,8-linked N-acetylneuraminic acid polymer found on the surface of both bacterial and eukaryotic cells. Endosialidases are bacteriophage-borne glycosyl hydrolases that specifically cleave polysialic acid. The crystal structure of an endosialidase reveals a trimeric mushroom-shaped molecule which, in addition to the active site,(More)
Protein folding is often mediated by molecular chaperones. Recently, a novel class of intramolecular chaperones has been identified in tailspike proteins of evolutionarily distant viruses, which require a C-terminal chaperone for correct folding. The highly homologous chaperone domains are interchangeable between pre-proteins and release themselves after(More)
Posttranslational modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) by polysialic acid (polySia) is well studied in the nervous system and described as a dynamic modulator of plastic processes like precursor cell migration, axon fasciculation, and synaptic plasticity. Here, we describe a novel function of polysialylated NCAM (polySia-NCAM) in innate(More)
Bacteriophages with contractile tails and the bacterial type VI secretion system have been proposed to use a special protein to create an opening in the host cell membrane during infection. These proteins have a modular architecture but invariably contain an oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding (OB-fold) domain and a long β-helical C-terminal domain,(More)