Solution Structure of the Immunodominant Domain of Protective Antigen GNA1870 ofNeisseria meningitidis

Francesca Cantini, Silvana Savino, Maria Scarselli, Vega Masignani, Mariagrazia Pizza, Giacomo Romagnoli, Erwin Swennen, Daniele Veggi, Lucia Banci, Rino Rappuoli
2005 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
GNA1870, a 28-kDa surface-exposed lipoprotein of Neisseria meningitidis recently discovered by reverse vaccinology, is one of the most potent antigens of Meningococcus and a promising candidate for a universal vaccine against a devastating disease. Previous studies of epitope mapping and genetic characterization identified residues critical for bactericidal response within the C-terminal domain of the molecule. To elucidate the conformation of protective epitopes, we used NMR spectroscopy to
more » ... spectroscopy to obtain the solution structure of the immunodominant 18-kDa C-terminal portion of GNA1870. The structure consists of an eight-stranded antiparallel ␤-barrel overlaid by a short ␣-helix with an unstructured N-terminal end. Residues previously shown to be important for antibody recognition were mapped on loops facing the same ridge of the molecule. The sequence similarity of GNA1870 with members of the bacterial transferrin receptor family allows one to predict the folding of this class of well known bacterial antigens, providing the basis for the rational engineering of high affinity B cell epitopes. FIGURE 2. Solution structure of GNA1870-BC. Backbone traces for the twenty lowest energy conformers are superimposed. The ␤-barrel backbone (residues 151-255) exhibits RMSD values to the mean structure of 0.78 Å. In contrast, residues 115-150 display large motional freedom. The N and C termini are indicated.
doi:10.1074/jbc.m508595200 pmid:16407174 fatcat:kka3zll5efg4jiqzchw5wuu77e