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Research article1992Peer reviewedOpen access

Molecular characterization and expression of a gene encoding a Staphylococcus aureus collagen adhesin

Patti, Joseph M.; Jonsson, Hans; Guss, Bengt; Switalski, Lech M.; Wiberg, Kristina; Lindberg, Martin; Höök, Magnus


Some strains of Staphylococcus aureus bind collagen with a high degree of specificity and affinity. This interaction can represent a mechanism of substrate adhesion and may be an important step in the pathogenesis of osteomyelitis and infectious arthritis. We now report on the cloning, sequencing, and expression of a gene named cna, encoding a S. aureus collagen adhesin. The cna gene was isolated from a lambda-GT11 S. aureus genomic library and encodes an 1185 amino acid polypeptide. The deduced amino acid sequence reveals several structural characteristics similar to previously described Gram-positive bacterial cell surface proteins. Antibodies raised against the native collagen adhesin from S. aureus recognize the recombinant collagen adhesin. Collagen binding activity can be detected in a lysate obtained from Escherichia coli cells, which harbor the cloned cna gene on an expression plasmid. Collagen-binding proteins can be detected in the lysate when analyzed by a Western blot type assay in which the membrane-transferred proteins are probed with radioactively labeled collagen. Finally, the bacterial lysate containing the recombinant adhesin can effectively inhibit the binding of soluble collagen to cells of S. aureus.

Published in

Journal of Biological Chemistry
1992, Volume: 267, number: 7, pages: 4766-4772