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Complexity of the Ruminococcus flavefaciens FD-1 cellulosome reflects an expansion of family-related protein-protein interactions

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Harry Gilbert



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Protein-protein interactions play a vital role in cellular processes as exemplified by assembly of the intricate multi-enzyme cellulosome complex. Cellulosomes are assembled by selective high-affinity binding of enzyme-borne dockerin modules to repeated cohesin modules of structural proteins termed scaffoldins. Recent sequencing of the fiber-degrading Ruminococcus flavefaciens FD-1 genome revealed a particularly elaborate cellulosome system. In total, 223 dockerin-bearing ORFs potentially involved in cellulosome assembly and a variety of multi-modular scaffoldins were identified, and the dockerins were classified into six major groups. Here, extensive screening employing three complementary medium- to high-throughput platforms was used to characterize the different cohesin-dockerin specificities. The platforms included (i) cellulose-coated microarray assay, (ii) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and (iii) in-vivo co-expression and screening in Escherichia coli. The data revealed a collection of unique cohesin-dockerin interactions and support the functional relevance of dockerin classification into groups. In contrast to observations reported previously, a dual-binding mode is involved in cellulosome cell-surface attachment, whereas single-binding interactions operate for cellulosome integration of enzymes. This sui generis cellulosome model enhances our understanding of the mechanisms governing the remarkable ability of R. flavefaciens to degrade carbohydrates in the bovine rumen and provides a basis for constructing efficient nano-machines applied to biological processes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Israeli-Ruimy V, Bule P, Jindou S, Dassa B, Morais S, Borovok I, Barak Y, Slutzki M, Hamberg Y, Cardoso V, Alves VD, Najmudin S, White BA, Flint HJ, Gilbert HJ, Lamed R, Fontes CMGA, Bayer EA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2017

Volume: 7

Online publication date: 10/02/2017

Acceptance date: 08/01/2017

Date deposited: 23/03/2017

ISSN (print): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/srep42355


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Funder referenceFunder name
1349/13Israel Science Foundation (ISF), Jerusalem, Israel
263916EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) under the WallTraC project
604530European Union
2013284U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)
EXPL/BIA-MIC/1176/2012Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (Lisbon, Portugal)
PTDC/BIA-PRO/103980/2008Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (Lisbon, Portugal)
NMP.2013.1.1-2European Union