Serine-Rich Repeat Protein adhesins from Lactobacillus reuteri display strain specific glycosylation profiles

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Lactobacillus reuteri is a gut symbiont inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract of numerous vertebrates. The surface-exposed Serine-Rich Repeat Protein (SRRP) is a major adhesin in Gram-positive bacteria. Using lectin and sugar nucleotide profiling of wild-type or L. reuteri isogenic mutants, MALDI-ToF-MS, LC-MS and GC-MS analyses of SRRPs, we showed that L. reuteri strains 100-23 C (from rodent) and ATCC 53608 (from pig) can perform protein O-glycosylation and modify SRRP100-23 and SRRP53608 with Hex-Glc-GlcNAc and di-GlcNAc moieties, respectively. Furthermore, in vivo glycoengineering in E. coli led to glycosylation of SRRP53608 variants with α-GlcNAc and GlcNAcβ(1→6)GlcNAcα moieties. The glycosyltransferases involved in the modification of these adhesins were identified within the SecA2/Y2 accessory secretion system and their sugar nucleotide preference determined by saturation transfer difference NMR spectroscopy and differential scanning fluorimetry. Together, these findings provide novel insights into the cellular O-protein glycosylation pathways of gut commensal bacteria and potential routes for glycoengineering applications.