2 Citations (Scopus)


Porphyromonas gingivalis is a gram-negative oral anaerobic pathogen and is one of the key causative agents of periodontitis. P. gingivalis utilises a range of virulence factors, including the cysteine protease RgpB, to drive pathogenesis and these are exported and attached to the cell surface via the type IX secretion system (T9SS). All cargo proteins possess a conserved C-terminal signal domain (CTD) which is recognised by the T9SS, and the outer membrane β-barrel protein PorV (PG0027/LptO) can interact with cargo proteins as they are exported to the bacterial surface. Using a combination of solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, biochemical analyses, machine-learning-based modelling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, we present a structural model of a PorV:RgpB-CTD complex from P. gingivalis. This is the first structural insight into CTD recognition by the T9SS and shows how the conserved motifs in the CTD are the primary sites that mediate binding. In PorV, interactions with extracellular surface loops are important for binding the CTD, and together these appear to cradle and lock RgpB-CTD in place. This work provides insight into cargo recognition by PorV but may also have important implications for understanding other aspects of type-IX dependent secretion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167871
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022


  • CTD
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • PorV
  • RgpB
  • T9SS


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