Most Gram-positive bacteria contain a membrane-bound transpeptidase known as sortase which covalently incorporates the surface proteins on to the cell wall. The sortase-displayed protein structures are involved in cell attachment, nutrient uptake and aerial hyphae formation. Among the six classes of sortase (A–F), sortase A of S. aureus is the well-characterized housekeeping enzyme considered as an ideal drug target and a valuable biochemical reagent for protein engineering. Similar to SrtA, class E sortase in GC rich bacteria plays a housekeeping role which is not studied extensively. However, C. glutamicum ATCC 13032, an industrially important organism known for amino acid production, carries a single putative sortase (NCgl2838) gene but neither in vitro peptide cleavage activity nor biochemical characterizations have been investigated. Here, we identified that the gene is having a sortase activity and analyzed its structural similarity with Cd-SrtF. The purified enzyme showed a greater affinity toward LAXTG substrate with a calculated KM of 12 ± 1 µM, one of the highest affinities reported for this class of enzyme. Moreover, site-directed mutation studies were carried to ascertain the structure functional relationship of Cg-SrtE and all these are new findings which will enable us to perceive exciting protein engineering applications with this class of enzyme from a non-pathogenic microbe.

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