Collagen is a target of pathogens for adhesion, colonization, and invasion of host tissue. Probiotic bacteria can mimic the same mechanism as used by the pathogens in the colonization process, expressing cell surface proteins that specifically interact with extracellular matrix component proteins. The capability to bind collagen is expressed by several Lactobacillus isolates, including some Lactobacillus plantarum strains. In this study we report the involvement of the L. plantarum EnoA1 alfa-enolase in type I collagen (CnI) binding. By adhesion assays, we show that the mutant strain LM3-CC1, carrying a null mutation in the enoA1 gene, binds to immobilized collagen less efficiently than wild type strain. CnI overlay assay and Elisa tests, performed on the purified EnoA1, show that this protein can bind collagen both under denaturing and native conditions. By using truncated recombinant enolase proteins, we also show that the region spanning from 73rd to the 140th amino acid residues is involved in CnI binding.
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