An embarrassment of sortases - a richness of substrates?

Mark Pallen, AC Lam, M Antonio, K Dunbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

179 Citations (Scopus)


A range of surface proteins is anchored to the cell walls of Gram-positive pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus by the transpeptidase sortase. Until now, sortase-like proteins and their substrates appeared to be limited mainly to such pathogens. However, by searching for sortase homologues among complete and incomplete genome sequences, we have found them to be present in almost all Gram-positives, a single Gram-negative bacterium and an archaean. There is usually more than one sortase-like protein encoded in each Gram-positive genome, and the genes encoding the sortase-like proteins are often clustered with genes encoding their likely substrates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-102
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2001


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