Complexity of the Ruminococcus flavefaciens FD-1 cellulosome reflects an expansion of family-related protein-protein interactions

Vered Israeli-Ruimy, Pedro Bule, Sadanari Jindou, Bareket Dassa, Sarah Moraïs, Ilya Borovok, Yoav Barak, Michal Slutzki, Yuval Hamberg, Vânia Cardoso, Victor D. Alves, Shabir Najmudin, Bryan A. White, Harry J. Flint, Harry J. Gilbert, Raphael Lamed, Carlos M.G.A. Fontes, Edward A. Bayer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Protein-protein interactions play a vital role in cellular processes as exemplified by assembly of the intricate multi-enzyme cellulosome complex. Cellulosomes are assembled by selective high-affinity binding of enzyme-borne dockerin modules to repeated cohesin modules of structural proteins termed scaffoldins. Recent sequencing of the fiber-degrading Ruminococcus flavefaciens FD-1 genome revealed a particularly elaborate cellulosome system. In total, 223 dockerin-bearing ORFs potentially involved in cellulosome assembly and a variety of multi-modular scaffoldins were identified, and the dockerins were classified into six major groups. Here, extensive screening employing three complementary medium- to high-throughput platforms was used to characterize the different cohesin-dockerin specificities. The platforms included (i) cellulose-coated microarray assay, (ii) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and (iii) in-vivo co-expression and screening in Escherichia coli. The data revealed a collection of unique cohesin-dockerin interactions and support the functional relevance of dockerin classification into groups. In contrast to observations reported previously, a dual-binding mode is involved in cellulosome cell-surface attachment, whereas single-binding interactions operate for cellulosome integration of enzymes. This sui generis cellulosome model enhances our understanding of the mechanisms governing the remarkable ability of R. flavefaciens to degrade carbohydrates in the bovine rumen and provides a basis for constructing efficient nano-machines applied to biological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number42355
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2017


FundersFunder number
Seventh Framework Programme604530, 263916, 283570
European Commission
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia1349/13, PTDC/BIA-PRO/103980/2008, EXPL/BIA-MIC/1176/2012
Israel Science Foundation2013284
Seventh Framework Programme


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