S-Layer Glycoproteins from Moderately and Extremely Halophilic Archaeobacteria

  • Manfred Sumper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 252)


The first procaryotic glycoprotein was discovered in the S-layer of halobacteria of the genus Halobacterium by Mescher and Strominger (1976). Saturated sodium chloride solutions are the natural habitat of these rod-shaped and flagellated archaeobacteria. The original finding was that the halobacterial S-layer contains a single glycoprotein with an M. of 200 kDa and a carbohydrate content of about 10% by weight. Since procaryotes lack all the organelles engaged in eucaryotic glycoprotein biosynthesis, this discovery has stimulated further work on the structure and biosynthesis of this glycoprotein (for a review, see Sumper 1987; Lechner and Wieland, 1989). The halobacterial S-layer is very tightly joined to the plasma membrane as these cells lack a rigid sacculus as well as an outer membrane. S-layer proteins represent the outermost component of the cell envelope and, as a consequence, these proteins are in immediate contact with the environment. Therefore they are considered ideal model systems to study the adaptation of protein structures to unfavourable conditions. The extreme habitat of halobacteria imposes particularly serious problems with respect to the stabilization of the protein structure. Since other members of the halobacterial family only tolerate moderately halophilic conditions (e.g., Haloferax volcanii requires 2.3M NaC1 for optimum growth), a comparison of the corresponding S-layer protein structures should give hints on how adaptation to high salt conditions works.


Glycosylation Site High Salt Condition Negative Charge Density Sulfate Residue Saturated Sodium Chloride Solution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Geri, L, and Sumper, M., 1988, Halobacterial flagellins are encoded by a multigene family, J. Biol. Chem. 263: 13246.Google Scholar
  2. Kandler, O., and König, H., 1985, Cell envelopes of archaebacteria, in: “The Bacteria”, Woese, C.R., and Wolfe, R.S., eds., Academic Press, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Kessel, M., Wildhaber, I., Cohen, S., and Baumeister, W., 1988, Three-dimensional structure of the regular surface glycoprotein layer of Halobacterium volcanii from the Dead Sea, EMBO J. 7: 1549.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Lechner, J., Wieland, F., and Sumper, M., 1985, Biosynthesis of sulfated oligosaccharides N-glycosidically linked to the protein via glucose, J. Biol. Chem. 260: 860.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Lechner, J., and Sumper, M., 1987, The primary structure of a procaryotic glycoprotein, J. Biol. Chem. 262: 9724.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Lechner, J., and Wieland, F., 1989, Structure and biosynthesis of procaryotic glycoproteins, Annu. Rev. Biochem. 58: 173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Mengele, R., and Sumper, M., 1992, Drastic differences in glycosylation of related S-layer glycoproteins from moderate and extreme halophiles, J. Biol. Chem. 267: 8182.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Mescher, M.F., and Strominger, J.L., 1976, Purification and characterization of a procaryotic glycoprotein from the cell envelope of Halobacterium salinarium, J. Biol. Chem. 251: 2005.Google Scholar
  9. Paul, G., and Wieland, F., 1987, Sequence of the halobacterial glycosaminoglycan, J. Biol. Chem. 262: 9587.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Paul, G., Lottspeich, F., and Wieland, F., 1986, Asparaginyl-N-acetylgalactosamine: linkage unit of halobacterial glycosaminoglycan, J. Biol. Chem. 261: 1020.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Sleytr, U.B., and Messner, P., 1983, Crystalline surface layers on bacteria, Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 37: 311.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sumper, M., 1987, Halobacterial glycoprotein biosynthesis, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 906: 69.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Sumper, M., Berg, E., Mengele, R., and Strobel, I., 1990, Primary structure and glycosylation of the S-layer protein of Haloferax volcanii, J. Bacteriol. 172: 7111.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Wieland, F., Dompert, W., Bernhardt, G., and Sumper, M., 1980, Halobacterial glycoprotein saccharides contain covalently linked sulphate, FEBS Lett. 120: 110.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Wieland, F., Lechner, J., and Sumper, M., 1982, The cell wall glycoprotein of Halobacteria: structural, functional and biosynthetic aspects, Zbl. Bakt. Hyg., I. Abt. Orig. C 3: 161.Google Scholar
  16. Wieland, F., Heitzer, R., and Schaefer, W., 1983, Asparaginylglucose: novel type of carbohydrate linkage, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 80: 5470.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Wieland, F., Paul, G., and Sumper, M., 1985, Halobacterial flagellins are sulfated glycoprote ins, J. Biol. Chem. 260: 15180.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Zaccai, G., Cendrin, F., Haik, Y., Borochov, N., and Eisenberg, H., 1989, Stabilization of halophilic malate dehydrogenase, J. Mol. Biol. 208: 491.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred Sumper
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl Biochemie IUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

Personalised recommendations