Document Type


Publication Date



This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: PLoS ONE.

Volume 9, Issue 12, 12 December 2014, Article number e109871.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109871

Copyright © 2014 Tarafdar et al.


HrpZ-a harpin from Pseudomonas syringae-is a highly thermostable protein that exhibits multifunctional abilities e.g., it elicits hypersensitive response (HR), enhances plant growth, acts as a virulence factor, and forms pores in plant plasma membranes as well as artificial membranes. However, the molecular mechanism of its biological activity and high thermal stability remained poorly understood. HR inducing abilities of non-overlapping short deletion mutants of harpins put further constraints on the ability to establish structure-activity relationships. We characterized HrpZPss from Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae and its HR inducing C-terminal fragment with 214 amino acids (C-214-HrpZPss) using calorimetric, spectroscopic and microscopic approaches. Both C-214-HrpZPss and HrpZPss were found to form oligomers. We propose that leucine-zipper-like motifs may take part in the formation of oligomeric aggregates, and oligomerization could be related to HR elicitation. CD, DSC and fluorescence studies showed that the thermal unfolding of these proteins is complex and involves multiple steps. The comparable conformational stability at 25°C (∼10.0 kcal/mol) of HrpZPss and C-214-HrpZPss further suggest that their structures are flexible, and the flexibility allows them to adopt proper conformation for multifunctional abilities.

PubMed ID




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.