Molecular features of the sortase enzyme family

William J. Bradshaw, Abigail H. Davies, Christopher J. Chambers, April K. Roberts, Clifford C. Shone, K. Ravi Acharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (SciVal)


Bacteria possess complex and varying cell walls with many surface exposed proteins. Sortases are responsible for the covalent attachment of specific proteins to the peptidoglycan of the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria. Sortase A of Staphylococcus aureus, which is seen as the archetypal sortase, has been shown to be essential for pathogenesis and has therefore received much attention as a potential target for novel therapeutics. Being widely present in Gram-positive bacteria, it is likely that other Gram-positive pathogens also require sortases for their pathogenesis. Sortases have also been shown to be of significant use in a range of industrial applications. We review current knowledge of the sortase family in terms of their structures, functions and mechanisms and summarize work towards their use as antibacterial targets and microbiological tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2097-2114
Number of pages118
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number11
Early online date24 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • Crystal structure
  • Inhibitor design
  • Molecular mechanism
  • Peptide recognition
  • Sortase


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