• cellulosome;
  • scaffoldin;
  • cohesin-dockerin interaction;
  • cellulose degradation;
  • glycoside hydrolases

Ruminococcus flavefaciens is a cellulolytic bacterium found in the rumen of herbivores and produces one of the most elaborate and variable cellulosome systems. The structure of an R. flavefaciens protein (RfCohG, ZP_06142108), representing a freestanding (non-cellulosomal) type III cohesin module, has been determined. A selenomethionine derivative with a C-terminal histidine tag was crystallized and diffraction data were measured to 2.44 Å resolution. Its structure was determined by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion, revealing eight molecules in the asymmetric unit. RfCohG exhibits the most complex among all known cohesin structures, possessing four α-helical elements and a topographical protuberance on the putative dockerin-binding surface.