Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal bacterium that causes infections such as sepsis, endocarditis, and pneumonia. S. aureus can express a variety of virulence factors, including surface proteins. Surface proteins are characterized by presence of a Sec‐dependent signal sequence at the amino terminal, and the sorting signal domain. Surface proteins are covalently attached to peptidoglycan and they are commonly known as cell wall–anchored (CWA) proteins. CWA proteins have many functions and participate in the pathogenesis of S. aureus. Furthermore, these proteins have been proposed as therapeutic targets for the generation of vaccines. In this chapter, different topics related to CWA proteins of S. aureus are addressed. The molecular structure of CWA proteins and their role as virulence factors of S. aureus are described. Furthermore, the involvement of CWA proteins in the processes of adhesion, invasion of host cells and tissues, evasion of the immune response, and the formation of biofilm is discussed. In addition, the role of CWA proteins in skin infection and the proposal to use them as potential vaccine antigens are described. The information contained in this chapter will help the readers to understand the biology of CWA proteins and to recognize the importance of surface molecules of S. aureus.
Part of the book: The Rise of Virulence and Antibiotic Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus