Interspecific reconstitution of maltose transport and chemotaxis in Escherichia coli with maltose-binding protein from various enteric bacteria. Academic Article uri icon


  • In Escherichia coli, the periplasmic maltose-binding protein (MBP), the product of the malE gene, is the primary recognition component of the transport system for maltose and maltodextrins. It is also the maltose chemoreceptor, in which capacity it interacts with the signal transducer Tar (taxis to aspartate and some repellents). In studies of the maltose system in other members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, we found that MBP is produced by Salmonella typhimurium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter aerogenes, and Serratia marcescens. MBP from all of these species cross-reacted with antibody against the E. coli protein and had a similar molecular weight (about 40,000). The Shigella flexneri and Proteus mirabilis strains we examined did not synthesize MBP. The isoelectric points of MBP from different species varied from the acid extreme of E. coli (4.8) to the basic extreme of E. aerogenes (8.9). All species with MBP transported maltose with high affinity, although the Vmax for K. pneumoniae was severalfold lower than that for the other species. Maltose chemotaxis was observed only in E. coli and E. aerogenes. In S. typhimurium LT2, Tar was completely inactive in maltose taxis, although it signaled normally in response to aspartate. MBP isolated from all five species could be used to reconstitute maltose transport and taxis in a delta malE strain of E. coli after permeabilization of the outer membrane with calcium.

published proceedings

  • J Bacteriol

author list (cited authors)

  • Dahl, M. K., & Manson, M. D.

citation count

  • 39

complete list of authors

  • Dahl, MK||Manson, MD

publication date

  • December 1985