Oligomerization state of the functional bacterial twin-arginine translocation (Tat) receptor complex. Academic Article uri icon


  • The twin-arginine translocation (Tat) system transports folded proteins across bacterial and plastid energy transducing membranes. Ion leaks are generally considered to be mitigated by the creation and destruction of the translocation conduit in a cargo-dependent manner, a mechanism that enables tight sealing around a wide range of cargo shapes and sizes. In contrast to the variable stoichiometry of the active translocon, the oligomerization state of the receptor complex is considered more consistently stable but has proved stubbornly difficult to establish. Here, using a single molecule photobleaching analysis of individual inverted membrane vesicles, we demonstrate that Tat receptor complexes are tetrameric in native membranes with respect to both TatB and TatC. This establishes a maximal diameter for a resting state closed pore. A large percentage of Tat-deficient vesicles explains the typically low transport efficiencies observed. This individual reaction chamber approach will facilitate examination of the effects of stochastically distributed molecules.

published proceedings

  • Commun Biol

altmetric score

  • 3.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Sharma, A., Chowdhury, R., & Musser, S. M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Sharma, Ankith||Chowdhury, Rajdeep||Musser, Siegfried M

publication date

  • September 2022