Proper interaction between at least two components is required for efficient export of proteins to the Escherichia coli cell envelope.
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An Escherichia coli mutant carrying delta malE12-18, a 21-base pair deletion confined to the coding DNA of the maltose-binding protein signal peptide, is unable to export maltose-binding protein to the periplasm efficiently. Consequently, such a strain is defective for the utilization of maltose as a sole carbon source. We obtained 16 mutants harboring extragenic delta malE12-18 suppressor mutations that exhibit partial restoration of export to the mutant maltose-binding protein. A genetic analysis of these extragenic suppressor mutations demonstrated that 15 map at prlA, at 72 min on the standard E. coli linkage map, and that 1 maps at a new locus, prlD, at 2.5 min on the linkage map. Our evidence indicates that the prlA and prlD gene products play an important role in the normal pathway for export of proteins to the cell envelope. Efficient execution of the secretory process requires that these prl gene products interact properly with each other so that a productive interaction of these gene products with the signal peptide also can occur. Our data suggest that proper assembly of a complex is required for efficient export of E. coli envelope proteins to their various extracytoplasmic compartments.
author list (cited authors)
Bankaitis, V. A., & Bassford, P. J.