1887

Abstract

Protein translocation via the Tat machinery in thylakoids and bacteria occurs through a cooperation between the TatA, TatB and TatC subunits, of which the TatC protein forms the initial Tat substrate-binding site. The Tat machinery lacks TatB and comprises two separate TatAC complexes with distinct substrate specificities: PhoD is secreted by the TatAdCd complex, whereas YwbN is secreted by the TatAyCy complex. To study the role of the Gram-positive TatC proteins in Tat-dependent protein secretion efficiency, we applied several genetic engineering approaches to modify and analyse the TatCd and TatCy proteins. Cytoplasmic and transmembrane domain exchange between TatCd and TatCy resulted in stable chimeric proteins that were unable to secrete both known substrates of the Tat system. Site-directed mutagenesis of conserved residues in the N-terminal part of both TatC proteins revealed significant differences in the degree of importance of these residues between TatCd, TatCy and TatC. In addition, two small C-terminal deletions in TatCy completely abolished YwbN translocation, indicating that this terminus is essential for Tat translocation activity. Important differences from previous observations for TatC and implications for substrate binding and translocation are discussed.

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2009-06-01
2020-07-15
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