1887

Abstract

Many bacteria use the chaperone–usher (CU) secretion pathway to assemble on their surfaces typical or atypical fimbrial organelles. Four consecutive genes of DK1622, MXAN3885–3882, were predicted to constitute an operon encoding a CU-like system involved in the assembly of the spore coat; however, experimental evidence supporting this hypothesis was lacking. In this study, co-transcription of MXAN3885–3883 was verified, and we found that this operon was expressed 12–15 h after initiation of development under conditions of stringent starvation. The MXAN3885 protein, which is highly homologous to, but expressed earlier than, the spore coat protein U of another strain, DZF1, was present mainly on the outer surface of myxospores. Inactivation of MXAN3883, encoding a putative outer membrane usher, inhibited assembly of MXAN3885 protein on spore surfaces and caused certain morphological alterations in the spore coat. Hence, the CU-like pathway in indeed functions in spore coat biogenesis. Based on chaperone amino acid sequence comparisons, our analysis suggests that the structural basis of the CU-like pathway for spore coat assembly may be different from that of most surface structures assembled by classical CU systems.

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2011-07-01
2019-10-17
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