1887

Abstract

DsbA ensures the correct folding of many exported bacterial proteins by forming intramolecular disulphide bonds in the bacterial periplasm. The pathogen is unusual in its possession of three different genes (, and ), encoding two membrane-anchored (DsbA1 and DsbA2) and one periplasmic (DsbA3) thiol-disulphide oxidoreductase enzymes. In this study, the involvement of DsbA1 and DsbA2 in natural competence was confirmed and attributed to events in the early stages of the transformation process. Strains lacking both DsbA1 and DsbA2 were reduced in competence as a result of decreased DNA binding and uptake. Overexpression of DsbA3 could not overcome this defect, suggesting differences in substrate specificity and protein-folding abilities between the DsbA homologues. Competence in is dependent on the expression of type IV pili, which are extruded and retracted through the outer-membrane secretin PilQ. Both DsbA1 and DsbA2 were able to specifically bind PilQ in solid-phase overlay assays. Consistent with this, deletion of both and resulted in reduced levels of PilQ, confirming inefficient folding of PilQ, while pilus expression was apparently unaffected. The secretin PilQ is involved in DNA binding and transport as well as pilus biogenesis, and the defect in PilQ folding resulting from the absence of DsbA1 and DsbA2 is revealed in the observed decreased DNA binding and uptake.

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2008-01-01
2020-04-07
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