1887

Abstract

F plasmid TraN (602 aa, processed to 584 aa with 22 conserved cysteines), which is essential for F plasmid conjugation, is an outer-membrane protein involved in mating pair stabilization (MPS). Unlike R100 TraN, F TraN requires OmpA in the recipient cell for efficient MPS. The authors have identified three external loops (aa 172–187, 212–220 and 281–284) in the highly divergent region from aa 164 to aa 333 as candidates for interaction with OmpA. These loops were identified using both site-directed and random TnA/in mutagenesis to insert epitopes (31-aa or c-myc) into TraN and monitor their effect on sensitivity to external proteases and on mating ability. TraN is a hallmark protein of F-type IV secretion systems as demonstrated by searches of the databases. The C-terminal region is highly conserved and contains five of the six completely conserved cysteines. Mutation of these residues to serine demonstrated their importance in TraN function. TraN appears to require both intra- and intermolecular disulfide bond formation for its stability and structure as demonstrated by its instability in a mutant and its aberrant migration on SDS-polyacrylamide gels under non-reducing conditions or by cross-linking with bis(sulfosuccinimidyl)suberate (BS3). Thus, F TraN appears to have two domains: the N-terminal region is involved in OmpA interaction with OmpA during MPS; and the C-terminal region, which is rich in conserved cysteine residues, is essential for conjugation.

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2005-11-01
2019-10-14
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