1887

Abstract

This paper reports an analysis of the functional interactions between type IV secretion systems (T4SS) that are part of the conjugative machinery for horizontal DNA transfer (cT4SS), and T4SS involved in bacterial pathogenicity (pT4SS). The authors' previous work showed that a conjugative coupling protein (T4CP) interacts with the VirB10-type component of the T4SS in order to recruit the protein–DNA complex to the transporter for conjugative DNA transfer. This study now shows by two-hybrid analysis that conjugative T4CPs also interact with the VirB10 element of the pT4SS of (), () and (). Moreover, the VirB10 component of a cT4SS (protein TrwE of plasmid R388) could be partially substituted by that of a pT4SS (protein TrwE of ) for conjugation. This result opens the way for the construction of hybrid T4SS that deliver DNA into animal cells. Interestingly, in the presence of part of the T4SS the R388 T4SS protein levels were decreased and R388 conjugation was strongly inhibited. Complementation assays between the Trw systems of R388 and showed that only individual components from the so-called ‘core complex’ could be exchanged, supporting the concept that this core is the common scaffold for the transport apparatus while the other ‘peripheral components' are largely system-specific.

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2005-11-01
2019-10-23
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