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J Bacteriol. 1996 Feb; 178(3): 823–830.
PMCID: PMC177731

A Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron outer membrane protein that is essential for utilization of maltooligosaccharides and starch.


Previous studies suggested that the first step in utilization of starch by Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron was binding of the polysaccharide to the cell surface, followed by translocation of the polysaccharide across the outer membrane into the periplasm. In this study, we report the molecular characterization of a gene that encodes an outer membrane protein that is essential for utilization of both maltooligosaccharides and starch. The gene, susC, encoded a protein of 115.3 kDa. Antibodies were raised against SusC, and the outer membrane location of SusC could be confirmed by Western blot (immunoblot) analysis. SusC had a possible signal sequence of between 20 and 39 amino acids, depending on which N-terminal methionine initiates the start of the protein. It also had some features typical of well-characterized outer membrane proteins from members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, such as a terminal phenylalanine residue and a region in the amino portion of the protein thought to be involved in stabilizing the protein in the outer membrane. The amino acid sequence, together with results of gene disruption experiments, suggested that SusC was not an amylolytic enzyme. Transcriptional fusion experiments, using beta-glucuronidase as a reporter group, showed that expression of susC was maltose regulated at the transcriptional level. This is the first molecular characterization of a B. thetaiotaomicron outer membrane protein involved in maltooligosaccharide and starch utilization.

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Selected References

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