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Microbiology. 2000 Feb;146 ( Pt 2):527-36.

Oxidase and periplasmic cytochrome assembly in Escherichia coli K-12: CydDC and CcmAB are not required for haem-membrane association.

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Krebs Institute for Biomolecular Research, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, The University of Sheffield, UK.


The mechanism(s) that bacteria use to transport haem into and across the cytoplasmic membrane to complete the assembly of periplasmic cytochromes is unknown. The authors have tested directly the role(s) of two ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters - the cydDC and ccmAB gene products - in Escherichia coli by measuring haem uptake in everted (inside-out) membrane vesicles. If haem is exported to the periplasm in vivo, the same process should result in active accumulation in such everted vesicles. [14C]Haemin (chloride) with bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a carrier protein was accumulated in intact everted membrane vesicles by an energy-independent mechanism. The kinetics of this process were biphasic: rapid uptake/binding was followed by a slower uptake of haem, which was inhibited by a large excess of unlabelled haemin-BSA, but not by BSA. However, accumulated haemin was not chased out of the vesicles by unlabelled haemin-BSA, suggesting specific binding of haemin with the membrane or transport into the lumen of the vesicle. Neither ATP nor a protonmotive force (delta(p)) generated by lactate oxidation was required for haemin binding or subsequent transport, and carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP), sodium vanadate and monensin had no effect on haemin transport. The rate of haemin uptake following the initial rapid binding was proportional to the external haemin concentration, suggesting that the uptake process was driven by the haemin concentration gradient across the cell membrane. The kinetics of [14C]haemin uptake were similar in wild-type and cydD1 or delta(ccmA) mutants, suggesting that the activity of neither the CydDC nor CcmAB transporters is essential for haem export to the periplasm. Cytochrome d levels were unaffected by mutations in trxB (encoding thioredoxin reductase), trxA (thioredoxin), or grx (glutaredoxin), suggesting that the CydDC transporter does not export these components of reducing pathways for cytochrome assembly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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