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Mol Microbiol. 2000 Sep;37(5):1005-18.

YscP, a Yersinia protein required for Yop secretion that is surface exposed, and released in low Ca2+.

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Microbial Pathogenesis Unit, Christian de Duve Institute of Cellular Pathology (ICP) and Faculté de Médecine, Université Catholique de Louvain, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium.


The Yersinia Ysc apparatus is made of more than 20 proteins, 11 of which have homologues in many type III systems. Here, we characterize YscP from Yersinia enterocolitica. This 515-residue protein has a high proline content, a large tandem repetition and a slow migration in SDS-PAGE. Unlike the products of neighbouring genes, it has a counterpart only in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and it varies even between Yersinia Ysc machineries. An yscPDelta97-465 mutant was unable to secrete any Yop, even under conditions overcoming feedback inhibition of Yop synthesis. Interestingly, a cloned yscPDelta57-324 from Yersinia pestis introduced in the yscPDelta97-465 mutant can sustain a significant Yop secretion and thus partially complemented the mutation. This explains the leaky phenotype observed with the yscP mutant of Y. pestis. In accordance with this secretion deficiency, YscP is required for the delivery of Yop effectors into macrophages. Mechanical shearing, immunolabelling and electron microscopy experiments showed that YscP is exposed at the bacterial surface when bacteria are incubated at 37 degrees C in the presence of Ca2+ and thus do not secrete Yops. At 37 degrees C, when Ca2+ ions are chelated, YscP is released like a Yop protein. We conclude that YscP is a part of the Ysc injectisome which is localized at the bacterial surface and is destabilized by Ca2+ chelation.

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