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Mol Microbiol. 2001 Apr;40(2):323-31.

Identification of a twin-arginine leader-binding protein.

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Structural Biology Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada.


The transport and targeting of a number of periplasmic proteins is carried out by the Sec-independent Mtt (also referred to as Tat) protein translocase. Proteins using this translocase have a distinct twin-arginine-containing leader. We hypothesized that specific leader-binding proteins exist to escort proteins to the translocase complex. A fusion was constructed with the twin-arginine leader from dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) reductase, subunit DmsA, to the N-terminus of glutathione-S-transferase. This leader fusion was bound to a glutathione affinity column through which an Escherichia coli anaerobic cell-free extract was passed. Proteins that bound to the leader were then separated and identified by N-terminal sequencing, which identified DnaK and a protein originating from the uncharacterized reading frame ynfI. This gene has been designated dmsD based on the findings presented in this paper. DmsD was purified as a His6 fusion and was shown to interact with preprotein forms of DmsA and TorA (trimethyl amine N-oxide reductase). A strain carrying a dmsD knock-out mutation showed a loss of anaerobic growth on glycerol-DMSO medium and reduced growth on glycerol-fumarate medium. This work suggests that DmsD is a twin-arginine leader-binding protein.

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