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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Sep;45(5):1289-302.

Imp/OstA is required for cell envelope biogenesis in Escherichia coli.

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1
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.

Abstract

In Gram-negative bacteria, all components of the outer membrane are synthesized in the cytoplasm or the cytoplasmic leaflet of the inner membrane and must thus traverse the inner membrane and the periplasm on the way to their final destination. In this study, we show Imp/OstA to have characteristics typical for proteins involved in envelope biogenesis. Imp is essential and forms a high-molecular-weight disulphide-bonded complex in the outer membrane. Upon depletion of Imp, lipids and outer membrane proteins appear in a novel membrane fraction with higher density than the outer membrane. We propose Imp to be part of a targeting/usher system for components of the outer membrane.

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