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Biochimie. 2002 May-Jun;84(5-6):365-80.

Ton-dependent colicins and microcins: modular design and evolution.

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Mikrobiologie and Membranphysiologie, Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 28 D-72076, Tübingen, Germany.


Ton-dependent colicins and microcins are actively taken up into sensitive cells at the expense of energy which is provided by the proton motive force of the cytoplasmic membrane. The Ton system consisting of the proteins TonB, ExbB and ExbD is required for colicin and microcin import. Colicins as well as the outer membrane transport proteins contain proximal to the N-terminus a short sequence, called TonB box, which interacts with TonB and in which point mutants impair uptake. No TonB box is found in microcins. Colicins are composed of functional modules which during evolution have been interchanged resulting in new colicins. The modules define sites of interaction with the outer membrane transport genes, TonB, the immunity proteins, and the activity regions. Six TonB-dependent microcins with different primary structures are processed and exported by highly homologous proteins. Three of these microcins are modified in an unknown way and they have in common specificity for catecholate siderophore receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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