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Biochimie. 1991 Jun;73(6):683-8.

Presence of a gene in the archaebacterium Methanococcus vannielii homologous to secY of eubacteria.

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Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Universität München, Germany.


The nucleotide sequence of a gene located at the promoter-distal side of the 'spectinomycin-operon' homologue of the archaebacterium Methanococcus vannielii was determined. Its derived amino acid sequence displayed 20% (identical positions) or 52% (including conservative exchanges) similarity, respectively, to SECY from E coli. An alignment of the Methanococcus SECY with eubacterial SECY sequences showed the existence of 10 membrane-associated primary structure domains in equivalent positions. The 5' and 3' ends of the secY transcript were mapped and the gene was expressed in the T7 promoter/polymerase system in E col. The temperature-sensitive growth of the E coli mutant IQ292 which harbours a secYts mutation could be complemented by the secY gene from Methanococcus. This indicates that a protein integral to an archaebacterial ether-lipid membrane can be inserted into a eubacterial phospholipid membrane without apparent loss of function.

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