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J Bacteriol. 1991 Jan;173(1):156-60.

Molecular characterization of an Enterobacter cloacae outer membrane protein (OmpX).

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University Hospital, Leiden, The Netherlands.


A chromosomal gene of Enterobacter cloacae encoding an outer membrane protein (OmpX) has been cloned. Overproduction of the OmpX protein decreased the quantity of porins in the outer membrane of the parental strain and of Escherichia coli HB101. The ompX gene was located by insertions of the gamma delta sequence into the recombinant plasmid. The polarity of the gene was determined by in vitro transcription and translation of the gamma delta-containing plasmids. The nucleotide sequence of the ompX gene was elucidated by using both inverted terminal repeats of the gamma delta sequence as starting points for M13 dideoxy sequencing. The gene was found to encode a precursor of the OmpX protein consisting of 172 amino acid residues with a molecular mass of 18.6 kDa. The protein contains an N-terminal signal sequence of 23 amino acid residues. The exact cleavage point was established by sequencing the N-terminal part of the mature protein. The OmpX protein has several characteristics in common with outer membrane proteins of gram-negative bacteria. The protein is rather hydrophilic and is devoid of long hydrophobic stretches. On the basis of these results, we present a model for the OmpX protein folding in an outer membrane.

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