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Future Microbiol. 2010 Sep;5(9):1403-12. doi: 10.2217/fmb.10.90.

The TonB energy transduction systems in Vibrio species.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, 97239, USA.


Studying the organization and conservation of the TonB systems across the genus Vibrio, we can tease out trends in gene arrangement and function that lead to clues about the evolution and necessity of the proteins in multiple TonB systems. The TonB2 systems, with additional TtpC proteins, are in general more promiscuous regarding their interactions with many different TonB-dependent transporters in the outer membrane. Studies show that the TtpC protein spans the periplasmic space, suggesting that it can be the connection between the energy from the proton motive force and the outer membrane protein receptors, which the shorter TonB2 cannot provide. As an earlier system, the combination of the TtpC protein and a TonB2 system must have been necessary for the function of the smaller TonB2 protein and to transduce energy in a medium that can have osmotic challenges.

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