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J Bacteriol. 2013 Jan;195(1):12-24. doi: 10.1128/JB.00762-12. Epub 2012 Oct 5.

Multiple envelope stress response pathways are activated in an Escherichia coli strain with mutations in two members of the DedA membrane protein family.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.


We have reported that simultaneous deletion of two Escherichia coli genes, yqjA and yghB, encoding related and conserved inner membrane proteins belonging to the DedA protein family results in a number of intriguing phenotypes, including temperature sensitivity at 42°C, altered membrane lipid composition, and cell division defects. We sought to characterize these and other phenotypes in an effort to establish a function for this protein family in E. coli. Here, using reporter assays, we show that the major envelope stress response pathways Cpx, Psp, Bae, and Rcs are activated in strain BC202 (W3110; ΔyqjA ΔyghB) at the permissive growth temperature of 30°C. We previously demonstrated that 10 mM Mg(2+), 400 mM NaCl, and overexpression of tatABC are capable of restoring normal growth to BC202 at elevated growth temperatures. Deletion of the cpxR gene from BC202 results in the loss of the ability of these supplements to restore growth at 42°C. Additionally, we report that the membrane potential of BC202 is significantly reduced and that cell division and growth can be restored either by expression of the multidrug transporter MdfA from a multicopy plasmid or by growth at pH 6.0. Together, these results suggest that the DedA family proteins YqjA and YghB are required for general envelope maintenance and homeostasis of the proton motive force under a variety of growth conditions.

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