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EMBO J. 1985 Jun;4(6):1583-7.

Localization of functional domains in E. coli K-12 outer membrane porins.


The genes ompC and phoE of Escherichia coli K-12 encode outer membrane pore proteins that are very homologous. To study the structure-function relationship of these proteins, we have constructed a series of ompC-phoE hybrid genes in which the DNA encoding part of one protein is replaced by the corresponding part of the other gene. These hybrid genes were easily obtained by using in vivo recombination. The fusion sites in the hybrid genes were localized by restriction enzyme mapping. The hybrid gene products were normally expressed and they were characterized with respect to functions and properties in which the native OmpC and PhoE proteins differ, such as pore characteristics, the receptor activity for phages and the binding of specific antibodies. Three regions within the N-terminal 130 amino acids were localized which determine pore characteristics and a segment between residues 75 and 110 contains amino acids which determine specificity for PhoE phages. A major cell surface-exposed region is located between residues 142 and 267. This region contains residues which are required for the binding of monoclonal antibodies directed against the cell surface-exposed part of PhoE and residues which determine specificity for OmpC phages.

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