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Eur J Biochem. 1989 Nov 6;185(2):365-70.

Role of the cell surface-exposed regions of outer membrane protein PhoE of Escherichia coli K12 in the biogenesis of the protein.

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1
Institute of Molecular Biology and Medical Biotechnology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

To investigate the role of the cell surface-exposed regions of outer membrane protein PhoE of Escherichia coli K12 in the biogenesis of the protein, deletions were generated in two presumed cell surface-exposed regions of the protein. Intact cells expressing these mutant proteins were recognized by PhoE-specific monoclonal antibodies, which recognize conformational epitopes on the cell surface-exposed parts of the protein and/or were sensitive to a PhoE-specific phage. This shows that the polypeptides were normally incorporated into the outer membrane. When the deletions extended four amino acid residues into the seventh presumed membrane-spanning segment, the polypeptides accumulated in the periplasm. In conclusion, exposed regions of PhoE protein apparently do not play an essential role in outer membrane localization, which is consistent with the observation that these regions are hypervariable when PhoE is compared to the related proteins OmpF and OmpC. In contrast, the membrane-spanning segments are essential for the assembly process.

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