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J Mol Biol. 1988 Aug 20;202(4):809-22.

Allele-specific malE mutations that restore interactions between maltose-binding protein and the inner-membrane components of the maltose transport system.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032.


Active accumulation of maltose and maltodextrins by Escherichia coli depends on an outer-membrane protein. LamB, a periplasmic maltose-binding protein (MalE, MBP) and three inner-membrane proteins, MalF, MalG and MalK. MalF and MalG are integral transmembrane proteins, while MalK is associated with the inner aspect of the cytoplasmic membrane via an interaction with MalG. Previously we have shown that MBP is essential for movement of maltose across the inner membrane. We have taken advantage of malF and malG mutants in which MBP interacts improperly with the membrane proteins. We describe the properties of malE mutations in which a proper interaction between MBP and defective MalF and MalG proteins has been restored. We found that these malE suppressor mutations are able to restore transport activity in an allele-specific manner. That is, a given malE mutation restores transport activity to different extents in different malF and malG mutants. Since both malF and malG mutations could be suppressed by allele-specific malE suppressors, we propose that, in wild-type bacteria, MBP interacts with sites on both MalF and MalG during active transport. The locations of different malE suppressor mutations indicate specific regions on MBP that are important for interacting with MalF and MalG.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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