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J Bacteriol. 1994 Jul;176(13):4111-6.

SecF stabilizes SecD and SecY, components of the protein translocation machinery of the Escherichia coli cytoplasmic membrane.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The effect of the overproduction of SecF encoded by the tac-secF gene on a plasmid on the synthesis of other Sec proteins was studied in Escherichia coli. SecF overproduction resulted in the simultaneous overproduction of SecD encoded by the tac-secD gene on a plasmid. Deletion of the orf6 gene, located downstream of the secF gene, had no effect on SecD overproduction. A pulse-chase experiment revealed that the overproduction was due to stabilization of SecD with SecF. SecF overproduction also resulted in the overproduction of SecY encoded by the tac-secY gene on a plasmid as well. SecF overproduction also enhanced the level of SecY expressed by the chromosomal secY gene. This SecF effect was not due to its effect on SecD or SecE, since SecF overproduction did not affect the levels of SecD and SecE expressed by the chromosomal secD and secE genes, respectively. SecE-dependent overproduction of SecY has already been demonstrated. It is suggested that SecF interacts with both SecD and SecY. SecE-SecY interaction has been demonstrated. It is likely, therefore, that all Sec proteins in the cytoplasmic membrane interact with each other.

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