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Mol Microbiol. 1998 Jan;27(1):31-40.

The secretion apparatus of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: identification of a fifth pseudopilin, XcpX (GspK family).

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Laboratoire d'Ingéniérie des Systèmes Macromoléculaires, UPR9027, IBSM/CNRS, Marseille, France.


The xcp gene products in Pseudomonas aeruginosa are required for the secretion of proteins across the outer membrane. Four of the Xcp proteins, XcpT, U, V and W, present sequence homology to the subunits of type IV pili at their N-termini, and they were therefore designated pseudopilins. In this study, we characterized the xcpX gene product, a bitopic cytoplasmic membrane protein. Remarkably, amino acid sequence comparisons also suggested that the XcpX protein resembles the pilins and pseudopilins at the N-terminus. We show that XcpX could be processed by the prepilin peptidase, PilD/XcpA, and that the highly conserved glycine residue preceding the hydrophobic segment could not be mutated without loss of the XcpX function. We, therefore, classified XcpX (GspK) as the fifth pseudopilin of the system.

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