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Nat Commun. 2018 Aug 27;9(1):3467. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05969-w.

Revealing the mechanisms of membrane protein export by virulence-associated bacterial secretion systems.

Author information

1
University of Tübingen, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine (IMIT), Elfriede-Aulhorn-Str. 6, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.
2
Section for Genetics and Evolutionary Biology, University of Oslo, Blindernveien 31, 0371, Oslo, Norway.
3
Institute of Microbiology, University Hospital Erlangen, Wasserturmstr. 3-5, 91054, Erlangen, Germany.
4
Center for Biomembrane Research, Stockholm University, Svante-Arrhenius väg 16, SE-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden.
5
University of Tübingen, Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine (IMIT), Elfriede-Aulhorn-Str. 6, 72076, Tübingen, Germany. samuel.wagner@med.uni-tuebingen.de.
6
German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner-site Tübingen, Elfriede-Aulhorn-Str. 6, 72076, Tübingen, Germany. samuel.wagner@med.uni-tuebingen.de.

Abstract

Many bacteria export effector proteins fulfilling their function in membranes of a eukaryotic host. These effector membrane proteins appear to contain signals for two incompatible bacterial secretion pathways in the same protein: a specific export signal, as well as transmembrane segments that one would expect to mediate targeting to the bacterial inner membrane. Here, we show that the transmembrane segments of effector proteins of type III and type IV secretion systems indeed integrate in the membrane as required in the eukaryotic host, but that their hydrophobicity in most instances is just below the threshold required for mediating targeting to the bacterial inner membrane. Furthermore, we show that binding of type III secretion chaperones to both the effector's chaperone-binding domain and adjacent hydrophobic transmembrane segments also prevents erroneous targeting. These results highlight the evolution of a fine discrimination between targeting pathways that is critical for the virulence of many bacterial pathogens.

PMID:
30150748
PMCID:
PMC6110835
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-05969-w
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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