Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In Escherichia coli a subset of periplasmic proteins is exported through the Tat pathway to which substrates are directed by an NH(2)-terminal signal peptide containing a consensus SRRXFLK "twin arginine" motif. The importance of the individual amino acids of the consensus motif for in vivo Tat transport has been assessed by site-directed mutagenesis of the signal peptide of the Tat substrate pre-SufI. Although the invariant arginine residues are crucial for efficient export, we find that slow transport of SufI is still possible if a single arginine is conservatively substituted by a lysine residue. Thus, in at least one signal peptide context there is no absolute dependence of Tat transport on the arginine pair. The consensus phenylalanine residue was found to be a critical determinant for efficient export but could be functionally substituted by leucine, another amino acid with a highly hydrophobic side chain. Unexpectedly, the consensus lysine residue was found to retard Tat transport. These observations and others suggest that the sequence conservation of the Tat consensus motif is a reflection of the functional importance of the consensus residues. Tat signal peptides characteristically have positively charged carboxyl-terminal regions. However, changing the sign of this charge does not affect export of SufI.

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Biol Chem

Publication Date

21/04/2000

Volume

275

Pages

11591 - 11596

Keywords

Amino Acid Substitution, Arginine, Bacterial Proteins, Carrier Proteins, Consensus Sequence, Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli Proteins, Lysine, Membrane Transport Proteins, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Serine