An accessory gene, lipB, required for the production of active Pseudomonas glumae lipase



Pseudomonas glumae PG1 is able to secrete lipase into the extracellular medium. The lipase is produced as a precursor protein, with an N-terminal signal sequence. A second open reading frame (ORF) was found immediately downstream of the lipase structural gene, lip A, a situation found for the lipases of some other Pseudomonas species. Inactivation of this ORF resulted in a lipase-negative phenotype, indicating its importance in the production of active extracellular lipase. The ORF, lipB, potentially encodes a protein of 353-amtno-acid residues, having a hydrophobic N-terminal (amino acids 1 to 90) and a hydrophilic C-terminal part. As a first step in determining the role of LipB, its subcellular location was determined. The protein was found to fractionate with the inner membranes. The expression of fusions of lipB fragments with phoA revealed an Nin–Cout topology for the LipB protein, which was confirmed by protease accessibility studies on EDTA-permeabilized cells and on inverted inner membrane vesicles. These and other results indicate that most of the LipB polypeptide is located in the periplasm and anchored to the inner membrane by an an N-terminal transmembrane helix, located between amino acids 19 and 40.