Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Integration of SecA protein into the Escherichia coli inner membrane is regulated by its amino-terminal ATP-binding domain
Article first published online: 6 OCT 2006
Volume 20, Issue 1, pages 43–51, April 1996
How to Cite
Rajapandi, T. and Oliver, D. (1996), Integration of SecA protein into the Escherichia coli inner membrane is regulated by its amino-terminal ATP-binding domain. Molecular Microbiology, 20: 43–51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1996.tb02487.x
- Issue published online: 6 OCT 2006
- Article first published online: 6 OCT 2006
- Received 15 September, 1995; revised 28 November, 1995; accepted 4 December, 1995
SecA protein, the ATPase promoting translocation of proteins across the Escherichia coli inner membrane, contains two ATP-binding domains that differ greatly in their affinity for bound nucleotide. In order to define more precisely the location of the high-affinity nucleotide-binding site, oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis was used to introduce cysteine residues into the SecA sequence, and a cysteine-specific cleavage reagent was employed to generate defined peptides of SecA protein after photocross-linking with [α-32P]-ATP. This analysis revealed that the nucleotide was cross-linked between amino acid residues 75 and 97 of SecA protein. The biochemical function of the high affinity ATP-binding domain was explored by subcellular fractionation studies which demonstrated that SecA proteins defective in this region were found almost exclusively in their integral membrane form, while SecA proteins with defects in the low-affinity ATP-domain showed a normal distribution of cytosolic, peripheral and integral membrane forms. Interestingly, the SecA51(Ts) protein that has a Leu to Pro substitution at amino acid residue 43 bound ATP with high affinity, but its fractionation pattern and translocation ATPase activity were similar to those of proteins with defects in the high-affinity ATP-binding site. These results delimit more precisely the high-affinity ATP-binding domain of SecA, indicate the importance of the early amino-terminal region of SecA protein in the functioning of this domain, and demonstrate the role of this domain in regulating penetration of SecA protein into the inner membrane. Our results lead to a simple model for the regulation of a cycle of SecA insertion into, and de-insertion from, the inner membrane by the activity of the high-affinity ATP-binding domain.