The C-terminal regions of YidC from Rhodopirellula baltica and Oceanicaulis alexandrii bind to ribosomes and partially substitute for SRP receptor function in Escherichia coli


  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.


The marine Gram-negative bacteria Rhodopirellula baltica and Oceanicaulis alexandrii have, in contrast to Escherichia coli, membrane insertases with extended positively charged C-terminal regions similar to the YidC homologues in mitochondria and Gram-positive bacteria. We have found that chimeric forms of E. coli YidC fused to the C-terminal YidC regions from the marine bacteria mediate binding of YidC to ribosomes and therefore may have a functional role for targeting a nascent protein to the membrane. Here, we show in E. coli that an extended C-terminal region of YidC can compensate for a loss of SRP-receptor function in vivo. Furthermore, the enhanced affinity of the ribosome to the chimeric YidC allows the isolation of a ribosome nascent chain complex together with the C-terminally elongated YidC chimera. This complex was visualized at 8.6 Å by cryo-electron microscopy and shows a close contact of the ribosome and a YidC monomer.