Membrane topology of outer membrane protein AlgE, which is required for alginate production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Iain D. Hay, Zahid Ur Rehman, Bernd H A Rehm

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The ubiquitous opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa secretes a viscous extracellular polysaccharide, called alginate, as a virulence factor during chronic infection of patients with cystic fibrosis. In the present study, it was demonstrated that the outer membrane protein AlgE is required for the production of alginate in P. aeruginosa. An isogenic marker-free algE deletion mutant was constructed. This strain was incapable of producing alginate but did secrete alginate degradation products, indicating that polymerization occurs but that the alginate chain is subsequently degraded during transit through the periplasm. Alginate production was restored by introducing the algE gene. The membrane topology of the outer membrane protein AlgE was assessed by site-specific insertions of FLAG epitopes into predicted extracellular loop regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1806-1812
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes

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