Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 8491700
J. Bacteriol. 1993 May;175(10):2809-17
The Escherichia coli outer membrane protein Tsx functions as a nucleoside-specific channel and serves as the receptor for colicin K and a number of T-even-type bacteriophages, including phage T6. To identify those segments of the Tsx protein that are important for its phage receptor function, we devised a selection and screening procedure which allowed us to isolate phage-resistant strains synthesizing normal amounts of Tsx. Three different Tsx-specific phages (T6, Ox1, and H3) were employed for the selection of phage-resistant derivatives of a strain expressing a tsx(+)-lacZ+ operon fusion, and 28 tsx mutants with impaired phage receptor function were characterized. Regardless of the Tsx-specific phage used for the initial mutant selection, cross-resistance against a set of six different Tsx phages invariably occurred. With one exception, these mutant Tsx proteins could still serve as a colicin K receptor. DNA sequence analysis of 10 mutant tsx genes revealed the presence of four distinct tsx alleles: two point mutations, an 18-bp deletion, and a 27-bp tandem duplication. In three isolates, Asn-249 was replaced by a Lys residue (tsx-504), and in four others, residue Asn-254 was replaced by Lys (tsx-505). The deletion (tsx-506; one isolate) removed six amino acids (residue 239 to residue 244) from the 272-residue Tsx polypeptide chain, and the DNA duplication (tsx-507; two isolates) resulted in the addition of nine extra amino acids (residue 229 to residue 237) to the Tsx protein. In contrast to the wild-type Tsx protein and the other mutant Tsx proteins the Tsx-507 protein was cleaved by trypsin when intact cells were treated with this protease. The Tsx proteins encoded by the four tsx alleles still functioned in deoxyadenosine uptake in vivo, demonstrating that their nucleoside-specific channel activity was not affected by the alterations that caused the loss of their phage receptor function. HTe changes in the Tsx polypeptide that confer resistance against the Tsx-specific phages are clustered in a small region near the carboxy terminus of Tsx. Our results are discussed in terms of a model for the topological organization of the carboxy-terminal end of the Tsx protein within the outer membrane.