Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 1522071
J. Bacteriol. 1992 Sep;174(18):5978-81
Sequence analysis has shown that PilA, a transcriptional regulator of pilin gene expression in Neisseria gonorrhoeae, has extensive homology with the 54-kDa protein of the signal recognition particle of eukaryotes and its receptor, as well as with two proteins of Escherichia coli, FtsY and Ffh, which have been proposed to be a part of a signal recognition particle-like apparatus. We tested the putative role of PilA in protein export in N. gonorrhoeae and did not find any effect. However, we did observe induction of a heat shock response and a previously described slow-growth phenotype when PilA function was impaired. We also examined the interference of pilA expression in E. coli with the function of the products of ftsY and ffh and observed an accumulation of pre-beta-lactamase. We argue against a direct role for PilA in protein export in gonococci and propose instead that PilA is involved in the modulation of cell growth rate in response to different environmental conditions.