Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 8071214
J Bacteriol. 1994 Sep;176(17):5372-7
We previously identified a Serratia marcescens extracellular protein, HasA, able to bind heme and required for iron acquisition from heme and hemoglobin by the bacterium. This novel type of extracellular protein does not have a signal peptide and does not show sequence similarities to other proteins. HasA secretion was reconstituted in Escherichia coli, and we show here that like many proteins lacking a signal peptide, HasA has a C-terminal targeting sequence and is secreted by a specific ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter consisting of three proteins, one inner membrane protein with a conserved ATP binding domain, called the ABC; a second inner membrane protein; and a third, outer membrane component. Since the three S. marcescens components of the HasA transporter have not yet been identified, the reconstituted HasA secretion system is a hybrid. It consists of the two S. marcescens inner membrane-specific components, HasD and HasE, associated with an outer membrane component coming from another bacterial ABC transporter, such as the E. coli TolC protein, the outer membrane component of the hemolysin transporter, or the Erwinia chrysanthemi PrtF protein, the outer membrane component of the protease transporter. This hybrid transporter was first shown to allow the secretion of the S. marcescens metalloprotease and the E. chrysanthemi metalloproteases B and C. On account of that, the two S. marcescens components HasD and HasE were previously named PrtDSM and PrtESM, respectively. However, HasA is secreted neither by the PrtD-PrtE-PrtF transporter (the genuine E. chrysanthemi protease transporter) nor by the HlyB-HlhD-TolC transporter (the hemolysin transporter). Moreover, HasA, coexpressed in the same cell, strongly inhibits the secretion of proteases B and C by their own transporter, indicating that the E. chrysanthemi transporter recognizes HasA. Since PrtF could replace TolC in the constitution of the HasA transporter, this indicates that the secretion block does not take place at the level of the outer membrane component but rather at an earlier step of interaction between HasA and the inner membrane components.