The nucleotide sequences of two Escherichia coli genes, dcuA and dcuB (formerly designated genA and genF), have been shown to encode highly homologous products, M(r) 45,751 and 47,935 (434 and 446 amino acid residues) with 36% sequence identity (63% similarity). These proteins have a high proportion (approximately 61%) of hydrophobic residues and are probably members of a new group of integral inner membrane proteins. The locations of the dcu genes, one upstream of the aspartase gene (dcuA-aspA) and the other downstream of the anaerobic fumarase gene (fumB-dcuB), suggested that they may function in the anaerobic transport of C4-dicarboxylic acids. Growth tests and transport studies with mutants containing insertionally inactivated chromosomal dcuA and dcuB genes show that their products perform analogous and mutually complementary roles as anaerobic dicarboxylate carriers. The anaerobic dicarboxylate transport systems (Dcu) are genetically and functionally distinct from the aerobic system (Dct)
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