The egl gene of Pseudomonas solanacearum encodes a 43-kDa extracellular endoglucanase (mEGL) involved in wilt disease caused by this phytopathogen. Egl is initially translated with a 45-residue, two-part leader sequence. The first 19 residues are apparently removed by signal peptidase II during export of Egl across the inner membrane (IM); the remaining residues of the leader sequence (modified with palmitate) are removed during export across the outer membrane (OM). Localization of Egl-PhoA fusion proteins showed that the first 26 residues of the Egl leader sequence are required and sufficient to direct lipid modification, processing, and export of Egl or PhoA across the IM but not the OM. Fusions of the complete 45-residue leader sequence or of the leader and increasing portions of mEgl sequences to PhoA did not cause its export across the OM. In-frame deletion of portions of mEGL-coding sequences blocked export of the truncated polypeptides across the OM without affecting export across the IM. These results indicate that the first part of the leader sequence functions independently to direct export of Egl across the IM while the second part and sequences and structures in mEGL are involved in export across the OM. Computer analysis of the mEgl amino acid sequence obtained from its nucleotide sequence identified a region of mEGL similar in amino acid sequence to regions in other prokaryotic endoglucanases
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