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Characterization of three areas of interactions stabilizing complexes between SecA and SecB, two proteins involved in protein export

By Chetan N. Patel, Virginia F. Smith and Linda L. Randall


The general secretory, Sec, system translocates precursor polypeptides from the cytosol across the cytoplasmic membrane in Escherichia coli. SecB, a small cytosolic chaperone, captures the precursor polypeptides before they fold and delivers them to the membrane translocon through interactions with SecA. Both SecB and SecA display twofold symmetry and yet the complex between the two is stabilized by contacts that are distributed asymmetrically. Two distinct regions of interaction have been defined previously and here we identify a third. Calorimetric studies of complexes stabilized by different subsets of these interactions were carried out to determine the binding affinities and the thermodynamic parameters that underlie them. We show here that there is no change in affinity when either one of two contact areas out of the three is lacking. This fact and the asymmetry of the binding contacts may be important to the function of the complex in protein export

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Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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