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Mutations in Flavobacterium johnsoniae sprE Result in Defects in Gliding Motility and Protein Secretion▿†

By Ryan G. Rhodes, Mudiarasan Napoleon Samarasam, Eric J. Van Groll and Mark J. McBride


Cells of the gliding bacterium Flavobacterium johnsoniae move rapidly over surfaces. Transposon mutagenesis was used to identify sprE, which is involved in gliding. Mutations in sprE resulted in the formation of nonspreading colonies on agar. sprE mutant cells in wet mounts were almost completely deficient in attachment to and movement on glass, but a small percentage of cells exhibited slight movements, indicating that the motility machinery was not completely disrupted. SprE is a predicted lipoprotein with a tetratricopeptide repeat domain. SprE is similar in sequence to Porphyromonas gingivalis PorW, which is required for secretion of gingipain protease virulence factors. Disruption of F. johnsoniae sprE resulted in decreased extracellular chitinase activity and decreased secretion of the cell surface motility protein SprB. Reduced secretion of cell surface components of the gliding machinery, such as SprB, may account for the defects in gliding. Orthologs of sprE are found in many gliding and nongliding members of the phylum Bacteroidetes, suggesting that similar protein secretion systems are common among members of this large and diverse group of bacteria

Topics: Microbial Cell Biology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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