Synthetic effects of secG and secY2 mutations on exoproteome biogenesis in Staphylococcus aureus

J Bacteriol. 2010 Jul;192(14):3788-800. doi: 10.1128/JB.01452-09. Epub 2010 May 14.


The gram-positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus secretes various proteins into its extracellular milieu. Bioinformatics analyses have indicated that most of these proteins are directed to the canonical Sec pathway, which consists of the translocation motor SecA and a membrane-embedded channel composed of the SecY, SecE, and SecG proteins. In addition, S. aureus contains an accessory Sec2 pathway involving the SecA2 and SecY2 proteins. Here, we have addressed the roles of the nonessential channel components SecG and SecY2 in the biogenesis of the extracellular proteome of S. aureus. The results show that SecG is of major importance for protein secretion by S. aureus. Specifically, the extracellular accumulation of nine abundant exoproteins and seven cell wall-bound proteins was significantly affected in an secG mutant. No secretion defects were detected for strains with a secY2 single mutation. However, deletion of secY2 exacerbated the secretion defects of secG mutants, affecting the extracellular accumulation of one additional exoprotein and one cell wall protein. Furthermore, an secG secY2 double mutant displayed a synthetic growth defect. This might relate to a slightly elevated expression of sraP, encoding the only known substrate for the Sec2 pathway, in cells lacking SecG. Additionally, the results suggest that SecY2 can interact with the Sec1 channel, which would be consistent with the presence of a single set of secE and secG genes in S. aureus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / pathogenicity
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins