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. 2016 Feb;100(4):1935-1944.
doi: 10.1007/s00253-015-7204-y. Epub 2015 Dec 9.

A Small Periplasmic Protein Essential for Cytophaga Hutchinsonii Cellulose Digestion


A Small Periplasmic Protein Essential for Cytophaga Hutchinsonii Cellulose Digestion

Tengteng Yang et al. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. .


Cytophaga hutchinsonii is a gliding cellulolytic bacterium that is ubiquitously distributed in soil. The mechanism by which C. hutchinsonii achieves cellulose digestion, however, is still largely unknown. In this study, we obtained a C. hutchinsonii mutant that was defective in utilizing filter paper or Avicel as the sole carbon source by transposon mutagenesis. The interrupted gene locus, CHU_2981, encodes a hypothetical protein with only 130 amino acids. Cell fractionation and western blot detection of CHU_2981 fused with a C-terminal green fluorescence protein (GFP) indicated that CHU_2981 is located in the periplasm. The CHU_2981-disrupted mutant cells exhibited a significant growth defect on Avicel but not on glucose and cellobiose. The absence of CHU_2981 also resulted in a significant defect in colony spreading and individual cell motility compared to wild-type cells. Further analysis demonstrated that the CHU_2981-disrupted mutant cells exhibited a different profile of cellulose-absorbed outer membrane proteins from that of wild-type cells, in which protein varieties and amounts were markedly decreased. Our results showed that CHU_2981, the periplasmic non-cellulolytic protein, plays an important role in both cellulose utilization and cell motility probably by being involved in the appropriate production of outer membrane proteins.

Keywords: Cellulose degradation; Colony spreading; Cytophaga hutchinsonii; Gliding motility; Periplasmic protein; Transposon mutagenesis.

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