The general secretion pathway of Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora: analysis of the membrane topology of OutC and OutF

Microbiology (Reading). 1997 Mar:143 ( Pt 3):713-720. doi: 10.1099/00221287-143-3-713.


The out gene cluster of Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora (Ecc) encodes the proteins of the type II or general secretory pathway (GSP) apparatus which is required for secretion of pectinase and cellulase. In this study, fusions between Ecc out genes and the topology probe blaM were constructed. The ability of Out protein domains to export BlaM across the cytoplasmic membrane in both Escherichia coli and the cognate host was utilized to confirm the computer-predicted cytoplasmic membrane topology of OutC and OutF, When outC was fused to blaM, the resulting phenotype suggested that the majority of OutC is targeted to the periplasm, typical of a type II bitopic conformation in the cytoplasmic membrane. In contrast, for the outF gene product, three transmembrane regions were identified which connect a large N-terminal cytoplasmic domain, a smaller periplasmic domain, and a large cytoplasmic loop. Fusions between blaM and outD and outE were used to further substantiate the locations of these gene products in the outer membrane and the cytoplasm respectively. The data derived suggest that a number of the Out apparatus components possess domains in the cytoplasm and/or the periplasm with potential for protein-protein interactions which facilitate the secretion of periplasmic enzyme intermediates across the outer membrane to the external milieu.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Pectobacterium carotovorum / metabolism*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Point Mutation


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • OutC protein, bacteria
  • OutF protein, Pectobacterium carotovorum