Cloned Erwinia chrysanthemi out genes enable Escherichia coli to selectively secrete a diverse family of heterologous proteins to its milieu.
The out genes of the enterobacterial plant pathogen Erwinia chrysanthemi are responsible for the efficient extracellular secretion of multiple plant cell wall-degrading enzymes, including four isozymes of pectate lyase, exo-poly-alpha-D-galacturonosidase, pectin methylesterase, and cellulase. Out- mutants of Er. chrysanthemi are unable to export any of these proteins beyond the periplasm and are severely reduced in virulence. We have cloned out genes from Er. chrysanthemi in the stable, low-copy-number cosmid pCPP19 by complementing several transposon-induced mutations. The cloned out genes were clustered in a 12-kilobase chromosomal DNA region, complemented all existing out mutations in Er. chrysanthemi EC16, and enabled Escherichia coli strains to efficiently secrete the extracellular pectic enzymes produced from cloned Er. chrysanthemi genes, while retaining the periplasmic marker protein beta-lactamase. DNA sequencing of a 2.4-kilobase EcoRI fragment within the out cluster revealed four genes arranged colinearly and sharing substantial similarity with the Klebsiella pneumoniae genes pulH, pulI, pulJ, and pulK, which are necessary for pullulanase secretion. However, K. pneumoniae cells harboring the cloned Er. chrysanthemi pelE gene were unable to secrete the Erwinia pectate lyase. Furthermore, the Er. chrysanthemi Out system was unable to secrete an extracellular pectate lyase encoded by a gene from a closely related plant pathogen. Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora. The results suggest that these enterobacteria secrete polysaccharidases by a conserved mechanism whose protein-recognition capacities have diverged.
He, SY; Lindeberg, M; Chatterjee, AK; Collmer, A
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