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Differential Localization of the Streptococcal Accessory Sec Components and Implications for Substrate Export


The accessory Sec system of Streptococcus gordonii is comprised of SecY2, SecA2, and five proteins (Asp1 through -5) that are required for the export of a serine-rich glycoprotein, GspB. We have previously shown that a number of the Asps interact with GspB, SecA2, or each other. To further define the roles of these Asps in export, we examined their subcellular localization in S. gordonii and in Escherichia coli expressing the streptococcal accessory Sec system. In particular, we assessed how the locations of these accessory Sec proteins were altered by the presence of other components. Using fluorescence microscopy, we found in E. coli that SecA2 localized within multiple foci at the cell membrane, regardless of whether other accessory Sec proteins were expressed. Asp2 alone localized to the cell poles but formed a similar punctate pattern at the membrane when SecA2 was present. Asp1 and Asp3 localized diffusely in the cytosol when expressed alone or with SecA2. However, these proteins redistributed to the membrane in a punctate arrangement when all of the accessory Sec components were present. Cell fractionation studies with S. gordonii further corroborated these microscopy results. Collectively, these findings indicate that Asp1 to -3 are not integral membrane proteins that form structural parts of the translocation channel. Instead, SecA2 serves as a docking site for Asp2, which in turn attracts a complex of Asp1 and Asp3 to the membrane. These protein interactions may be important for the trafficking of GspB to the cell membrane and its subsequent translocation.

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