Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Binding of SecA ATPase monomers and dimers to lipid vesicles


The Escherichia coli SecA ATPase motor protein is essential for secretion of proteins through the SecYEG translocon into the periplasmic space. Its function relies upon interactions with the surrounding lipid bilayer as well as SecYEG translocon. That negatively charged lipids are required for bilayer binding has been known for >25 years, but little systematic quantitative data is available. We have carried out an extensive investigation of SecA partitioning into large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) using a wide range of lipid and electrolyte compositions, including the principal cytoplasmic salt of E. coli, potassium glutamate, which we have shown stabilizes SecA. The water-to-bilayer transfer free energy is about -7.5 kcal mol-1 for typical E. coli lipid compositions. Although it has been established that SecA is dimeric in the cytoplasm, we find that the most widely cited dimer form (PDB 1M6N) binds only weakly to LUVs formed from E. coli lipids.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View