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You are here: Home / Teams / Dynamics and Control of Biological Assemblies and Macromolecular Machines - J. Martin / R. Pellarin / Publications / Assembly of a unique membrane complex in type VI secretion systems of Bacteroidota.

Assembly of a unique membrane complex in type VI secretion systems of Bacteroidota.

Thibault R Bongiovanni, Casey J Latario, Youn Le Cras, Evan Trus, Sophie Robitaille, Kerry Swartz, Danica Schmidtke, Maxence Vincent, Artemis Kosta, Jan Orth, Florian Stengel, Riccardo Pellarin, Eduardo PC Rocha, Benjamin D Ross, and Eric Durand (2024)

Nat Commun, 15(1):429.

The type VI secretion system (T6SS) of Gram-negative bacteria inhibits competitorcells through contact-dependent translocation of toxic effector proteins. InProteobacteria, the T6SS is anchored to the cell envelope through amegadalton-sized membrane complex (MC). However, the genomes of Bacteroidota withT6SSs appear to lack genes encoding homologs of canonical MC components. Here, weidentify five genes in Bacteroides fragilis (tssNQOPR) that are essential forT6SS function and encode a Bacteroidota-specific MC. We purify this complex,reveal its dimensions using electron microscopy, and identify a protein-proteininteraction network underlying the assembly of the MC including the stoichiometryof the five TssNQOPR components. Protein TssN mediates the connection between theBacteroidota MC and the conserved baseplate. Although MC gene content andorganization varies across the phylum Bacteroidota, no MC homologs are detectedoutside of T6SS loci, suggesting ancient co-option and functional convergencewith the non-homologous MC of Pseudomonadota.

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