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Applied and environmental microbiology
Quantification and surface localization of the hemolysin A type 1 secretion system at the endogenous level and under conditions of overexpression
Beer, T., Hänsch, S., Pfeffer, K., Smits, S. H., Weidtkamp-Peters, S., & Schmitt, L.
Secretion systems are essential for Gram-negative bacteria as these nanomachineries allow a communication with the outside world by exporting proteins into the extracellular space or directly into the cytosol of a host cell. For example, type one secretion systems (T1SS) secrete a broad range of substrates across both membranes into the extracellular space. One well-known example is the hemolysin A (HlyA) T1SS from Escherichia coli (E. coli), which consists of an ABC transporter (HlyB), a membrane fusion protein (HlyD), the outer membrane protein TolC and the substrate HlyA, a member of the family of RTX (repeats in toxins) toxins. Here, we determined the amount of TolC at the endogenous level (parental strain, UTI89) and under conditions of overexpression (T7 expression system, BL21(DE3)-BD). The overall amount of TolC was not influenced by the overexpression of the HlyBD complex. Moving one step further, we determined the localization of the HlyA T1SS by super-resolution microscopy. In contrast to other bacterial secretion systems, no polarization was observed with respect to endogenous or overexpression levels. Additionally, the cell growth and division cycle did not influence the polarization. Most importantly, the size of the observed T1SS clusters did not correlate with the recently proposed outer membrane islands. These data indicate that T1SS cluster at the outer membrane generating domains of so far not described identity.