Salmonella typhimurium mutants defective in flagellar filament regrowth and sequence similarity of FliI to F0F1, vacuolar, and archaebacterial ATPase subunits.
ABSTRACT: Many flagellar proteins are exported by a flagellum-specific export pathway. In an initial attempt to characterize the apparatus responsible for the process, we designed a simple assay to screen for mutants with export defects. Temperature-sensitive flagellar mutants of Salmonella typhimurium were grown at the permissive temperature (30 degrees C), shifted to the restrictive temperature (42 degrees C), and inspected in a light microscope. With the exception of switch mutants, they were fully motile. Next, cells grown at the permissive temperature had their flagellar filaments removed by shearing before the cells were shifted to the restrictive temperature. Most mutants were able to regrow filaments. However, flhA, fliH, fliI, and fliN mutants showed no or greatly reduced regrowth, suggesting that the corresponding gene products are involved in the process of flagellum-specific export. We describe here the sequences of fliH, fliI, and the adjacent gene, fliJ; they encode proteins with deduced molecular masses of 25,782, 49,208, and 17,302 Da, respectively. The deduced sequence of FliI shows significant similarity to the catalytic beta subunit of the bacterial F0F1 ATPase and to the catalytic subunits of vacuolar and archaebacterial ATPases; except for limited similarity in the motifs that constitute the nucleotide-binding or catalytic site, it appears unrelated to the E1E2 class of ATPases, to other proteins that mediate protein export, or to a variety of other ATP-utilizing enzymes. We hypothesize that FliI is either the catalytic subunit of a protein translocase for flagellum-specific export or a proton translocase involved in local circuits at the flagellum.
Project description:For construction of the bacterial flagellum, FliI ATPase forms the FliH2-FliI complex in the cytoplasm and localizes to the flagellar basal body (FBB) through the interaction of FliH with a C ring protein, FliN. FliI also assembles into a homo-hexamer to promote initial entry of export substrates into the export gate. The interaction of FliH with an export gate protein, FlhA, is required for stable anchoring of the FliI6 ring to the gate. Here we report the stoichiometry and assembly dynamics of FliI-YFP by fluorescence microscopy with single molecule precision. More than six FliI-YFP molecules were associated with the FBB through interactions of FliH with FliN and FlhA. Single FliI-YFP molecule exchanges between the FBB-localized and free-diffusing ones were observed several times per minute. Neither the number of FliI-YFP associated with the FBB nor FliI-YFP turnover rate were affected by catalytic mutations in FliI, indicating that ATP hydrolysis by FliI does not drive the assembly-disassembly cycle of FliI during flagellar assembly. We propose that the FliH2FliI complex and FliI6 ring function as a dynamic substrate carrier and a static substrate loader, respectively.
Project description:The flagellar type III protein export apparatus plays an essential role in the formation of the bacterial flagellum. FliH forms a complex along with FliI ATPase and is postulated to provide a link between FliI ring formation and flagellar protein export. Two tryptophan residues of FliH, Trp7 and Trp10, are required for the effective docking of the FliH-FliI complex to the export gate made of six membrane proteins. However, it remains unknown which export gate component interacts with these two tryptophan residues. Here, we performed targeted photo-cross-linking of the extreme N-terminal region of FliH (FliH(EN)) with its binding partners. We replaced Trp7 and Trp10 of FliH with p-benzoyl-phenylalanine (pBPA), a photo-cross-linkable unnatural amino acid, to produce FliH(W7pBPA) and FliH(W10pBPA). They were both functional and were photo-cross-linked with one of the export gate proteins, FlhA, but not with the other gate proteins, indicating that these two tryptophan residues are in close proximity to FlhA. Mutant FlhA proteins that are functional in the presence of FliH and FliI but not in their absence showed a significantly reduced function also by N-terminal FliH mutations even in the presence of FliI. We suggest that the interaction of FliH(EN) with FlhA is required for anchoring the FliI hexamer ring to the export gate for efficient flagellar protein export.
Project description:For assembly of the bacterial flagellum, most of flagellar proteins are transported to the distal end of the flagellum by the flagellar type III protein export apparatus powered by proton motive force (PMF) across the cytoplasmic membrane. FlhA is an integral membrane protein of the export apparatus and is involved in an early stage of the export process along with three soluble proteins, FliH, FliI, and FliJ, but the energy coupling mechanism remains unknown. Here, we carried out site-directed mutagenesis of eight, highly conserved charged residues in putative juxta- and trans-membrane helices of FlhA. Only Asp-208 was an essential acidic residue. Most of the FlhA substitutions were tolerated, but resulted in loss-of-function in the ?fliH-fliI mutant background, even with the second-site flhB(P28T) mutation that increases the probability of flagellar protein export in the absence of FliH and FliI. The addition of FliH and FliI allowed the D45A, R85A, R94K and R270A mutant proteins to work even in the presence of the flhB(P28T) mutation. Suppressor analysis of a flhA(K203W) mutation showed an interaction between FlhA and FliR. Taken all together, we suggest that Asp-208 is directly involved in PMF-driven protein export and that the cooperative interactions of FlhA with FlhB, FliH, FliI, and FliR drive the translocation of export substrate.
Project description:For construction of the bacterial flagellum, flagellar proteins are exported via its specific export apparatus from the cytoplasm to the distal end of the growing flagellar structure. The flagellar export apparatus consists of a transmembrane (TM) export gate complex and a cytoplasmic ATPase complex consisting of FliH, FliI, and FliJ. FlhA is a TM export gate protein and plays important roles in energy coupling of protein translocation. However, the energy coupling mechanism remains unknown. Here, we performed a cross-complementation assay to measure robustness of the energy transduction system of the export apparatus against genetic perturbations. Vibrio FlhA restored motility of a Salmonella ?flhA mutant but not that of a ?fliH-fliI flhB(P28T) ?flhA mutant. The flgM mutations significantly increased flagellar gene expression levels, allowing Vibrio FlhA to exert its export activity in the ?fliH-fliI flhB(P28T) ?flhA mutant. Pull-down assays revealed that the binding affinities of Vibrio FlhA for FliJ and the FlgN-FlgK chaperone-substrate complex were much lower than those of Salmonella FlhA. These suggest that Vibrio FlhA requires the support of FliH and FliI to efficiently and properly interact with FliJ and the FlgN-FlgK complex. We propose that FliH and FliI ensure robust and efficient energy coupling of protein export during flagellar assembly.
Project description:The FliI ATPase of the flagellar type III protein export apparatus forms the FliH2FliI complex along with its regulator FliH. The FliH2FliI complex is postulated to bring export substrates from the cytoplasm to the docking platform made of FlhA and FlhB although not essential for flagellar protein export. Here, to clarify the role of the FliH2FliI complex in flagellar assembly, we analysed the effect of FliH and FliI deletion on flagellar protein export and assembly. The hook length was not controlled properly in the ?fliH-fliI flhB(P28T) mutant compared to wild-type cells, whose hook length is controlled to about 55?nm within 10% error. The FlhA(F459A) mutation increased the export level of the hook protein FlgE and the ruler protein FliK by about 10-fold and 3-fold, respectively, and improved the hook length control in the absence of FliH and FliI. However, the ?fliH-fliI flhB(P28T) flhA(F459A) mutant did not produce flagellar filaments efficiently, and a large amount of flagellin monomers were leaked out into the culture media. Neither the hook length control nor flagellin leakage was affected by the FlhB(P28T) and FlhA(F459A) mutations. We will discuss a hierarchical protein export mechanism of the bacterial flagellum.
Project description:FliI and FliJ form the FliI6FliJ ATPase complex of the bacterial flagellar export apparatus, a member of the type III secretion system. The FliI6FliJ complex is structurally similar to the ?3?3? complex of F1-ATPase. The FliH homodimer binds to FliI to connect the ATPase complex to the flagellar base, but the details are unknown. Here we report the structure of the homodimer of a C-terminal fragment of FliH (FliHC2) in complex with FliI. FliHC2 shows an unusually asymmetric homodimeric structure that markedly resembles the peripheral stalk of the A/V-type ATPases. The FliHC2-FliI hexamer model reveals that the C-terminal domains of the FliI ATPase face the cell membrane in a way similar to the F/A/V-type ATPases. We discuss the mechanism of flagellar ATPase complex formation and a common origin shared by the type III secretion system and the F/A/V-type ATPases.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi migrates to distant sites in the tick vectors and mammalian hosts through robust motility and chemotaxis activities. FliH and FliI are two cytoplasmic proteins that play important roles in the type III secretion system (T3SS)-mediated export and assembly of flagellar structural proteins. However, detailed analyses of the roles of FliH and FliI in B. burgdorferi have not been reported. In this study, fliH and fliI transposon mutants were utilized to dissect the mechanism of the Borrelia type III secretion system. The fliH and fliI mutants exhibited rod-shaped or string-like morphology, greatly reduced motility, division defects (resulting in elongated organisms with incomplete division points), and noninfectivity in mice by needle inoculation. Mutants in fliH and fliI were incapable of translational motion in 1% methylcellulose or soft agar. Inactivation of either fliH or fliI resulted in the loss of the FliH-FliI complex from otherwise intact flagellar motors, as determined by cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET). Flagellar assemblies were still present in the mutant cells, albeit in lower numbers than in wild-type cells and with truncated flagella. Genetic complementation of fliH and fliI mutants in trans restored their wild-type morphology, motility, and flagellar motor structure; however, full-length flagella and infectivity were not recovered in these complemented mutants. Based on these results, disruption of either fliH or fliI in B. burgdorferi results in a severe defect in flagellar structure and function and cell division but does not completely block the export and assembly of flagellar hook and filament proteins. IMPORTANCE:Many bacteria are able to rapidly transport themselves through their surroundings using specialized organelles called flagella. In spiral-shaped organisms called spirochetes, flagella act like inboard motors and give the bacteria the ability to bore their way through dense materials (such as human tissue) in a corkscrew manner. In this article, we studied how two proteins, called FliH and FliI, are important for the production of full-length flagella in the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Mutants with defective production of FliH and FliI have reduced flagellar length and motility; this deficiency in turn affects many aspects of B. burgdorferi's biology, including the ability to undergo cell division and cause disease in mammals. Using a microscopic computed tomography (CT) scan approach called cryo-electron tomography, the structure that contains FliH and FliI was defined in the context of the flagellar motor, providing clues regarding how this amazing nanomachine is assembled and functions.
Project description:For self-assembly of the bacterial flagellum, a specific protein export apparatus utilizes ATP and proton motive force (PMF) as the energy source to transport component proteins to the distal growing end. The export apparatus consists of a transmembrane PMF-driven export gate and a cytoplasmic ATPase complex composed of FliH, FliI and FliJ. The FliI(6)FliJ complex is structurally similar to the ?(3)?(3)? complex of F(O)F(1)-ATPase. FliJ allows the gate to efficiently utilize PMF to drive flagellar protein export but it remains unknown how. Here, we report the role of ATP hydrolysis by the FliI(6)FliJ complex. The export apparatus processively transported flagellar proteins to grow flagella even with extremely infrequent or no ATP hydrolysis by FliI mutation (E211D and E211Q, respectively). This indicates that the rate of ATP hydrolysis is not at all coupled with the export rate. Deletion of FliI residues 401 to 410 resulted in no flagellar formation although this FliI deletion mutant retained 40% of the ATPase activity, suggesting uncoupling between ATP hydrolysis and activation of the gate. We propose that infrequent ATP hydrolysis by the FliI6FliJ ring is sufficient for gate activation, allowing processive translocation of export substrates for efficient flagellar assembly.
Project description:The bacterial flagellar proteins are translocated into the central channel of the flagellum by a specific protein-export apparatus for self-assembly at the distal growing end. FliH and FliI are soluble components of the export apparatus and form an FliH2-FliI heterotrimer in the cytoplasm. FliI is an ATPase and the FliH2-FliI complex delivers export substrates from the cytoplasm to an export gate made up of six integral membrane proteins of the export apparatus. In this study, an FliHC fragment consisting of residues 99-235 was co-purified with FliI and the FliHC2-FliI complex was crystallized. Crystals were obtained using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion technique with PEG 400 as a precipitant. The crystals belonged to the orthorhombic space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a=133.7, b=147.3, c=164.2?Å, and diffracted to 3.0?Å resolution.
Project description:A soluble protein, FliJ, along with a membrane protein, FlhA, plays a role in the energy coupling mechanism for bacterial flagellar protein export. The water-soluble FliH(X)-FliI(6) ATPase ring complex allows FliJ to efficiently interact with FlhA. However, the FlhA binding site of FliJ remains unknown. Here, we carried out genetic analysis of a region formed by well-conserved residues-Gln38, Leu42, Tyr45, Tyr49, Phe72, Leu76, Ala79, and His83-of FliJ. A structural model of the FliI(6)-FliJ ring complex suggests that they extend out of the FliI(6) ring. Glutathione S-transferase (GST)-FliJ inhibited the motility of and flagellar protein export by both wild-type cells and a fliH-fliI flhB(P28T) bypass mutant. Pulldown assays revealed that the reduced export activity of the export apparatus results from the binding of GST-FliJ to FlhA. The F72A and L76A mutations of FliJ significantly reduced the binding affinity of FliJ for FlhA, thereby suppressing the inhibitory effect of GST-FliJ on the protein export. The F72A and L76A mutations were tolerated in the presence of FliH and FliI but considerably reduced motility in their absence. These two mutations affected neither the interaction with FliI nor the FliI ATPase activity. These results suggest that FliJ(F72A) and FliJ(L76A) require the support of FliH and FliI to exert their export function. Therefore, we propose that the well-conserved surface of FliJ is involved in the interaction with FlhA.