Summary Recent insight into the biochemical mechanism of protein translocation in Escherichia coli indicates that SecA ATPase is required both for the initial binding of preproteins to the inner membrane as well as subsequent translocation across this structure. SecA appears to promote these events by direct recognition of the preprotein or preprotein‐SecB complex, binding to inner‐membrane anionic phospholipids, insertion into the membrane biiayer and association with the preprotein translocator, SecY/SecE. ATP binding appears to control the affinity of SecA for the various components of the system and ATP hydrolysis promotes cycling between its different biochemical states. As a component likely to catalyse a rate‐determining step in protein secretion, SecA synthesis is co‐ordinated with the activity of the protein export pathway. This form of negative reguiation appears to rely on SecA protein binding to its mRNA and repressing translation if conditions of rapid protein secretion prevail within the cell. A precise biochemical scheme for SecA‐dependent catalysis of protein export and the details of secA regulation appear to be close at hand. The evolutionary conservation of SecA protein among eubacteria as well as the general requirement for translocation ATPases in other protein secretion systems argues for a mechanistic commonality of all prokaryotic protein export pathways.
Molecular Microbiology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1993
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