Exploring the size limit of protein diffusion through the periplasm in cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 using the 13 kDa iLOV fluorescent protein

Zhang, L., Risoul, V., Latifi, A., Christie, J.M. and Zhang, C. (2013) Exploring the size limit of protein diffusion through the periplasm in cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 using the 13 kDa iLOV fluorescent protein. Research in Microbiology, 164(7), pp. 710-717. (doi:10.1016/j.resmic.2013.05.004)

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Abstract

In the filamentous heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena PCC 7120, vegetative cells and heterocysts are interdependent on each other and engaged in exchanges of metabolites for survival when grown under diazotrophic conditions. In this organism, the periplasm appears to be continuous along each filament, with a shared outer membrane; however, barriers exist preventing free diffusion of the fluorescent protein GFP (27 kDa) targeted into the periplasmic space. Here we expressed a smaller fluorescent protein iLOV (∼13 kDa) fused to the All3333 (a putative homologue of NrtA) signal sequence corresponding to those recognized by the TAT protein translocation system, which exports iLOV to the periplasm of either heterocysts or vegetative cells. Fluorescence microscopy and immunoblot analysis indicated that the iLOV protein is translocated into the periplasm of the producing cell and properly processed, but does not diffuse to neighboring cells via the periplasm. Thus, periplasmic barriers appear to block diffusion of molecules with a size of 13 kDa, the minimum size tested thus far. Assuming that the physical barrier is the peptidoglycan sacculus, its pores might allow diffusion of molecules within the size range between the PatS pentapeptide and iLOV, thus between 0.53 kDa and 13 kDa.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Christie, Professor John
Authors: Zhang, L., Risoul, V., Latifi, A., Christie, J.M., and Zhang, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Research in Microbiology
ISSN:0923-2508
ISSN (Online):1769-7123

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