Chimeras created by fusing the monomeric red fluorescent protein (RFP) to a bacterial lipoprotein signal peptide (lipoRFPs) were visualized in the cell envelope by epifluorescence microscopy. Plasmolysis of the bacteria separated the inner and outer membranes, allowing the specific subcellular localization of lipoRFPs to be determined in situ. When equipped with the canonical inner membrane lipoprotein retention signal CDSR, lipoRFP was located in the inner membrane in Escherichia coli, whereas the outer membrane sorting signal CSSR caused lipoRFP to localize to the outer membrane. CFSR-RFP was also routed to the outer membrane, but CFNSR-RFP was located in the inner membrane, consistent with previous data showing that this sequence functions as an inner membrane retention signal. These four lipoproteins exhibited identical localization patterns in a panel of members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, showing that the lipoprotein sorting rules are conserved in these bacteria and validating the use of E. coli as a model system. Although most predicted inner membrane lipoproteins in these bacteria have an aspartate residue after the fatty acylated N-terminal cysteine residue, alternative signals such as CFN can and probably do function in parallel, as indicated by the existence of putative inner membrane lipoproteins with this sequence at their N termini.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Bacteriology|
|Publication status||Published - May 2006|