A Significant Fraction of Functional SecA Is Permanently Embedded in the Membrane

Xianchuan Chen, Haoda Xu, Phang C. Tai
1996 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
SecA has been suggested to cycle on and off the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli during protein translocation. We have reconstituted 35 S-SecA onto SecA-depleted membrane vesicles and followed the fate of the membrane-associated 35 S-SecA during protein translocation. Some 35 S-SecA was released from the membranes in a translocation-independent manner. However, a significant fraction of 35 S-SecA remained on the membranes even after incubation with excess SecA. This fraction of 35
more » ... was shown to be integrated into the membrane and was active in protein translocation, indicating that SecA cycling on and off membrane is not required for protein translocation. Proteolysis experiments did not support the model of SecA insertion and deinsertion during protein translocation; instead, a major 48-kDa domain was found persistently embedded in the membrane regardless of translocation status. Thus, in addition to catalyzing ATP hydrolysis, certain domains of SecA probably play an important structural role in the translocation machinery, perhaps forming part of the protein-conducting channels.
doi:10.1074/jbc.271.47.29698 pmid:8939903 fatcat:smbu5axj2bezfoqgqgumrlxrx4