The periplasmic chaperone Skp has long been implicated in the assembly of outer membrane proteins (OMPs) in Escherichia coli. It has been shown to interact with unfolded OMPs, and the simultaneous loss of Skp and the main periplasmic chaperone in E. coli, SurA, results in synthetic lethality. However, a δskp mutant displays only minor OMP assembly defects, and no OMPs have been shown to require Skp for their assembly. Here, we report a role for Skp in the assembly of the essential OMP LptD. This role may be compensated for by other OMP assembly proteins; in the absence of both Skp and FkpA or Skp and BamB, LptD assembly is impaired. Overexpression of SurA does not restore LptD levels in a δskp δfkpA double mutant, nor does the overexpression of Skp or FkpA restore LptD levels in the δsurA mutant, suggesting that Skp acts in concert with SurA to efficiently assemble LptD in E. coli. Other OMPs, including LamB, are less affected in the δskp δfkpA and δskp bamB::kan double mutants, suggesting that Skp is specifically necessary for the assembly of certain OMPs. Analysis of an OMP with a domain structure similar to that of LptD, FhuA, suggests that common structural features may determine which OMPs require Skp for their assembly.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology