The periplasmic chaperone SurA is critical for the biogenesis of outer membrane proteins (OMPs) and, thus, the maintenance of membrane integrity in Escherichia coli. The activity of this modular chaperone has been attributed to a core chaperone module, with only minor importance assigned to the two SurA peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIase) domains. In this work, we used synthetic phenotypes and covalent tethering to demonstrate that the activity of SurA is regulated by its PPIase domains and, furthermore, that its activity is correlated with the conformational state of the chaperone. When combined with mutations in the β-barrel assembly machine (BAM), SurA mutations resulting in deletion of the second parvulin domain (P2) inhibit OMP assembly, suggesting that P2 is involved in the regulation of SurA. The first parvulin domain (P1) potentiates this autoinhibition, as mutations that covalently tether the P1 domain to the core chaperone module severely impair OMP assembly. Furthermore, these inhibitory mutations negate the suppression of and biochemically stabilize the protein specified by a well-characterized gain-of-function mutation in P1, demonstrating that SurA cycles between distinct conformational and functional states during the OMP assembly process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology