Identification of inner membrane translocase components of TolC‐mediated secretion in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Cátia F. Gonçalves, Catarina C. Pacheco, Paula Tamagnini, Paulo Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cyanobacteria were the first organisms ever to perform oxygenic photosynthesis and still significantly contribute to primary production on a global scale. To assure the proper functioning of their primary metabolism and cell homeostasis, cyanobacteria must rely on efficient transport systems to cross their multilayered cell envelope. However, cyanobacterial secretion mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here, we report on the identification of 11 putative inner membrane translocase components of TolC‐mediated secretion in the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Gene‐inactivation of each of the candidate genes followed by a comprehensive phenotypic characterization allowed to link specific protein components to the processes of protein export (as part of the type I secretion system) and drug efflux (part of the resistance‐division‐nodulation efflux pumps). In addition, mutants in genes sll0141, sll0180 and slr0369 exhibited alterations in pilin glycosylation, but pili structures could still be observed by transmission electron microscopy. By studying the release of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), an alternative secretion route, on mutants with impaired secretory functions we suggest that the hyper‐vesiculating phenotype of the TolC‐deficient mutant is related to cell envelope stress management. Altogether, these findings highlight how both classical (TolC‐mediated) and nonclassical (OMVs‐mediated) secretion systems are crucial for cyanobacterial cell homeostasis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2354-2369
JournalEnvironmental microbiology
Volume20
Issue number7
Early online date9 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

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