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Structure and Function of an Essential Component of the Outer Membrane Protein Assembly Machine

Science  17 Aug 2007:
Vol. 317, Issue 5840, pp. 961-964
DOI: 10.1126/science.1143993

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Abstract

Integral β-barrel proteins are found in the outer membranes of mitochondria, chloroplasts, and Gram-negative bacteria. The machine that assembles these proteins contains an integral membrane protein, called YaeT in Escherichia coli, which has one or more polypeptide transport–associated (POTRA) domains. The crystal structure of a periplasmic fragment of YaeT reveals the POTRA domain fold and suggests a model for how POTRA domains can bind different peptide sequences, as required for a machine that handles numerous β-barrel protein precursors. Analysis of POTRA domain deletions shows which are essential and provides a view of the spatial organization of this assembly machine.

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