Secretion of hybrid proteins by the Yersinia Yop export system

T Michiels, G R Cornelis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    After incubation at 37 degrees C in the absence of Ca2+ ions, pathogenic strains of Yersinia spp. release large amounts of a set of plasmid-encoded proteins called Yops. The secretion of these proteins, involved in pathogenicity, occurs via a mechanism that involves neither the removal of a signal sequence nor the recognition of a C-terminal domain. Analysis of deletion mutants allowed the secretion recognition domain to be localized within the 48 N-terminal amino acids of protein YopH, within the 98 N-terminal residues of protein YopE, and within the 76 N-terminal residues of YopQ. Comparison of these regions failed to reveal any sequence similarity, suggesting that the secretion signal of Yop proteins is conformational rather than sequential. Hybrid proteins containing the amino-terminal part of YopH fused to either the alpha-peptide of beta-galactosidase or to alkaline phosphatase deprived of its signal sequence were efficiently secreted to the Yersinia culture medium. This observation opens new prospects in using Yersinia spp. as chimeric-protein producers and as potential live carriers for foreign antigens.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1677-85
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Bacteriology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1991

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