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9.A.25 The Por Protein Secretin System (PorSS) Family

The phylum Bacteroidetes is large and diverse, with rapid gliding motility and the ability to digest macromolecules associated with many genera and species. A novel protein secretion system, the Por secretion system (PorSS; Type IX secretions system (T9SS)), has been identified in two members of the phylum, the gliding bacterium Flavobacterium johnsoniae and the nonmotile oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis (McBride and Zhu 2013). The components of the PorSS complex are not similar in sequence to those of other well-studied bacterial secretion systems. The F. johnsoniae PorSS genes are a subset of the gliding motility genes, suggesting a role for the secretory system in motility.  F. johnsoniae PorSS is needed for assembly of the gliding motility apparatus and for secretion of a chitinase, and the P. gingivalis PorSS is involved in secretion of gingipain protease virulence factors. Comparative analysis of 37 genomes of members of the phylum Bacteroidetes revealed the widespread occurrence of gliding motility genes and PorSS genes. Genes associated with other bacterial protein secretion systems were less common. The results suggested that gliding motility is more common than previously reported. Microscopic observations confirmed that organisms previously described as nonmotile, including Croceibacter atlanticus, 'Gramella forsetii,' Paludibacter propionicigenes, Riemerella anatipestifer, and Robiginitalea biformata, exhibit gliding motility. Three genes (gldA, gldF and gldG) that encode an apparent ATP-binding cassette transporter required for F. johnsoniae gliding were absent from two related gliding bacteria, suggesting that the transporter may not be central to gliding motility (McBride and Zhu 2013).  SprT is a member of the PorT outer membrane porin family.

The type 9 secretion system (T9SS) is a protein export pathway of the Gram-negative Fibrobacteres-Chlorobi-Bacteroidetes superphylum and is an essential determinant of pathogenicity in severe periodontal disease. The central element of the T9SS is a protein-conducting translocon located in the bacterial outer membrane. Lauber et al. 2018, using cryo-EM, provided structural evidence that the translocon is the T9SS protein SprA. SprA forms an extremely large (36-strand) single polypeptide transmembrane beta-barrel. The barrel pore is capped on the extracellular end, but has a lateral opening to the external membrane surface. Structures of SprA bound to different components of the T9SS show that partner proteins control access to the lateral opening and to the periplasmic end of the pore. These results identify a protein transporter with a distinctive architecture that uses an alternating access mechanism in which the two ends of the protein-conducting channel are open at different times (Lauber et al. 2018).

The generalized reaction catalyzed by the PorSS is:

Proteins (in) %u2192 Proteins (out)

References associated with 9.A.25 family:

Lauber, F., J.C. Deme, S.M. Lea, and B.C. Berks. (2018). Type 9 secretion system structures reveal a new protein transport mechanism. Nature 564: 77-82. 30405243
McBride, M.J. and Y. Zhu. (2013). Gliding motility and Por secretion system genes are widespread among members of the phylum bacteroidetes. J. Bacteriol. 195: 270-278. 23123910