Components of SurA required for outer membrane biogenesis in uropathogenic Escherichia coli

Kristin M. Watts, David A. Hunstad

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28 Scopus citations


Background: SurA is a periplasmic peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIase) and chaperone of Escherichia coli and other Gramnegative bacteria. In contrast to other PPIases, SurA appears to have a distinct role in chaperoning newly synthesized porins destined for insertion into the outer membrane. Previous studies have indicated that the chaperone activity of SurA rests in its "core module" (the N- plus C-terminal domains), based on in vivo envelope phenotypes and in vitro binding and protection of non-native substrates. Methodology/Principal Findings: In this study, we determined the components of SurA required for chaperone activity using in vivo phenotypes relevant to disease causation by uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC), namely membrane resistance to permeation by antimicrobials and maturation of the type 1 pilus usher FimD. FimD is a SurA-dependent, integral outer membrane protein through which heteropolymeric type 1 pili, which confer bladder epithelial binding and invasion capacity upon uropathogenic E. coli, are assembled and extruded. Consistent with prior results, the in vivo chaperone activity of SurA in UPEC rested primarily in the core module. However, the PPIase domains I and II were not expendable for wild-type resistance to novobiocin in broth culture. Steady-state levels of FimD were substantially restored in the UPEC surA mutant complemented with the SurA N- plus C-terminal domains. The addition of PPIase domain I augmented FimD maturation into the outer membrane, consistent with a model in which domain I enhances stability of and/or substrate binding by the core module. Conclusions/Significance: Our results confirm the core module of E. coli SurA as a potential target for novel anti-infective development.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3359
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 6 2008


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