The type II secretion system (T2SS), a multiprotein machinery spanning two membranes in Gram-negative bacteria, is responsible for the secretion of folded proteins from the periplasm across the outer membrane. The critical multidomain T2SS assembly ATPase GspEEpsE had not been structurally characterized as a hexamer. Here, four hexamers of Vibrio cholerae GspEEpsE are obtained when fused to Hcp1 as an assistant hexamer, as shown with native mass spectrometry. The enzymatic activity of the GspEEpsE-Hcp1 fusions is ∼20 times higher than that of a GspEEpsE monomer, indicating that increasing the local concentration of GspEEpsE by the fusion strategy was successful. Crystal structures of GspEEpsE-Hcp1 fusions with different linker lengths reveal regular and elongated hexamers of GspEEpsE with major differences in domain orientation within subunits, and in subunit assembly. SAXS studies on GspEEpsE-Hcp1 fusions suggest that even further variability in GspEEpsE hexamer architecture is likely.
Hexamers of the Type II Secretion ATPase GspE from Vibrio cholerae with Increased ATPase Activity Connie Lu, Stewart Turley, Samuel T. Marionni, Young-Jun Park, Kelly K. Lee, Marcella Patrick, Ripal Shah, Maria Sandkvist, Matthew F. Bush, Wim G.J. Hol. Structure 2013, 21, 1707–1717. (Link|PUBMED)