Protein Localization in Escherichia coli Cells: Comparison of the Cytoplasmic Membrane Proteins ProP, LacY, ProW, AqpZ, MscS, and MscL
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Fluorescence microscopy has revealed that the phospholipid cardiolipin (CL) and FlAsH-labeled transporters ProP and LacY are concentrated at the poles of Escherichia coli cells. The proportion of CL among E. coli phospholipids can be varied in vivo as it is decreased by cls mutations and it increases with the osmolality of the growth medium. In this report we compare the localization of CL, ProP, and LacY with that of other cytoplasmic membrane proteins. The proportion of cells in which FlAsH-labeled membrane proteins were concentrated at the cell poles was determined as a function of protein expression level and CL content. Each tagged protein was expressed from a pBAD24-derived plasmid; tagged ProP was also expressed from the chromosome. The osmosensory transporter ProP and the mechanosensitive channel MscS concentrated at the poles at frequencies correlated with the cellular CL content. The lactose transporter LacY was found at the poles at a high and CL-independent frequency. ProW (a component of the osmoregulatory transporter ProU), AqpZ (an aquaporin), and MscL (a mechanosensitive channel) were concentrated at the poles in a minority of cells, and this polar localization was CL independent. The frequency of polar localization was independent of induction (at arabinose concentrations up to 1 mM) for proteins encoded by pBAD24-derived plasmids. Complementation studies showed that ProW, AqpZ, MscS, and MscL remained functional after introduction of the FlAsH tag (CCPGCC). These data suggest that CL-dependent polar localization in E. coli cells is not a general characteristic of transporters, channels, or osmoregulatory proteins. Polar localization can be frequent and CL independent (as observed for LacY), frequent and CL dependent (as observed for ProP and MscS), or infrequent (as observed for AqpZ, ProW, and MscL).
Journal of Bacteriology