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Gram-negative bacteria possess specialised biogenesis machineries that facilitate the export of amyloid subunits for construction of a biofilm matrix. The secretion of bacterial functional amyloid requires a bespoke outer-membrane protein channel through which unfolded amyloid substrates are translocated. Here, we combine X-ray crystallography, native mass spectrometry, single-channel electrical recording, molecular simulations and circular dichroism measurements to provide high-resolution structural insight into the functional amyloid transporter from Pseudomonas, FapF. FapF forms a trimer of gated β-barrel channels in which opening is regulated by a helical plug connected to an extended coil-coiled platform spanning the bacterial periplasm. Although FapF represents a unique type of secretion system, it shares mechanistic features with a diverse range of peptide translocation systems. Our findings highlight alternative strategies for handling and export of amyloid protein sequences.Gram-negative bacteria assemble biofilms from amyloid fibres, which translocate across the outer membrane as unfolded amyloid precursors through a secretion system. Here, the authors characterise the structural details of the amyloid transporter FapF in Pseudomonas.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/s41467-017-00361-6

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature communications

Publication Date

15/08/2017

Volume

8

Pages

263 - 263

Addresses

Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London, SW72AZ, UK.