YscU/FlhB of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis harbors a C-terminal T3S signal [Microbiology]

September 3rd, 2015 by Login, F. H., Wolf-Watz, H.

All type III secretion system (T3SS) harbors a member of the YscU/FlhB family of proteins that is characterized by an auto-proteolytic process that occurs at a conserved cytoplasmic NPTH motif. We have previously demonstrated that YscUCC, the C-terminal peptide generated by auto-proteolysis of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis YscU, is secreted by the T3SS when bacteria are grown in Ca2+-depleted medium at 37°C. Here, we investigated the secretion of this early T3S-substrate and showed that YscUCC encompasses a specific C-terminal T3S signal within the 15 last residues (U15). U15 promoted C-terminal secretion of reporter proteins like GST and YopE lacking its native secretion signal. Similarly to the "classical" N-terminal secretion signal, U15 interacted with the ATPase YscN. Although U15 is critical for YscUCC secretion, deletion of the C-terminal secretion signal of YscUCC did neither affect Yop secretion nor Yop translocation. However, these deletions resulted in increased secretion of YscF, the needle subunit. Thus, these results suggest that YscU via its C-terminal secretion signal is involved in regulation of the YscF secretion.