Membrane proteases in the bacterial protein secretion and quality control pathway.

Department of Chemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Microbiology and molecular biology reviews: MMBR (Impact Factor: 15.26). 06/2012; 76(2):311-30. DOI: 10.1128/MMBR.05019-11
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Proteolytic cleavage of proteins that are permanently or transiently associated with the cytoplasmic membrane is crucially important for a wide range of essential processes in bacteria. This applies in particular to the secretion of proteins and to membrane protein quality control. Major progress has been made in elucidating the structure-function relationships of many of the responsible membrane proteases, including signal peptidases, signal peptide hydrolases, FtsH, the rhomboid protease GlpG, and the site 1 protease DegS. These enzymes employ very different mechanisms to cleave substrates at the cytoplasmic and extracytoplasmic membrane surfaces or within the plane of the membrane. This review highlights the different ways that bacterial membrane proteases degrade their substrates, with special emphasis on catalytic mechanisms and substrate delivery to the respective active sites.

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