Matthias Müller

University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

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Publications (52)231.04 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Twin-arginine translocation (Tat) systems mediate the transmembrane translocation of completely folded proteins that possess a conserved twin-arginine (RR) motif in their signal sequences. Many Tat systems consist of three essential membrane components named TatA, TatB, and TatC. It is not understood why some bacteria, in addition, constitutively express a functional paralog of TatA called TatE. Here we show, in live Escherichia coli cells, that, upon expression of a Tat substrate protein, fluorescently labeled TatE-GFP relocates from a rather uniform distribution in the plasma membrane into a number of discrete clusters. Clustering strictly required an intact RR signal peptide and the presence of the TatABC subunits, suggesting that TatE-GFP associates with functional Tat translocases. In support of this notion, site-specific photo cross-linking revealed interactions of TatE with TatA, TatB, and TatC. The same approach also disclosed a pronounced tendency of TatE and TatA to hetero-oligomerize. Under in vitro conditions, we found that TatE replaces TatA inefficiently. Our collective results are consistent with TatE being a regular constituent of the Tat translocase in E. coli.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The so-called Tat (twin-arginine translocation) system transports completely folded proteins across cellular membranes of archaea, prokaryotes and plant chloroplasts. Tat-directed proteins are distinguished by a conserved twin-arginine (RR-) motif in their signal sequences. Many Tat systems are based on the membrane proteins TatA, TatB and TatC, of which TatB and TatC are known to cooperate in binding RR-signal peptides and to form higher-order oligomeric structures. We have now elucidated the fine architecture of TatBC oligomers assembled to form closed intramembrane substrate-binding cavities. The identification of distinct homonymous and heteronymous contacts between TatB and TatC suggest that TatB monomers coalesce into dome-like TatB structures that are surrounded by outer rings of TatC monomers. We also show that these TatBC complexes are approached by TatA protomers through their N-termini, which thereby establish contacts with TatB and membrane-inserted RR-precursors.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Nature Communications
  • Enguo Fan · Derrick Norell · Matthias Müller
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    ABSTRACT: The two-partner secretion (TPS) pathway is used by gram-negative bacteria to secrete a large family of virulence exoproteins. Its name is derived from the fact that it involves two proteins, a secreted TpsA protein and a cognate TpsB transporter in the outer membrane. A typical TPS system is represented by the filamentous hemagglutinin FhaB (TpsA protein) and its transporter FhaC (TpsB protein) of Bordetella pertussis . Results from mutational analysis and heterologous expression experiments suggested that FhaC is essential for FhaB translocation across the outer membrane of bacteria. We have devised a cell-free biochemical assay to reconstitute in vitro the translocation of FhaB into reconstituted membrane vesicles. Thereby the clearest evidence has been provided that the single β-barrel FhaC protein serves as the sole translocator to transport FhaB across the outer membrane. This is the first in vitro assay for protein secretion across the Escherichia coli outer membrane and the detailed protocol described here should be amenable to modifications and application to the analysis of related protein transport events occurring at the outer membranes of gram-negative bacteria.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Outer membrane proteins are vital for Gram-negative bacteria and organisms which inheri-ted organelles from them. Proteins from the Omp85/BamA family carry out the insertion of membrane proteins into the outer membrane. We show that an 8-stranded outer mem¬brane β-barrel protein, TtoA, is inserted and folded into liposomes by an Omp85 homo¬logue. Furthermore, we recorded the channel conduc¬tance of this Omp85 protein in black-lipid mem¬branes, alone and in presence of peptides comprising the sequence of the two N- and the two C-terminal β-strands of TtoA. Only with the latter a long-living com¬pound channel could be observed that exhibits larger conduc¬tance levels than the Omp85 protein alone. These data support a model where unfolded outer membrane pro¬tein after docking with its C-terminus, penetrates into the transmembrane β-barrel of the Omp85 protein and aug-ments its β-sheet at the first strand. Augmentation with successive β-strands leads to a com-pound, dilated barrel of both proteins.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Biochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Gram-negative bacteria use the type-V secretion pathway to expose proteins at their cell surface, many of which have virulence functions. Translocation of those proteins across the outer membrane occurs either by means of dedicated translocator proteins (two-partner secretion) or covalently fused translocator domains (autotransporters). Translocator proteins and translocator domains are β-barrels requiring the β-barrel assembly machinery (BAM) for membrane integration. However, the molecular details of their passage across the envelope and insertion into the outer membrane remain enigmatic, owing in part to the fact that in vitro systems are not available. Here we describe a versatile in vitro reconstitution system that faithfully reproduces both branches of the type-V secretion pathway and the assembly of β-barrel outer membrane proteins. This system will allow an in-depth analysis of protein secretion across and integration into outer membranes.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Protein secretion in Gram-negative bacteria is essential for both cell viability and pathogenesis. The vast majority of secreted proteins exit the cytoplasm through a transmembrane conduit called the Sec translocon in a process that is facilitated by ancillary modules, such as SecA, SecDF-YajC, YidC, and PpiD. In this study we have characterized YfgM, a protein with no annotated function. We found it to be a novel ancillary subunit of the Sec translocon as it co-purifies with both PpiD and the SecYEG translocon after immunoprecipitation and blue native/SDS-PAGE. Phenotypic analyses of strains lacking yfgM suggest that its physiological role in the cell overlaps with the periplasmic chaperones SurA and Skp. We, therefore, propose a role for YfgM in mediating the trafficking of proteins from the Sec translocon to the periplasmic chaperone network that contains SurA, Skp, DegP, PpiD, and FkpA.
    Preview · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    Yufan Zhou · Takuya Ueda · Matthias Müller
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    ABSTRACT: The Sec translocon of bacterial plasma membranes mediates the linear translocation of secretory proteins as well as the lateral integration of membrane proteins. Integration of many membrane proteins occurs co-translationally via the signal recognition particle (SRP)-dependent targeting of ribosome-associated nascent chains to the Sec translocon. In contrast, translocation of classical secretory proteins across the Sec translocon is a post-translational event requiring no SRP but the motor protein SecA. Secretory proteins were, however, reported to utilize SRP in addition to SecA, if the hydrophobicity of their signal sequences exceeds a certain threshold value. Here we have analyzed transport of this subgroup of secretory proteins across the Sec translocon employing an entirely defined in vitro system. We thus found SecA to be both necessary and sufficient for translocation of secretory proteins with hydrophobic signal sequences, whereas SRP and its receptor improved translocation efficiency. This SRP-mediated boost of translocation is likely due to the early capture of the hydrophobic signal sequence by SRP as revealed by site-specific photo cross-linking of ribosome nascent chain complexes.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    Patrick Rose · Julia Fröbel · Peter L Graumann · Matthias Müller
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    ABSTRACT: The twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway guides fully folded proteins across membranes of bacteria, archaea and plant chloroplasts. In Escherichia coli, Tat-specific transport is executed in a still largely unknown manner by three functionally diverse membrane proteins, termed TatA, TatB, and TatC. In order to follow the intracellular distribution of the TatABC proteins in live E. coli cells, we have individually expressed fluorophore-tagged versions of each Tat protein in addition to a set of chromosomally encoded TatABC proteins. In this way, a Tat translocase could form from the native TatABC proteins and be visualized via the association of a fluorescent Tat variant. A functionally active TatA-green fluorescent protein fusion was found to re-locate from a uniform distribution in the membrane into a few clusters preferentially located at the cell poles. Clustering was absolutely dependent on the co-expression of functional Tat substrates, the proton-motive force, and the cognate TatBC subunits. Likewise, polar cluster formation of a functional TatB-mCherry fusion required TatA and TatC and that of a functional TatC-mCherry fusion a functional Tat substrate. Furthermore we directly demonstrate the co-localization of TatA and TatB in the same fluorescent clusters. Our collective results are consistent with distinct Tat translocation sites dynamically forming in vivo in response to newly synthesized Tat substrates.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Gram negative bacteria possess a large variety of protein transport systems, by which proteins that are synthesised in the cytosol are exported to destinations in the cell envelope or entirely secreted into the extracellular environment. The inner membrane (IM) contains three major transport systems for the translocation and insertion of signal sequence containing proteins: the Sec translocon, the YidC insertase, and the Tat system. The heterotrimeric SecYEG translocon forms a narrow channel in the membrane that serves a dual function; it allows the translocation of unfolded proteins across the pore and the integration of α-helical proteins into the IM. The YidC insertase is a multi-spanning membrane protein that cooperates with the SecYEG translocon during the integration of membrane proteins but also functions as an independent insertase. Depending upon the type of protein cargo that needs to be transported, the Signal Recognition Particle (SRP), the SRP receptor, SecA and chaperones are required to coordinate translation with transport and to target and energise the different transport systems. The Tat system consists of three membrane proteins (TatA, TatB and TatC) which in a still unknown manner accomplish the transmembrane passage of completely folded proteins and protein complexes.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Research in Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: The twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway of bacteria and plant chloroplasts mediates the transmembrane transport of folded proteins, which harbour signal sequences with a conserved twin-arginine motif. Many Tat translocases comprise the three membrane proteins TatA, TatB and TatC. TatC was previously shown to be involved in recognizing twin-arginine signal peptides. Here we show that beyond recognition, TatC mediates the transmembrane insertion of a twin-arginine signal sequence, thereby translocating the signal sequence cleavage site across the bilayer. In the absence of TatB, this can lead to the removal of the signal sequence even from a translocation-incompetent substrate. Hence interaction of twin-arginine signal peptides with TatB counteracts their premature cleavage uncoupled from translocation. This capacity of TatB is not shared by the homologous TatA protein. Collectively our results suggest that TatC is an insertase for twin-arginine signal peptides and that translocation-proficient signal sequence recognition requires the concerted action of TatC and TatB.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: The twin arginine transport (Tat) system transports folded proteins across the prokaryotic cytoplasmic membrane and the plant thylakoid membrane. TatC is the largest and most conserved component of the Tat machinery. It forms a multisubunit complex with TatB and binds the signal peptides of Tat substrates. Here we have taken a random mutagenesis approach to identify substitutions in Escherichia coli TatC that inactivate protein transport. We identify 32 individual amino acid substitutions that abolish or severely compromise TatC activity. The majority of the inactivating substitutions fall within the first two periplasmic loops of TatC. These regions are predicted to have conserved secondary structure and results of extensive amino acid insertion and deletion mutagenesis are consistent with these conserved elements being essential for TatC function. Three inactivating substitutions were identified in the fifth transmembrane helix of TatC. The inactive M205R variant could be suppressed by mutations affecting amino acids in the transmembrane helix of TatB. A physical interaction between TatC helix 5 and the TatB transmembrane helix was confirmed by the formation of a site-specific disulphide bond between TatC M205C and TatB L9C variants. This is the first molecular contact site mapped to single amino acid level between these two proteins.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Molecular Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: The twin arginine translocation (Tat) pathway transports folded proteins across the cytoplasmic membrane of bacteria. Tat signal peptides contain a consensus motif (S/T-R-R-X-F-L-K) that is thought to play a crucial role in substrate recognition by the Tat translocase. Replacement of the phenylalanine at the +2 consensus position in the signal peptide of a Tat-specific reporter protein (TorA-MalE) by aspartate blocked export of the corresponding TorA(D(+2))-MalE precursor, indicating that this mutation prevents a productive binding of the TorA(D(+2)) signal peptide to the Tat translocase. Mutations were identified in the extreme amino-terminal regions of TatB and TatC that synergistically suppressed the export defect of TorA(D(+2))-MalE when present in pairwise or triple combinations. The observed synergistic suppression activities were even more pronounced in the restoration of membrane translocation of another export-defective precursor, TorA(KQ)-MalE, in which the conserved twin arginine residues had been replaced by lysine-glutamine. Collectively, these findings indicate that the extreme amino-terminal regions of TatB and TatC cooperate tightly during recognition and productive binding of Tat-dependent precursor proteins and, furthermore, that TatB and TatC are both involved in the formation of a specific signal peptide binding site that reaches out as far as the end of the TatB transmembrane segment.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    Julia Fröbel · Patrick Rose · Matthias Müller
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    ABSTRACT: Twin-arginine translocation (Tat) denotes a protein transport pathway in bacteria, archaea and plant chloroplasts, which is specific for precursor proteins harbouring a characteristic twin-arginine pair in their signal sequences. Many Tat substrates receive cofactors and fold prior to translocation. For a subset of them, proofreading chaperones coordinate maturation and membrane-targeting. Tat translocases comprise two kinds of membrane proteins, a hexahelical TatC-type protein and one or two members of the single-spanning TatA protein family, called TatA and TatB. TatC- and TatA-type proteins form homo- and hetero-oligomeric complexes. The subunits of TatABC translocases are predominantly recovered from two separate complexes, a TatBC complex that might contain some TatA, and a homomeric TatA complex. TatB and TatC coordinately recognize twin-arginine signal peptides and accommodate them in membrane-embedded binding pockets. Advanced binding of the signal sequence to the Tat translocase requires the proton-motive force (PMF) across the membranes and might involve a first recruitment of TatA. When targeted in this manner, folded twin-arginine precursors induce homo-oligomerization of TatB and TatA. Ultimately, this leads to the formation of a transmembrane protein conduit that possibly consists of a pore-like TatA structure. The translocation step again is dependent on the PMF.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: A number of secreted precursor proteins of bacteria, archaea, and plant chloroplasts stand out by a conserved twin arginine-containing sequence motif in their signal peptides. Many of these precursor proteins are secreted in a completely folded conformation by specific twin arginine translocation (Tat) machineries. Tat machineries are high molecular mass complexes consisting of two types of membrane proteins, a hexahelical TatC protein, and usually one or two single-spanning membrane proteins, called TatA and TatB. TatC has previously been shown to be involved in the recognition of twin arginine signal peptides. We have performed an extensive site-specific cross-linking analysis of the Escherichia coli TatC protein under resting and translocating conditions. This strategy allowed us to map the recognition site for twin arginine signal peptides to the cytosolic N-terminal region and first cytosolic loop of TatC. In addition, discrete contact sites between TatC, TatB, and TatA were revealed. We discuss a tentative model of how a twin arginine signal sequence might be accommodated in the Tat translocase.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    Julia Fröbel · Patrick Rose · Matthias Müller
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    ABSTRACT: Twin-arginine translocation (Tat) is a unique protein transport pathway in bacteria, archaea, and plastids. It mediates the transmembrane transport of fully folded proteins, which harbor a consensus twin-arginine motif in their signal sequences. In Gram-negative bacteria and plant chloroplasts, three membrane proteins, named TatA, TatB, and TatC, are required to enable Tat translocation. Available data suggest that TatA assembles into oligomeric pore-like structures that might function as the protein conduit across the lipid bilayer. Using site-specific photo-cross-linking, we have investigated the molecular environment of TatA under resting and translocating conditions. We find that monomeric TatA is an early interacting partner of functionally targeted Tat substrates. This interaction with TatA likely precedes translocation of Tat substrates and is influenced by the proton-motive force. It strictly depends on the presence of TatB and TatC, the latter of which is shown to make contacts with the transmembrane helix of TatA.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Protein insertion into the bacterial inner membrane is facilitated by SecYEG or YidC. Although SecYEG most likely constitutes the major integration site, small membrane proteins have been shown to integrate via YidC. We show that YidC can also integrate multispanning membrane proteins such as mannitol permease or TatC, which had been considered to be exclusively integrated by SecYEG. Only SecA-dependent multispanning membrane proteins strictly require SecYEG for integration, which suggests that SecA can only interact with the SecYEG translocon, but not with the YidC insertase. Targeting of multispanning membrane proteins to YidC is mediated by signal recognition particle (SRP), and we show by site-directed cross-linking that the C-terminus of YidC is in contact with SRP, the SRP receptor, and ribosomal proteins. These findings indicate that SRP recognizes membrane proteins independent of the downstream integration site and that many membrane proteins can probably use either SecYEG or YidC for integration. Because protein synthesis is much slower than protein transport, the use of YidC as an additional integration site for multispanning membrane proteins may prevent a situation in which the majority of SecYEG complexes are occupied by translating ribosomes during cotranslational insertion, impeding the translocation of secretory proteins.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Molecular biology of the cell
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms of protein secretion by pathogenic bacteria remain poorly understood. In gram-negative bacteria, the two-partner secretion pathway exports large, mostly virulence-related "TpsA" proteins across the outer membrane via their dedicated "TpsB" transporters. TpsB transporters belong to the ubiquitous Omp85 superfamily, whose members are involved in protein translocation across, or integration into, cellular membranes. The filamentous hemagglutinin/FhaC pair of Bordetella pertussis is a model two-partner secretion system. We have reconstituted the TpsB transporter FhaC into proteoliposomes and demonstrate that FhaC is the sole outer membrane protein required for translocation of its cognate TpsA protein. This is the first in vitro system for analyzing protein secretion across the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. Our data also provide clear evidence for the protein translocation function of Omp85 transporters.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The twin arginine protein transport (Tat) system transports folded proteins across the cytoplasmic membranes of prokaryotes and the thylakoid membranes of plant chloroplasts. In Escherichia coli, the TatB and TatC components form a multivalent receptor complex that binds Tat substrates. Here, we have used a genetic fusion approach to construct covalent TatC oligomers in order to probe the organisation of TatC. A fused dimer of TatC supported Tat transport activity and was fully stable in vivo. Inactivating point mutations in one or other of the TatC units in the fused TatC dimer did not inactivate TatC function, indicating that only one TatC protomer in the TatC fused dimer needs to be active. Larger covalent fusions of TatC also supported Tat transport activity but were degraded in vivo to release smaller TatC forms. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that TatC forms a functional dimer, and support the idea that there is an even number of TatC protomers in the TatBC complex.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology
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    ABSTRACT: Twin-arginine-containing signal sequences mediate the transmembrane transport of folded proteins. The cognate twin-arginine translocation (Tat) machinery of Escherichia coli consists of the membrane proteins TatA, TatB, and TatC. Whereas Tat signal peptides are recognized by TatB and TatC, little is known about molecular contacts of the mature, folded part of Tat precursor proteins. We have placed a photo-cross-linker into Tat substrates at sites predicted to be either surface-exposed or hidden in the core of the folded proteins. On targeting of these variants to the Tat machinery of membrane vesicles, all surface-exposed sites were found in close proximity to TatB. Correspondingly, incorporation of the cross-linker into TatB revealed multiple precursor-binding sites in the predicted transmembrane and amphipathic helices of TatB. Large adducts indicative of TatB oligomers contacting one precursor molecule were also obtained. Cross-linking of Tat substrates to TatB required an intact twin-arginine signal peptide and disappeared upon transmembrane translocation. Our collective data are consistent with TatB forming an oligomeric binding site that transiently accommodates folded Tat precursors.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Molecular biology of the cell
  • Sascha Panahandeh · Matthias Müller
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    ABSTRACT: A method is described for the preparation and usage of an E. coli cell-free translation system primed to incorporate the commercially available photoreactive analogue of phenyalanine, pBpa, into newly synthesized proteins. Incorporation is achieved by means of an amber suppressor tRNA specifically charged with pBpa. The method is exemplified for the site-specific photocross-linking of the signal sequence of a Tat (twin-arginine translocation) precursor protein to the Tat translocase in the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2010 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)

Publication Stats

2k Citations
231.04 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1989-2015
    • University of Freiburg
      • • Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      • • Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (Organic Chemistry)
      Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2005
    • Evangelische Hochschule Freiburg, Germany
      Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 1995-1998
    • Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich
      München, Bavaria, Germany