Mutations in the ribosomal protein L22 that impair peptide-mediated translation arrest in Escherichia coli have been shown to reduce the expression of several genes, including secA, which encodes an ATPase that drives protein export via the Sec pathway. Here, we used a comparative proteomic approach to obtain insight into the global effects of the L22(82-84) mutation on gene expression and protein synthesis. While the mutation did not affect or modestly affected the level of most soluble proteins, it dramatically reduced the level of antigen 43 (Ag43), a secreted virulence factor that promotes autoaggregation. The reduced protein concentration correlated with a sharp decrease in the abundance and stability of Ag43 mRNA. We found that the overexpression of secA or the inactivation of genes that encode presecretory and membrane proteins restored Ag43 production in the L22 mutant strain. Furthermore, impairment of the Sec pathway in a wild-type strain reduced Ag43 production but did not significantly affect the synthesis of other presecretory proteins. Taken together, these results indicate that Ag43 gene expression is exquisitely sensitive to the status of the Sec machinery and strongly suggest that the L22 mutation decreases the Ag43 concentration indirectly by reducing secA expression. Our results imply the existence of a novel regulatory mechanism in which the efficiency of protein export is coupled to gene expression and help to explain the modulation of SecA synthesis that has been observed in response to secretion stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology