Two ABC transport systems carry out peptide uptake in Enterococcus faecalis: Their roles in growth and in uptake of sex pheromones

Takaya Segawa, Christopher M. Johnson, Ronnie P.A. Berntsson, Gary M. Dunny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Enterococcal pheromone-inducible plasmids encode a predicted OppA-family secreted lipoprotein. In the case of plasmid pCF10, the protein is PrgZ, which enhances the mating response to cCF10 pheromone. OppA proteins generally function with associated OppBCDF ABC transporters to import peptides. In this study, we analyzed the potential interactions of PrgZ with two host-encoded Opp transporters using two pheromone-inducible fluorescent reporter constructs. Based on our results, we propose renaming these loci opp1 (OG1RF_10634-10639) and opp2 (OG1RF_12366-12370). We also examined the ability of the Opp1 and Opp2 systems to mediate import in the absence of PrgZ. Cells expressing PrgZ were able to import pheromone if either opp1 or opp2 was functional, but not if both opp loci were disrupted. In the absence of PrgZ, pheromone import was dependent on a functional opp2 system, including opp2A. Comparative structural analysis of the peptide-binding pockets of PrgZ, Opp1A, Opp2A, and the related Lactococcus lactis OppA protein, suggested that the robust pheromone-binding ability of PrgZ relates to a nearly optimal fit of the hydrophobic peptide, whereas binding ability of Opp2A likely results from a more open, promiscuous peptide-binding pocket similar to L. lactis OppA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-469
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number2
Early online dateApr 5 2021
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dawn Manias for assistance with protein and reagent preparation. This research was supported by USPHS grant 5R35GM118079 to GMD and grants from the Swedish Research Council (2016‐03599) and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation to RP‐AB. TS was a recipient of a fellowship from the Uehara Memorial Foundation. CMJ was a recipient of a Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


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