Extracellular secretion of Serratia marcescens nuclease occurs as a two- step process via a periplasmic intermediate. Unlike other extracellular proteins secreted by gram-negative bacteria by the general secretory pathway, nuclease accumulates in the periplasm in its active form for an unusually long time before its export into the growth medium. The energy requirements for extracellular secretion of nuclease from the periplasm were investigated. Our results suggest that the second step of secretion across the outer membrane is dependent upon the external pH; acidic pH effectively but reversibly blocks extracellular secretion. However, electrochemical proton gradient, and possibly ATP hydrolysis, are not required for this step. We suggest that nuclease uses a novel mechanism for the second step of secretion in S. marcescens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology