Protein Expression and Purification vol:40 issue:2 pages:336-9
Most of the bacterial proteins that are active in extracytoplasmic locations are translocated through the inner membrane by the Sec translocase. Translocase comprises a membrane "pore" and the peripheral ATPase SecA. Where preproteins bind to SecA and how they activate translocation ATPase remains elusive. To address this central question we have purified to homogeneity the mature and preprotein parts of an exported protein (pCH5EE). pCH5EE satisfies a minimal size required for protein translocation and its membrane insertion is SecA-dependent. Purified pCH5EE and CH5EE can form physical complexes with SecA and can functionally suppress the elevated ATPase of a constitutively activated mutant. These properties render pCH5EE and CH5EE unique tools for the biochemical mapping of the preprotein binding site on SecA.