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Journal Articles Journal of Biochemistry Year : 2008

Immunity Protein Protects Colicin E2 from OmpT Protease


The endonuclease colicin E2 (ColE2), a bacteriocidal protein, and the associated cognate immunity protein (Im2) are released from producing Escherichia coli cells. ColE2 interaction with the target cell outer membrane BtuB protein and Tol import machinery allows the dissociation of Im2 from its colicin at the outer membrane surface. Here, we use in vivo approaches to show that a small amount of ColE2-Im2 protein complex bound to sensitive cells is susceptible to proteolytic cleavage by the outer membrane protease, OmpT. The presence of BtuB is required for ColE-Im2 cleavage by OmpT. The amount of colicin cleaved by OmpT is greatly enhanced when ColE2 is dissociated from Im2. We further demonstrate that OmpT cleaves the C-terminal DNase domain of the toxin. As expected, strains that over-produce OmpT are less susceptible to infection by ColE2 than by ColE2-Im2. Our findings reveal an additional function for the immunity protein beside protection of producing cells against their own colicin in the cytoplasm. Im2 protects ColE2 against OmpT-mediated proteolytic attack.

Dates and versions

hal-02893853 , version 1 (08-07-2020)



Denis Duché, Mohamed Issouf, Roland Lloubes. Immunity Protein Protects Colicin E2 from OmpT Protease. Journal of Biochemistry, 2008, 145 (1), pp.95-101. ⟨10.1093/jb/mvn149⟩. ⟨hal-02893853⟩
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