Gram-negative bacteria possess specialised biogenesis machineries that facilitate the export of amyloid subunits for construction of a biofilm matrix. The secretion of bacterial functional amyloid requires a bespoke outer-membrane protein channel through which unfolded amyloid substrates are translocated. Here, we combine X-ray crystallography, native mass spectrometry, single-channel electrical recording, molecular simulations and circular dichroism measurements to provide high-resolution structural insight into the functional amyloid transporter from Pseudomonas, FapF. FapF forms a trimer of gated β-barrel channels in which opening is regulated by a helical plug connected to an extended coil-coiled platform spanning the bacterial periplasm. Although FapF represents a unique type of secretion system, it shares mechanistic features with a diverse range of peptide translocation systems. Our findings highlight alternative strategies for handling and export of amyloid protein sequences.Gram-negative bacteria assemble biofilms from amyloid fibres, which translocate across the outer membrane as unfolded amyloid precursors through a secretion system. Here, the authors characterise the structural details of the amyloid transporter FapF in Pseudomonas.
- Journal Article