Localization of a Porphyromonas gingivalis 26-kilodalton heat-modifiable, hemin-regulated surface protein which translocates across the outer membrane

T. E. Bramanti, S. C. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We recently identified a 26-kDa hemin-repressible outer membrane protein (Omp26) expressed by the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. We report the localization of Omp26, which may function as a component of a hemin transport system in P. gingivalis. Under hemin-deprived conditions, P. gingivalis expressed Omp26, which was then lost from the surface after a shift back into hemin-rich conditions. Experiments with 125I labeling of surface proteins to examine the kinetics of mobilization of Omp26 determined that it was rapidly (within <1 min) lost from the cell surface after transfer into a hemin-excess environment. When cells grown under conditions of hemin excess were treated with the iron chelator 2,2'-bipyridyl, Omp26 was detected on the cell surface after 60 min. One- and two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblot analyses using purified anti-Omp26 monospecific polyclonal immunoglobulin G antisera established that Omp26 was heat modifiable (39 kDa unheated) and consisted of a single protein species. Immunogold labeling of negatively stained and chemically fixed thin-section specimens indicated that Omp26 was associated with the cell surface and outer leaflet of the P. gingivalis outer membrane in hemin-deprived conditions but was buried in the deeper recesses of the outer membrane in hemin-excess conditions. Analysis of subcellular fractions of P. gingivalis grown either in hemin-excess or hemin-deprived conditions detected Omp26 only in the cell envelope fraction, not in the cytoplasmic fraction or culture supernatant. Limited proteolytic digestion of hemin- deprived P. gingivalis with trypsin and proteinase K verified the surface location of Omp26 as well as its susceptibility to proteolytic digestion. Heat shock treatment of hemin-excess-grown P. gingivalis also resulted in Omp26 translocation onto the outer membrane surface even in the presence of hemin. Furthermore, hemin repletion of heat-shocked, hemin-deprived P. gingivalis did not result in Omp26 translocation off the outer membrane surface, suggesting that thermal stress inactivates this transmembrane event. This newly described outer membrane protein appears to be associated primarily with the outer membrane, in which it is exported to the outer membrane surface for hemin binding and may be imported across the outer membrane for intracellular hemin transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5827-5839
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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