Primary sequence of the Escherichia coli fadL gene encoding an outer membrane protein required for long-chain fatty acid transport

P. N. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


The fadL gene of Escherichia coli encodes an outer membrane protein (FadL) that plays a central role in the uptake of exogenous long-chain fatty acids. The nucleotide sequence of the fadL gene revealed a single open reading frame of 1,344 bp encoding a protein with 448 amino acid residues and a molecular weight of 48,831. The transcriptional start, analyzed by primer extension, was shown to be 95 bp upstream from the translational start. Apparent -10 and -35 regions were found at -12 and -37 bp upstream from the transcriptional start. Three regions with hyphenated dyad symmetry (two between the transcriptional start and the translational start and one upstream from the -10 and -35 regions) were identified that may play a role in the expression of fadL. The protein product of the fadL gene contained a signal sequence and signal peptidase I cleavage site similar to that defined for other E. coli outer membrane proteins. The N-terminal sequence of the mature FadL protein was determined by automated amino acid sequencing of protein purified from the outer membrane of a strain harboring fadL under the control of a T7 RNA polymerase-responsive promoter. This amino acid sequence, Ala-Gly-Phe-Gln-Leu-Asn-Glu-Phe-Ser-Ser, verified the signal peptidase I cleavage site on pre-FadL and confirmed the N-terminal amino acid sequence of FadL predicted from the DNA sequence. Mature FadL contained 421 amino acid residues, giving a molecular weight of 45,969. The amino acid composition of FadL deduced from the DNA sequence suggested that this protein contained an abundance of hydrophobic amino acid residues and lacked cysteinyl residues. The hydrophobic amino acids within FadL were predicted to contribute to at least five regions of the protein with an overall hydrophobic character. The amino acid sequence of FadL was used to search GenBank for other proteins with amino acid sequence homology. These data demonstrated that FadL and the heat-modifiable outer membrane protein P1 of Haemophilus influenzae type b were 60.5% conserved and 42.0% identical over 438 amino acid residues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-442
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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