Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Professor Dr. David W. Andrews


The signal recognition particle pathway cotranslationally targets polytopic proteins to the inner membrane of Escherichia coli. FtsY is the receptor that is recognized by the ribosome-nascent chain-bound signal recognition particle in the bacterial targeting reaction. At the outset of this work a major unresolved issue, and current issue of some contention is the mechanism of Fts Y assembly on the E. coli inner membrane. To clarify the nature of this process, this thesis describes the region of FtsY that binds the membrane and a site-specific cleavage event that defines this region upon membrane binding. The involvement of a specific lipid, phosphatidylethanolamine and an as-yet unidentified inner membrane protein in FtsY membrane targeting are also addressed. With this understanding of the mechanisms ofFtsY membrane assembly in E. coli, additional investigations demonstrate divergent species-specific interactions with the membrane for FtsY homologues from Bacillus subtilis and Streptomyces coelicolor. Finally, the unique amino- erminal region was determined to be essential for the function of FtsY in E. coli.

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Biochemistry Commons