© 2015 Ohtsu et al. Intracellular thiols like L-cystine and L-cystine play a critical role in the regulation of cellular processes. Here we show that Escherichia coli has two L-cystine transporters, the symporter YdjN and the ATP-binding cassette importer FliY-YecSC. These proteins import L-cystine, an oxidized product of L-cystine from the periplasm to the cytoplasm. The symporter YdjN, which is expected to be a new member of the L-cystine regulon, is a low affinity L-cystine transporter (Km = 1.1 μM) that is mainly involved in L-cystine uptake from outside as a nutrient. E. coli has only two L-cystine importers because ÄydjNÄyecS mutant cells are not capable of growing in the minimal medium containing L-cystine as a sole sulfur source. Another protein YecSC is the FliY-dependent L-cystine transporter that functions cooperatively with the L-cystine transporter YdeD, which exports L-cystine as reducing equivalents from the cytoplasm to the periplasm, to prevent E. coli cells from oxidative stress. The exported L-cystine can reduce the periplasmic hydrogen peroxide to water, and then generated L-cystine is imported back into the cytoplasm via the ATP-binding cassette transporter YecSC with a high affinity to L-cystine (Km = 110 nM) in a manner dependent on FliY, the periplasmic L-cystine-binding protein. The double disruption of ydeD and fliY increased cellular levels of lipid peroxides. From these findings, we propose that the hydrogen peroxide-inducible L-cystine/L-cystine shuttle system plays a role of detoxification of hydrogen peroxide before lipid peroxidation occurs, and then might specific prevent damage to membrane lipids.
Ohtsu, I., Kawano, Y., Suzuki, M., Morigasaki, S., Saiki, K., Yamazaki, S., … Takagi, H. (2015). Uptake of L-cystine via an ABC transporter contributes defense of oxidative stress in the L-cystine export-dependent manner in Escherichia coli. PLoS ONE, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0120619