The cydD gene of Escherichia coli encodes a protein which, together with the CydC protein, probably constitutes a heterodimeric, ABC-family membrane transporter, necessary for biosynthesis of the cytochrome bd quinol oxidase. Here, we demonstrate that a cydD mutant also fails to synthesise periplasmic c-type cytochrome(s), suggesting that the transporter exports haem or some other component involved in assembly of cytochromes that are found in, or exposed to, the periplasm. The CydDC system appears to be the first example of a transporter required for periplasmic cytochrome assembly processes requiring more than one type of haem. A mutant defective in trxB (adjacent to the cydDC operon, and encoding thioredoxin reductase) was unaffected in cytochrome c or bd assembly.
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