Journal of bacteriology

Physiology and substrate specificity of two closely related amino acid transporters, SerP1 and SerP2, of Lactococcus lactis.

PMID 25535271


The serP1 and serP2 genes found adjacently on the chromosome of Lactococcus lactis strains encode two members of the amino acid-polyamine-organocation (APC) superfamily of secondary transporters that share 61% sequence identity. SerP1 transports L-serine, L-threonine, and L-cysteine with high affinity. Affinity constants (Km) are in the 20 to 40 μM range. SerP2 is a DL-alanine/DL-serine/glycine transporter. The preferred substrate appears to be DL-alanine for which the affinities were found to be 38 and 20 μM for the D and L isomers, respectively. The common substrate L-serine is a high-affinity substrate of SerP1 and a low-affinity substrate of SerP2 with affinity constants of 18 and 356 μM, respectively. Growth experiments demonstrate that SerP1 is the main L-serine transporter responsible for optimal growth in media containing free amino acids as the sole source of amino acids. SerP2 is able to replace SerP1 in this role only in medium lacking the high-affinity substrates L-alanine and glycine. SerP2 plays an adverse role for the cell by being solely responsible for the uptake of toxic D-serine. The main function of SerP2 is in cell wall biosynthesis through the uptake of D-alanine, an essential precursor in peptidoglycan synthesis. SerP2 has overlapping substrate specificity and shares 42% sequence identity with CycA of Escherichia coli, a transporter whose involvement in peptidoglycan synthesis is well established. No evidence was obtained for a role of SerP1 and SerP2 in the excretion of excess amino acids during growth of L. lactis on protein/peptide-rich media.