DtpB (YhiP) and DtpA (TppB, YdgR) are prototypical proton-dependent peptide transporters of Escherichia coli

Daniel Harder, Jürgen Stolz, Fabio Casagrande, Petr Obrdlik, Dietmar Weitz, Dimitrios Fotiadis, Hannelore Daniel

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47 Scopus citations


The genome of Escherichia coli contains four genes assigned to the peptide transporter (PTR) family. Of these, only tppB (ydgR) has been characterized, and named tripeptide permease, whereas protein functions encoded by the yhiP, ybgH and yjdL genes have remained unknown. Here we describe the overexpression of yhiP as a His-tagged fusion protein in E. coli and show saturable transport of glycyl-sarcosine (Gly-Sar) with an apparent affinity constant of 6.5 mm. Overexpression of the gene also increased the susceptibility of cells to the toxic dipeptide alafosfalin. Transport was strongly decreased in the presence of a protonophore but unaffected by sodium depletion, suggesting H +-dependence. This was confirmed by purification of YhiP and TppB by nickel affinity chromatography and reconstitution into liposomes. Both transporters showed Gly-Sar influx in the presence of an artificial proton gradient and generated transport currents on a chip-based sensor. Competition experiments established that YhiP transported dipeptides and tripeptides. Western blot analysis revealed an apparent mass of YhiP of 40 kDa. Taken together, these findings show that yhiP encodes a protein that mediates proton-dependent electrogenic transport of dipeptides and tripeptides with similarities to mammalian PEPT1. On the basis of our results, we propose to rename YhiP as DtpB (dipeptide and tripeptide permease B), by analogy with the nomenclature in other bacteria. We also propose to rename TppB as DtpA, to better describe its function as the first protein of the PTR family characterized in E. coli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3290-3298
Number of pages9
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • E. coli
  • PTR
  • Peptide
  • TppB
  • Transport


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