Phosphorelay through the bifunctional phosphotransferase PhyT controls the general stress response in an alphaproteobacterium
Vorholt, Julia A.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Two-component systems constitute phosphotransfer signaling pathways and enable adaptation to environmental changes, an essential feature for bacterial survival. The general stress response (GSR) in the plant-protecting alphaproteobacterium Sphingomonas melonis Fr1 involves a two-component system consisting of multiple stress-sensing histidine kinases (Paks) and the response regulator PhyR; PhyR in turn regulates the alternative sigma factor EcfG, which controls expression of the GSR regulon. While Paks had been shown to phosphorylate PhyR in vitro, it remained unclear if and under which conditions direct phosphorylation happens in the cell, as Paks also phosphorylate the single domain response regulator SdrG, an essential yet enigmatic component of the GSR signaling pathway. Here, we analyze the role of SdrG and investigate an alternative function of the membrane-bound PhyP (here re-designated PhyT), previously assumed to act as a PhyR phosphatase. In vitro assays show that PhyT transfers a phosphoryl group from SdrG to PhyR via phosphoryl transfer on a conserved His residue. This finding, as well as complementary GSR reporter assays, indicate the participation of SdrG and PhyT in a Pak-SdrG-PhyT-PhyR phosphorelay. Furthermore, we demonstrate complex formation between PhyT and PhyR. This finding is substantiated by PhyT-dependent membrane association of PhyR in unstressed cells, while the response regulator is released from the membrane upon stress induction. Our data support a model in which PhyT sequesters PhyR, thereby favoring Pak-dependent phosphorylation of SdrG. In addition, PhyT assumes the role of the SdrG-phosphotransferase to activate PhyR. Our results place SdrG into the GSR signaling cascade and uncover a dual role of PhyT in the GSR. Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS Genetics
Pages / Article No.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Organisational unit03740 - Vorholt, Julia / Vorholt, Julia
152835 - Investigation of the alphaproteobacterial general stress response in the context of the phyllosphere environment (SNF)
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