1887

Abstract

Two-component signalling systems allow bacteria to recognize and respond to diverse environmental stimuli. Auxiliary proteins can provide an additional layer of control to these systems. The FeuPQ two-component system is required for symbiotic development and is negatively regulated by the auxiliary small periplasmic protein FeuN. This study explores the mechanistic basis of this regulation. We provide evidence that FeuN directly interacts with the sensor kinase FeuQ. Isolation and characterization of an extensive set of FeuN-insensitive and FeuN-mimicking variants of FeuQ reveal specific FeuQ residues (periplasmic and intracellular) that control the transmission of FeuN-specific signalling information. Similar analysis of the FeuN protein highlights short patches of compatibly charged residues on each protein that probably engage one another, giving rise to the downstream effects on target gene expression. The accumulated evidence suggests that the periplasmic interaction between FeuN and FeuQ introduces an intracellular conformational change in FeuQ, resulting in an increase in its ability to remove phosphate from its cognate response regulator FeuP. These observations underline the complex manner in which membrane-spanning sensor kinases interface with the extracytoplasmic environment and convert that information to changes in intracellular processes.

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2015-02-01
2020-09-22
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