1887

Abstract

, the primary aetiological agent of dental caries, is one of the major bacteria of the human oral cavity. The pathogenicity of this bacterium is attributed not only to the expression of virulence factors, but also to its ability to respond and adapt rapidly to the ever-changing conditions of the oral cavity. The two-component signal transduction system (TCS) CovR/S plays a crucial role in virulence and stress response in many streptococci. Surprisingly, in the response regulator CovR appears to be an orphan, as the cognate sensor kinase, CovS, is absent in all the strains. We found that acetyl phosphate, an intracellular phosphodonor molecule known to act in signalling, might play a role in CovR phosphorylation We also found that , upon phosphorylation by potassium phosphoramide (a high-energy phophodonor) CovR formed a dimer and showed altered electrophoretic mobility. As expected, we found that the conserved aspartic acid residue at position 53 (D53) was the site of phosphorylation, since neither phosphorylation nor dimerization was seen when an alanine-substituted CovR mutant (D53A) was used. Surprisingly, we found that the ability of CovR to act as a transcriptional regulator does not depend upon its phosphorylation status, since the D53A mutant behaved similarly to the wild-type protein in both and DNA-binding assays. This unique phosphorylation-mediated inhibition of CovR function in sheds light on an unconventional mechanism of the signal transduction pathway.

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2018-04-01
2020-01-23
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