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Abstract

Cyanobacteria respond to environmental stress conditions by adjusting their photosynthesis machinery. In sp. PCC 7942, phycobilisome degradation and other acclimation responses after nutrient or high-light stress require activation by the orphan response regulator NblR, a member of the OmpR/PhoB family. Although NblR contains a putative phosphorylatable residue (Asp57), it lacks other conserved residues required to chelate the Mg necessary for aspartic acid phosphorylation or to transduce the phosphorylation signal. In close agreement with these features, NblR was not phosphorylated by the low-molecular-mass phosphate donor acetyl phosphate and mutation of Asp57 to Ala had no impact on previously characterized NblR functions in . On the other hand, and assays show that the default state of NblR is monomeric, suggesting that, despite input differences, NblR activation could involve the same general mechanism of activation by dimerization present in known members of the OmpR/PhoB family. Structural and functional data indicate that the receiver domain of NblR shares similarities with other phosphorylation-independent response regulators such as FrzS and HP1043. To acknowledge the peculiarities of these atypical ‘two-component’ regulators with phosphorylation-independent signal transduction mechanisms, we propose the term PIARR, standing for phosphorylation-independent activation of response regulator.

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2008-10-01
2019-11-21
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vol. , part 10, pp. 3002 - 3015

Strategy for generation and analysis of strains WT-RCS3 and NblRD57A-RCS3. (A) The integration of the CS3 cassette (hatched bars) in the intergenic region (solid bar) between and the downstream ORFs Synpcc7942_2306 (open arrows) by homologous recombination is shown schematically. Flanking chromosome regions are represented by dotted lines and plasmid sequences by a continuous line. Depending on specific crossover sites two alternative alleles can be generated. Mutant ( ) and wild-type strains differ at the indicated I site. (B) Schematic representation of the allele structure in strains WTRCS3 and NblRD57A-RCS3. Relevant I sites are shown. Positions of primers used to verify allele structure are indicated by black arrows. (C) PCR analysis of WT-RCS3 (lane 1), NblR -RCS3 (lane 2) and sp. PCC7942 (lane 3) using primers NblR-1F (1F) and CS3-2R (2R). (D) I digestion of the PCR fragment generated with primers 1F and NblR-1R (1R). Lane numbers as in (C). M: size marker λ dIII+ RI. L: DNA 100 bp ladder (Fermentas). [ PDF] (312 kb)



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