N ε-lysine acetylation and succinylation are ubiquitous post-translational modifications in eukaryotes and bacteria. In the present study, we showed a dynamic change in acetylation and succinylation of TufA, the translation elongation factor Tu, from Bacillus subtilis. Increased acetylation of TufA was observed during the exponential growth phase in LB and minimal glucose conditions, and its acetylation level decreased upon entering the stationary phase, while its succinylation increased during the late stationary phase. TufA was also succinylated during vegetative growth under minimal citrate or succinate conditions. Mutational analysis showed that triple succinylation mimic mutations at Lys306, Lys308 and Lys316 in domain-3 of TufA had a negative effect on B. subtilis growth, whereas the non-acylation mimic mutations at these three lysine residues did not. Consistent with the growth phenotypes, the triple succinylation mimic mutant showed 67 % decreased translation activity in vitro, suggesting a possibility that succinylation at the lysine residues in domain-3 decreases the translation activity. TufA, including Lys308, was non-enzymatically succinylated by physiological concentrations of succinyl-CoA. Lys42 in the G-domain was identified as the most frequently modified acetylation site, though its acetylation was likely dispensable for TufA translation activity and growth. Determination of the intracellular levels of acetylating substrates and TufA acetylation revealed that acetyl phosphate was responsible for acetylation at several lysine sites of TufA, but not for Lys42 acetylation. It was speculated that acetyl-CoA was likely responsible for Lys42 acetylation, though AcuA acetyltransferase was not involved. Zn2+-dependent AcuC and NAD+-dependent SrtN deacetylases were responsible for deacetylation of TufA, including Lys42. These findings suggest the potential regulatory roles of acetylation and succinylation in controlling TufA function and translation in response to nutrient environments in B. subtilis.
The binding sites of YihW, an uncharacterized DeoR-family transcription factor (TF) of Escherichia coli K-12, were identified using Genomic SELEX screening at two closely located sites, one inside the spacer between the bidirectional transcription units comprising the yihUTS operon and the yihV gene, and another one upstream of the yihW gene itself. Recently the YihUTS and YihV proteins were identified as catalysing the catabolism of sulfoquinovose (SQ), a hydrolysis product of sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol (SQDG) derived from plants and other photosynthetic organisms. Gel shift assay in vitro and reporter assay in vivo indicated that YihW functions as a repressor for all three transcription units. De-repression of the yih operons was found to be under the control of SQ as inducer, but not of lactose, glucose or galactose. Furthermore, a mode of its cooperative DNA binding was suggested for YihW by atomic force microscopy. Hence, as a regulator of the catabolism of SQ, we renamed YihW as CsqR.
Two component systems, composed of a receptor histidine kinase and a cytoplasmic response regulator, regulate pivotal cellular processes in microorganisms. Here we describe a new screening procedure for the identification of amino acids that are crucial for the functioning of DesK, a prototypic thermosensor histidine kinase from Bacillus subtilis. This experimental strategy involves random mutagenesis of the membrane sensor domain of the DesK coding sequence, followed by the use of a detection procedure based on changes in the colony morphogenesis that take place during the sporulation programme of B. subtilis. This method permitted us the recovery of mutants defective in DesK temperature sensing. This screening approach could be applied to all histidine kinases of B. subtilis and also to kinases of other bacteria that are functionally expressed in this organism. Moreover, this reporter assay could be expanded to develop reporter assays for a variety of transcriptionally regulated systems.
Expression of cholera toxin (CT), the principal virulence factor of the cholera pathogen Vibrio cholerae, is positively modulated by the RNA polymerase binding unusual transcription factor DksA (DksAVc) of the stringent response pathway. Here we report that even though CT (encoded by the genes ctxAB) production is downregulated in the V. cholerae ΔdksA (ΔdksAVc ) mutant, the expression of the ctxA gene as well as the genes encoding different virulence regulators, namely, AphA, TcpP and ToxT, were also upregulated. Since DksAVc positively regulates HapR, a known negative regulator of CT production, the increased expression of different virulence genes in ΔdksAVc was due most probably to downregulation of HapR. There was no secretion/transport-related defect in ΔdksAVc cells because whole cell lysates of the mutant showed a negligible amount of CT accumulation similar to WT cells. To understand further, the hapR gene was deleted in ΔdksAVc background, however, the double mutant failed to rescue the CT production defect suggesting strongly towards post-transcriptional/translational regulation by DksAVc. This hypothesis was further confirmed when the site-directed mutagenesis of each or both of the conserved aspartic acid residues at positions 68 and 71 of DksAVc, which are essential for transcription initiation during the stringent response, had no effect in the regulation of CT expression. Interestingly, progressive deletion analysis indicated that the C4-type Zn finger motif present in the C-terminus of DksAVc is essential for optimal CT production. Since this motif plays important roles in DNA/RNA binding, the present study indicates a novel complex post-transcriptional regulation of CT expression by DksAVc.
The Streptococcus mutans Cid/Lrg system represents an ideal model for studying this organism’s ability to withstand various stressors encountered in the oral cavity. The lrg and cid operons display distinct and opposite patterns of expression in response to growth phase and glucose levels, suggesting that the activity and regulation of these proteins must be tightly coordinated in the cell and closely associated with metabolic pathways of the organism. Here, we demonstrate that expression of the cid and lrg operons is directly mediated by a global transcriptional regulator CcpA in response to glucose levels. Comparison of the cid and lrg promoter regions with the conserved CcpA binding motif revealed the presence of two potential cre sites (for CcpA binding) in the cid promoter (designated cid-cre1 and cid-cre2), which were arranged in a similar manner to those previously identified in the lrg promoter region (designated lrg-cre1 and lrg-cre2). We demonstrated that CcpA binds to both the cid and lrg promoters with a high affinity, but has an opposing glucose-dependent effect on the regulation of cid (positive) and lrg (negative) expression. DNase I footprinting analyses revealed potential binding sequences for CcpA in both cid and lrg promoter regions. Collectively, these data suggest that CcpA is a direct regulator of cid and lrg expression, and are suggestive of a potential mechanism by which Cid/Lrg-mediated virulence and cellular homeostasis is integrated with signals associated with both the environment and cellular metabolic status.