Bacillus subtilis Two-Component System Sensory Kinase DegS Is Regulated by Serine Phosphorylation in Its Input Domain
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2011
Bacillus subtilis two-component system DegS/U is well known for the complexity of its regulation. The cytosolic sensory kinase DegS does not receive a single predominant input signal like most two-component kinases, instead it integrates a wide array of metabolic inputs that modulate its activity. The phosphorylation state of the response regulator DegU also does not confer a straightforward "on/off" response; it is fine-tuned and at different levels triggers different sub-regulons. Here we describe serine phosphorylation of the DegS sensing domain, which stimulates its kinase activity. We demonstrate that DegS phosphorylation can be carried out by at least two B. subtilis Hanks-type kinases in vitro, and this stimulates the phosphate transfer towards DegU. The consequences of this process were studied in vivo, using phosphomimetic (Ser76Asp) and non-phosphorylatable (Ser76Ala) mutants of DegS. In a number of physiological assays focused on different processes regulated by DegU, DegS S76D phosphomimetic mutant behaved like a strain with intermediate levels of DegU phosphorylation, whereas DegS S76A behaved like a strain with lower levels of DegU phophorylation. These findings suggest a link between DegS phosphorylation at serine 76 and the level of DegU phosphorylation, establishing this post-translational modification as an additional trigger for this two-component system.
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