Identification of a Novel Nutrient-Sensing Histidine Kinase/Response Regulator Network in Escherichia coli

Journal of Bacteriology, 2014, doi: 10.1128/JB.01554-14, vol. 196 no. 11 2023-2029, published on 21.03.2014
Journal of Bacteriology, online article
When carbon sources become limiting for growth, bacteria must choose which of the remaining nutrients should be used first. We have identified a nutrient-sensing signaling network in Escherichia coli that is activated at the transition to stationary phase. The network is composed of the two histidine kinase/response regulator systems YehU/YehT and YpdA/YpdB and their target proteins, YjiY and YhjX (both of which are membrane-integrated transporters). The peptide/amino acid-responsive YehU/YehT system was found to have a negative effect on expression of the target gene, yhjX, of the pyruvate-responsive YpdA/YpdB system, while the YpdA/YpdB system stimulated expression of yjiY, the target of the YehU/YehT system. These effects were confirmed in mutants lacking any of the genes for the three primary components of either system. Furthermore, an in vivo interaction assay based on bacterial adenylate cyclase detected heteromeric interactions between the membrane-bound components of the two systems, specifically, between the two histidine kinases and the two transporters, which is compatible with the formation of a larger signaling unit. Finally, the carbon storage regulator A (CsrA) was shown to be involved in posttranscriptional regulation of both yjiY and yhjX.

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