QR Code
Vega-Baray, Benjamin; Domenzain, Clelia; Poggio, Sebastian; Dreyfus, Georges; Camarena, Laura (2022)

THE HISTIDINE KINASE CCKA IS DIRECTLY INHIBITED BY A RESPONSE REGULATOR-LIKE PROTEIN IN A NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LOOP

mBio ():
full text

In alphaproteobacteria, the two-component system (TCS) formed by the hybrid histidine kinase CckA, the phosphotransfer protein ChpT, and the response regulator CtrA is widely distributed. In these microorganisms, this system controls diverse functions such as motility, DNA repair, and cell division. In and , CckA is regulated by the pseudo- histidine kinase DivL, and the response regulator DivK. However, this regulatory circuit differs for other bacterial groups. For instance, in DivK is absent and DivL consists of only the regulatory PAS domain. In this study, we report that, in Rhodobacter sphaeroides, the kinase activity of CckA is inhibited by Osp, a single domain response regulator (SDRR) protein that directly interacts with the transmitter domain of CckA. , the kinase activity of CckA was severely inhibited with an equimolar amount of Osp, whereas the phosphatase activity of CckA was not affected. We also found that the expression of is activated by CtrA creating a negative feedback loop. However, under growth conditions known to activate the TCS, the increased expression of does not parallel Osp accumulation, indicating a complex regulation. Phylogenetic analysis of selected species of revealed that Osp is widely distributed in several genera. For most of these species, we found a sequence highly similar to the CtrA-binding site in the control region of , suggesting that the TCS CckA/ChpT/CtrA is controlled by a novel regulatory circuit that includes Osp in these bacteria. The two-component systems (TCS) in bacteria in its simplest architecture consist of a histidine kinase (HK) and a response regulator (RR). In response to a specific stimulus, the HK is activated and drives phosphorylation of the RR, which is responsible of generating an adaptive response. These systems are ubiquitous among bacteria and are frequently controlled by accessory proteins. In alphaproteobacteria, the TCS formed by the HK CckA, the phosphotransferase ChpT, and the RR CtrA is widely distributed. Currently, most of the information of this system and its regulatory proteins comes from findings carried out in microorganisms where it is essential. However, this is not the case in many species, and studies of this TCS and its regulatory proteins are lacking. In this study, we found that Osp, a RR-like protein, inhibits the kinase activity of CckA in a negative feedback loop since expression is activated by CtrA. The inhibitory role of Osp and the similar action of the previously reported FixT protein, suggests the existence of a new group of RR-like proteins whose main function is to interact with the HK and prevent its phosphorylation.