Structural Basis for Phosphorylated Autoinducer-2 Modulation of the Oligomerization State of the Global Transcription Regulator LsrR from Escherichia coliWu, M., Tao, Y., Liu, X., Zang, J.
(2013) J.Biol.Chem. 288: 15878-15887
- PubMed: 23589368
- DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M112.417634
- PubMed Abstract:
Quorum-sensing systems are widely used by bacteria to control behavior in response to fluctuations in cell density. Several small diffusible molecules called autoinducers act as signaling molecules in quorum-sensing processes through interplay with s ...
Quorum-sensing systems are widely used by bacteria to control behavior in response to fluctuations in cell density. Several small diffusible molecules called autoinducers act as signaling molecules in quorum-sensing processes through interplay with sensors. Autoinducers modulate vital physiological functions such as nutrient acquisition, gene transcription, and virulence factor production. In Escherichia coli, LsrR serves as a global transcription regulator that responds to autoinducer-2 to regulate the expression of a variety of genes, including the lsr operon and the lsrR gene. Here, we report the crystal structure of full-length LsrR from E. coli, which has an N-terminal DNA-binding domain and a C-terminal ligand-binding domain connected by a β-strand. Although only two molecules are found in one asymmetric unit, two neighboring dimers pack to form a tetramer that is consistent with the oligomerization state of LsrR in solution. Mutagenesis experiments and gel shift assays indicated that Gln-33 and Tyr-26 might be involved in interactions between LsrR and DNA. The LsrR-binding site for phosphorylated autoinducer-2 was predicted by structural comparisons of LsrR with CggR and SorC. Cross-linking, size exclusion chromatography, and gel shift assays determined that phosphorylated autoinducer-2 triggered the disassembly of the LsrR tetramer into dimers and reduced the DNA binding ability of LsrR. Our findings reveal a mechanism for the change in the oligomerization state of LsrR in the presence of phosphorylated autoinducer-2. Based on these observations, we propose that phosphorylated autoinducer-2 triggers the disassembly of the LsrR tetramer to activate the transcription of its target genes.
Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China.