A reporter system that discriminates EF-hand-sensor motifs from signal-modulators at the single-motif level.
ABSTRACT The T-protein is a single-polypeptide bi-functional enzyme composed of a chorismate mutase domain fused to a prephenate dehydrogenase domain (TyrA). We replaced the chorismate mutase domain with canonical or pseudo-Ca(2+)-binding motifs (EF-hand). Canonical-EF-hand-motifs differentiate from pseudo-EF-hand-motifs by experimenting a Ca(2+)-dependent conformational change. The Ca(2+)-free EF-hand-TyrA fusion-proteins showed TyrA activity at the T-protein level. Canonical-EF-hand-TyrA fusions showed a Ca(2+)-dependent loss of TyrA activity, but a pseudo-EF-hand-TyrA fusion showed high TyrA activity level in excess-Ca(2+) conditions. Because TyrA activity exhibits robust changes in response to Ca(2+)-dependent-EF-hand conformational alterations, TyrA could be a good Ca(2+)-reporter enzyme. A chimeric canonical/pseudo-EF-hand strategy is proposed to confer pseudo-EF-hand motifs with a Ca(2+)-dependent conformational change.