Application of fluorescence resonance energy transfer to examine EnvZ/OmpR interactions.
ABSTRACT The EnvZ/OmpR two-component regulatory system is best known for regulating the porin genes ompF and ompC in response to changes in the osmolarity of the growth medium. In response to an unknown signal, EnvZ is autophosphorylated by ATP on a histidine residue. The phosphoryl group is subsequently transferred to a conserved aspartate residue on OmpR. Phosphorylation of OmpR increases its affinity for the regulatory regions of the porin genes, altering their expression. Phosphorylation also alters the interaction with EnvZ and OmpR. In order to study the interactions of EnvZ and OmpR, we employed a full-length EnvZ construct fused to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) that was overexpressed and targeted to the inner membrane. Spheroplasts were prepared and lysed in microtiter plates containing purified, fluorescent-labeled OmpR protein. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) from the GFP donor to fluorescein- or rhodamine-conjugated OmpR acceptor occurred, indicating that the two proteins interact. We then used FRET to further characterize the effect of phosphorylation on the interaction parameters. Results indicate that the full-length EnvZ behaves similarly to the isolated cytoplasmic domain EnvZc alone. Furthermore, the phospho-OmpR protein has a reduced affinity for the EnvZ kinase. This chapter describes general considerations regarding such experiments and provides detailed protocols for quantitatively measuring them.
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ABSTRACT: Two-component systems mediate bacterial signal transduction, employing a membrane sensor kinase and a cytoplasmic response regulator (RR). Environmental sensing is typically coupled to gene regulation. Understanding how input stimuli activate kinase autophosphorylation remains obscure. The EnvZ/OmpR system regulates expression of outer membrane proteins in response to osmotic stress. To identify EnvZ conformational changes associated with osmosensing, we used HDXMS to probe the effects of osmolytes (NaCl, sucrose) on the cytoplasmic domain of EnvZ (EnvZ(c)). Increasing osmolality decreased deuterium exchange localized to the four-helix bundle containing the autophosphorylation site (His(243)). EnvZ(c) exists as an ensemble of multiple conformations and osmolytes favoured increased helicity. High osmolality increased autophosphorylation of His(243), suggesting that these two events are linked. In-vivo analysis showed that the cytoplasmic domain of EnvZ was sufficient for osmosensing, transmembrane domains were not required. Our results challenge existing claims of robustness in EnvZ/OmpR and support a model where osmolytes promote intrahelical H-bonding enhancing helix stabilization, increasing autophosphorylation and downstream signalling. The model provides a conserved mechanism for signalling proteins that respond to diverse physical and mechanical stimuli.The EMBO Journal 04/2012; 31(11):2648-59. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Since the discovery of protein phosphorylation in bacterial nitrogen assimilation and chemotaxis more than 30 years ago, many biochemical techniques for the analysis of two-component signal transduction systems have been developed. Over time the experimental conditions to follow the flow of phosphate groups from histidine kinases to the cognate response regulators in vitro have been fine tuned. Several approaches were applied to circumvent the instability of the phosphorylated form of response regulator proteins to analyze the structures of their activated forms. Recently, a FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) assay was developed to monitor interactions of chemotaxis proteins in vivo. The availability of bacterial genome sequence databases has facilitated the identification of two-component systems and enabled prediction of interacting kinase-response regulators pairs.Current opinion in microbiology 02/2010; 13(2):246-52. · 7.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In two-component signaling systems, phosphorylated response regulators (RRs) are often dephosphorylated by their partner kinases in order to control the in vivo concentration of phospho-RR (RR approximately P). This activity is easily demonstrated in vitro, but these experiments have typically used very high concentrations of the histidine kinase (HK) compared to the RR approximately P. Many two-component systems exhibit exquisite control over the ratio of HK to RR in vivo. The question thus arises as to whether the phosphatase activity of HKs is significant in vivo. This topic will be explored in the present review.Current opinion in microbiology 03/2010; 13(2):168-76. · 7.87 Impact Factor