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: Many biological signalling pathways have evolved to produce responses to environmental signals that are robust to fluctuations in protein copy number and noise. Whilst beneficial for biology, this robustness can be problematic for synthetic biologists wishing to re-engineer and subsequently tune the response of a given system. In this paper we show that the well characterised EnvZ/OmpR two-component signalling system from E. coli possesses one such robust step response. However, the synthetic addition of just a single component into the system, an extra independently controllable phosphatase, can change this behaviour to become graded, tuneable and even show adaptation. Our approach introduces a new design principle which can be simply implemented in engineering and redesigning fast signal transduction pathways for synthetic biology.Microbiology 05/2013; · 3.06 Impact Factor
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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. · 10.75 Impact Factor