[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photosynthetic organisms can store nitrogen by synthesizing arginine, and, therefore, feedback inhibition of arginine synthesis must be relieved in these organisms when nitrogen is abundant. This relief is accomplished by the binding of the PII signal transduction protein to acetylglutamate kinase (NAGK), the controlling enzyme of arginine synthesis. Here, we describe the crystal structure of the complex between NAGK and PII of Synechococcus elongatus, at 2.75-A resolution. We prove the physiological relevance of the observed interactions by site-directed mutagenesis and functional studies. The complex consists of two polar PII trimers sandwiching one ring-like hexameric NAGK (a trimer of dimers) with the threefold axes of these molecules aligned. The binding of PII favors a narrow ring conformation of the NAGK hexamer that is associated with arginine sites having low affinity for this inhibitor. Each PII subunit contacts one NAGK subunit only. The contacts map in the inner circumference of the NAGK ring and involve two surfaces of the PII subunit. One surface is on the PII body and interacts with the C-domain of the NAGK subunit, helping widen the arginine site found on the other side of this domain. The other surface is at the distal region of a protruding large loop (T-loop) that presents a novel compact shape. This loop is inserted in the interdomain crevice of the NAGK subunit, contacting mainly the N-domain, and playing key roles in anchoring PII on NAGK, in activating NAGK, and in complex formation regulation by MgATP, ADP, 2-oxoglutarate, and by phosphorylation of serine-49.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2007; 104(45):17644-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have used the yeast two-hybrid system to analyze protein-protein interactions mediated by domains of regulatory proteins of the ntr signal transduction system, including interactions among NtrB derivatives and their interactions with NtrC and PII from Klebsiella pneumoniae. Interactions took place only between proteins or protein domains belonging to the ntr signal transduction system and not between proteins or domains from noncognate regulators. NtrB and its transmitter domain, but not NtrC, CheA, or the cytoplasmic C terminus of EnvZ, interacted with PII. In addition, interaction of NtrB with NtrC, but not with PII, depended on the histidine phosphotransfer domain. Point mutation A129T, diminishing the NtrC phosphatase activity of NtrB, affected the strength of the signals between NtrC and the transmitter module of NtrB but had no impact on PII signals, suggesting that A129T prevents the conformational change needed by NtrB to function as a phosphatase for NtrC, rather than disturbing binding to PII.
Journal of Bacteriology 02/2002; 184(1):200-6. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Signal transduction by two-component regulatory systems involves phosphorylation of the receiver domain of a response regulator by the transmitter domain of the cognate histidine kinase. In the NtrBC system, phosphorylation of NtrC by NtrB results in transcriptional activation of nitrogen-regulated genes. We have used the yeast two-hybrid system to probe interactions between domains of the NtrB and NtrC proteins from Klebsiella pneumoniae. We constructed fusions from each of a series of proteins or protein domains to the activation and the DNA-binding domains of GAL4 and analysed expression of GAL1:lacZ and GAL1:HIS3 reporters in yeast. The DNA-binding domain of NtrC and the so-called sensor domain of NtrB appeared to provide the major determinants for dimerization of the fusion proteins. A strong and specific interaction was also shown between NtrB and NtrC, localized to the HN region of the NtrB transmitter module and to the NtrC receiver domain, whereas other domains of these proteins do not appear to contribute to the recognition specificity. The results presented here indicate that communication between two-component partners also involves protein-protein interactions that can be detected in vivo, suggesting that the yeast two-hybrid system is a powerful genetic tool for identifying functional partners of prokaryotic signal transduction pathways.