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Title:Investigation of the roles of CheD in the Bacillus subtilis chemotactic signal transduction
Author(s):Yuan, Wei
Director of Research:Ordal, George W.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ordal, George W.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Gennis, Robert B.; Morrissey, James H.; Rao, Christopher V.
Department / Program:Biochemistry
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCP)
Abstract:Abstract The two-component based chemotaxis signal transduction system allows flagellated bacteria to sense their surrounding chemical environment and move towards more favorable conditions. The attractant signals can be sensed by transmembrane chemoreceptors, and then transmitted to the histidine kinase CheA. Once activated, CheA interacts with the response regulator CheY through phosphorelay, which causes a change in the rotation of the flagella. The direction of flagella rotation determines whether a cell swims straight or just tumbles. Cells also need adaptation to respond to a change in chemical concentrations, and return to their prestimulated level. Adaptation in the B. subtilis chemotaxis system is achieved by three coordinated systems: the methylation system, the CheC/CheD/CheY-p system and the CheV system. CheD, the previously identified receptor deamidase, was shown to be critical to the ability of B. subtilis to perform chemotaxis and is the main focus of this study. This study started from characterization of the enzymatic mechanism of CheD. Results showed that CheD deamidase uses a cysteine hydrolase mechanism. The catalytic triad consisting of Cys33-His50-Thr27, and Ser27 is essential for receptor recognition and binding. In addition, in this study CheC was found to inhibit CheD’s deamidase activity. Through mutant screening, Phe102 on CheD was found to be the essential site to interact with CheC. Furthermore, the CheD/CheC interaction is necessary for the robust chemotaxis in vivo as demonstrated by the cheD (F102E) mutant, which lacks the ability to swim on swarm plates. Despite its deamidase activity, we hypothesized that CheD’s main role is its involvement in the CheD-CheC-CheY-p negative feedback pathway during adaptation. In particular, CheD is likely to help stabilize the transient kinase-activating state through binding to receptors. When CheY-p level is increased, CheC-CheY-p complex may attract CheD away from receptors. In this study, CheC-CheD binding kinetics with CheY or CheYp presence was successfully obtained by a series of SPR experiments. The increased affinity of CheD for CheC in presence of CheYp but not CheY makes likely the hypothesis that CheC-CheD-CheY interact as part of a negative feedback pathway during adaptation. Last, the interaction between CheD and chemoreceptor McpC was studied in order to better understand the role of CheD in adaptation. Results showed that Q304 and Q305 on McpC are essential to recruit CheD. Additionally, the reduced levels of CheD in mcpC (Q304A) or (Q305A) mutants suggested that the dynamic interaction between CheD and receptors is vital to maintain the normal CheD level. These findings suggest more complicated roles of CheD than its previously identified function as a receptor deamidase, and will lead to a clearer picture of the coordination of the three adaptational systems in the B. subtilis chemotactic sensory transduction system.
Issue Date:2010-01-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2009 Wei Yuan
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-01-06
Date Deposited:December 2

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