PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-9 (9)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
Authors
more »
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Phosphorylation and Dephosphorylation among Dif Chemosensory Proteins Essential for Exopolysaccharide Regulation in Myxococcus xanthus▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;192(17):4267-4274.
Myxococcus xanthus social gliding motility, which is powered by type IV pili, requires the presence of exopolysaccharides (EPS) on the cell surface. The Dif chemosensory system is essential for the regulation of EPS production. It was demonstrated previously that DifA (methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein [MCP]-like), DifC (CheW-like), and DifE (CheA-like) stimulate whereas DifD (CheY-like) and DifG (CheC-like) inhibit EPS production. DifD was found not to function downstream of DifE in EPS regulation, as a difD difE double mutant phenocopied the difE single mutant. It has been proposed that DifA, DifC, and DifE form a ternary signaling complex that positively regulates EPS production through the kinase activity of DifE. DifD was proposed as a phosphate sink of phosphorylated DifE (DifE∼P), while DifG would augment the function of DifD as a phosphatase of phosphorylated DifD (DifD∼P). Here we report in vitro phosphorylation studies with all the Dif chemosensory proteins that were expressed and purified from Escherichia coli. DifE was demonstrated to be an autokinase. Consistent with the formation of a DifA-DifC-DifE complex, DifA and DifC together, but not individually, were found to influence DifE autophosphorylation. DifD, which did not inhibit DifE autophosphorylation directly, was found to accept phosphate from autophosphorylated DifE. While DifD∼P has an unusually long half-life for dephosphorylation in vitro, DifG efficiently dephosphorylated DifD∼P as a phosphatase. These results support a model where DifE complexes with DifA and DifC to regulate EPS production through phosphorylation of a downstream target, while DifD and DifG function synergistically to divert phosphates away from DifE∼P.
doi:10.1128/JB.00403-10
PMCID: PMC2937368  PMID: 20543066
2.  Isolation and characterization of a suppressor mutation that restores Myxococcus xanthus exopolysaccharide production 
Microbiology  2009;155(Pt 11):3599-3610.
Myxococcus xanthus, a Gram-negative soil bacterium, undergoes multicellular development when nutrients become limiting. Aggregation, which is part of the developmental process, requires the surface motility of this organism. One component of M. xanthus motility, the social (S) gliding motility, enables the movement of cells in close physical proximity. Previous studies demonstrated that the cell surface-associated exopolysaccharide (EPS) is essential for S motility and that the Dif proteins form a chemotaxis-like pathway that regulates EPS production in M. xanthus. DifA, a homologue of methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs) in the Dif system, is required for EPS production, S motility and development. In this study, a spontaneous extragenic suppressor of a difA deletion was isolated in order to identify additional regulators of EPS production. The suppressor mutation was found to be a single base pair insertion in cheW7 at the che7 chemotaxis gene cluster. Further examination indicated that mutations in cheW7 may lead to the interaction of Mcp7 with DifC (CheW-like) and DifE (CheA-like) to reconstruct a functional pathway to regulate EPS production in the absence of DifA. In addition, the cheW7 mutation was found to partially suppress a pilA mutation in EPS production in a difA+ background. Further deletion of difA from the pilA cheW7 double mutant resulted in a triple mutant that produced wild-type levels of EPS, implying that DifA (MCP-like) and Mcp7 compete for interactions with DifC and DifE in the modulation of EPS production.
doi:10.1099/mic.0.031070-0
PMCID: PMC2879065  PMID: 19684067
3.  The Hsp70-like StkA functions between T4P and Dif signaling proteins as a negative regulator of exopolysaccharide in Myxococcus xanthus 
PeerJ  2015;3:e747.
Myxococcus xanthus displays a form of surface motility known as social (S) gliding. It is mediated by the type IV pilus (T4P) and requires the exopolysaccharide (EPS) to function. It is clear that T4P retraction powers S motility. EPS on a neighboring cell or deposited on a gliding surface is proposed to anchor the distal end of a pilus and trigger T4P retraction at its proximal end. Inversely, T4P has been shown to regulate EPS production upstream of the Dif signaling pathway. Here we describe the isolation of two Tn insertions at the stk locus which had been known to play roles in cellular cohesion and formation of cell groups. An insertion in stkA (MXAN_3474) was identified based on its ability to restore EPS to a pilA deletion mutant. The stkA encodes a DnaK or Hsp70 homolog and it is upstream of stkB (MXAN_3475) and stkC (MXAN_3476). A stkB insertion was identified in a separate genetic screen because it eliminated EPS production of an EPS+ parental strain. Our results with in-frame deletions of these three stk genes indicated that the stkA mutant produced increased level of EPS while stkB and stkC mutants produced less EPS relative to the wild type. S motility and developmental aggregation were affected by deletions of stkA and stkB but only minimally by the deletion of stkC. Genetic epistasis indicated that StkA functions downstream of T4P but upstream of the Dif proteins as a negative regulator of EPS production in M. xanthus.
doi:10.7717/peerj.747
PMCID: PMC4319316
Myxococcus xanthus; Type IV pilus (T4P); Dif pathway; Exopolysaccharide (EPS); Social motility; StkA/DnaK/Hsp70
4.  Type IV Pilus Proteins Form an Integrated Structure Extending from the Cytoplasm to the Outer Membrane 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e70144.
The bacterial type IV pilus (T4P) is the strongest biological motor known to date as its retraction can generate forces well over 100 pN. Myxococcus xanthus, a δ-proteobacterium, provides a good model for T4P investigations because its social (S) gliding motility is powered by T4P. In this study, the interactions among M. xanthus T4P proteins were investigated using genetics and the yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) system. Our genetic analysis suggests that there is an integrated T4P structure that crosses the inner membrane (IM), periplasm and the outer membrane (OM). Moreover, this structure exists in the absence of the pilus filament. A systematic Y2H survey provided evidence for direct interactions among IM and OM proteins exposed to the periplasm. For example, the IM lipoprotein PilP interacted with its cognate OM protein PilQ. In addition, interactions among T4P proteins from the thermophile Thermus thermophilus were investigated by Y2H. The results indicated similar protein-protein interactions in the T4P system of this non-proteobacterium despite significant sequence divergence between T4P proteins in T. thermophilus and M. xanthus. The observations here support the model of an integrated T4P structure in the absence of a pilus in diverse bacterial species.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070144
PMCID: PMC3724824  PMID: 23922942
5.  DifA, a Methyl-Accepting Chemoreceptor Protein-Like Sensory Protein, Uses a Novel Signaling Mechanism to Regulate Exopolysaccharide Production in Myxococcus xanthus▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;193(3):759-767.
DifA is a methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein (MCP)-like sensory transducer that regulates exopolysaccharide (EPS) production in Myxococcus xanthus. Here mutational analysis and molecular biology were used to probe the signaling mechanisms of DifA in EPS regulation. We first identified the start codon of DifA experimentally; this identification extended the N terminus of DifA for 45 amino acids (aa) from the previous bioinformatics prediction. This extension helped to address the outstanding question of how DifA receives input signals from type 4 pili without a prominent periplasmic domain. The results suggest that DifA uses its N-terminus extension to sense an upstream signal in EPS regulation. We suggest that the perception of the input signal by DifA is mediated by protein-protein interactions with upstream components. Subsequent signal transmission likely involves transmembrane signaling instead of direct intramolecular interactions between the input and the output modules in the cytoplasm. The basic functional unit of DifA for signal transduction is likely dimeric as mutational alteration of the predicted dimeric interface of DifA significantly affected EPS production. Deletions of 14-aa segments in the C terminus suggest that the newly defined flexible bundle subdomain in MCPs is likely critical for DifA function because shortening of this bundle can lead to constitutively active mutations.
doi:10.1128/JB.00944-10
PMCID: PMC3021235  PMID: 21131490
6.  Isolation and Characterization of a Suppressor Mutation that Restores Myxococcus xanthus Exopolysaccharide Production 
Microbiology (Reading, England)  2009;155(Pt 11):3599-3610.
SUMMARY
Myxococcus xanthus, a Gram-negative soil bacterium, undergoes multicellular development when nutrients become limiting. Aggregation, which is part of the developmental process, requires the surface motility of this organism. One component of M. xanthus motility, the social (S) gliding motility, enables the movement of cells in close physical proximity. Previous studies demonstrated that the cell-surface associated exopolysaccharide (EPS) is essential for S motility and the Dif proteins form a chemotaxis-like pathway that regulates EPS production in M. xanthus. DifA, a homologue of methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs) in the Dif system, is required for EPS production, S motility and development. In this study, a spontaneous extragenic suppressor of a difA deletion was isolated in order to identify additional regulators of EPS production. The suppressor mutation was found to be a single base-pair insertion in cheW7 at the che7 chemotaxis gene cluster. Further examination indicated that mutations in cheW7 may lead to the interaction of Mcp7 with DifC (CheW-like) and DifE (CheA-like) to reconstruct a functional pathway to regulate EPS production in the absence of DifA. In addition, the cheW7 mutation was found to partially suppress a pilA mutation in EPS production in a difA+ background. Further deletion of difA from the pilA cheW7 double mutant resulted in a triple mutant that produced wild-type levels of EPS, implying that DifA (MCP-like) and Mcp7 compete for interactions with DifC and DifE in the modulation of EPS production.
doi:10.1099/mic.0.031070-0
PMCID: PMC2879065  PMID: 19684067
7.  Independence and interdependence of Dif and Frz chemosensory pathways in Myxococcus xanthus chemotaxis 
Molecular microbiology  2008;69(3):714-723.
Summary
Dif and Frz, two Myxococcus xanthus chemosensory pathways, are required in phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) chemotaxis for excitation and adaptation, respectively. DifA and FrzCD, the homologs of methyl-accepting chemoreceptors in the two pathways, were examined for methylation in the context of chemotaxis and inter-pathway interactions. Evidence indicates that DifA may not undergo methylation but signals transmitting through DifA do modulate FrzCD methylation. Results also revealed that M. xanthus possesses Dif-dependent and Dif-independent PE sensing mechanisms. Previous studies showed that FrzCD methylation is decreased by negative chemostimuli but increased by attractants such as PE. Results here demonstrate that the Dif-dependent sensory mechanism suppresses the increase in FrzCD methylation in attractant response and elevates FrzCD methylation upon negative stimulation. In other words, FrzCD methylation is governed by opposing forces from Dif-dependent and Dif-independent sensing mechanisms. We propose that the Dif-independent but Frz-dependent PE sensing leads to increases in FrzCD methylation and subsequent adaptation, while the Dif-dependent PE signaling suppresses or diminishes the increase in FrzCD methylation to decelerate or delay adaptation. We contend that these antagonistic interactions are crucial for effective chemotaxis in this gliding bacterium to ensure that adaptation does not occur too quickly relative to the slow speed of M. xanthus movement.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06322.x
PMCID: PMC2553899  PMID: 18554324
Myxococcus xanthus; DifA and FrzCD methylation; chemotaxis; phosphatidylethanolamine (PE); exopolysaccharide (EPS)
8.  Nitrate-Dependent Activation of the Dif Signaling Pathway of Myxococcus xanthus Mediated by a NarX-DifA Interspecies Chimera 
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(18):6410-6418.
Myxococcus xanthus fibril exopolysaccharide (EPS), essential for the social gliding motility and development of this bacterium, is regulated by the Dif chemotaxis-like pathway. DifA, an MCP homolog, is proposed to mediate signal input to the Dif pathway. However, DifA lacks a prominent periplasmic domain, which in classical chemoreceptors is responsible for signal perception and for initiating transmembrane signaling. To investigate the signaling properties of DifA, we constructed a NarX-DifA (NafA) chimera from the sensory module of Escherichia coli NarX and the signaling module of M. xanthus DifA. We report here the first functional chimeric signal transducer constructed using genes from organisms in two different phylogenetic subdivisions. When expressed in M. xanthus, NafA restored fruiting body formation, EPS production, and S-motility to difA mutants in the presence of nitrate. Studies with various double mutants indicate that NafA requires the downstream Dif proteins to function. We propose that signal inputs to the Dif pathway and transmembrane signaling by DifA are essential for the regulation of EPS production in M. xanthus. Despite the apparent structural differences, DifA appears to share similar transmembrane signaling mechanisms with enteric sensor kinases and chemoreceptors.
doi:10.1128/JB.187.18.6410-6418.2005
PMCID: PMC1236652  PMID: 16159775
9.  Myxococcus xanthus Chemotaxis Homologs DifD and DifG Negatively Regulate Fibril Polysaccharide Production 
Journal of Bacteriology  2004;186(4):1001-1008.
The extracellular matrix fibrils of Myxococcus xanthus are essential for the social lifestyle of this unusual bacterium. These fibrils form networks linking or encasing cells and are tightly correlated with cellular cohesion, development, and social (S) gliding motility. Previous studies identified a set of bacterial chemotaxis homologs encoded by the dif locus. It was determined that difA, difC, and difE, encoding respective homologs of a methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein, CheW, and CheA, are required for fibril production and therefore S motility and development. Here we report the studies of three additional genes residing at the dif locus, difB, difD, and difG. difD and difG encode homologs of chemotaxis proteins CheY and CheC, respectively. difB encodes a positively charged protein with limited homology at its N terminus to conserved bacterial proteins with unknown functions. Unlike the previously characterized dif genes, none of these three newly studied dif genes are essential for fibril production, S motility, or development. The difB mutant showed no obvious defects in any of the processes examined. In contrast, the difD and the difG mutants were observed to overproduce fibril polysaccharides in comparison with production by the wild type. The observation that DifD and DifG negatively regulate fibril polysaccharide production strengthens our hypothesis that the M. xanthus dif genes define a chemotaxis-like signal transduction pathway which regulates fibril biogenesis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of functional studies of a CheC homolog in proteobacteria. In addition, during this study, we slightly modified previously developed assays to easily quantify fibril polysaccharide production in M. xanthus.
doi:10.1128/JB.186.4.1001-1008.2004
PMCID: PMC344214  PMID: 14761994

Results 1-9 (9)