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J Biol Chem. 2007 Apr 27;282(17):12860-70. Epub 2007 Feb 16.

PilZ domain proteins bind cyclic diguanylate and regulate diverse processes in Vibrio cholerae.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) is an allosteric activator and second messenger implicated in the regulation of a variety of biological processes in diverse bacteria. In Vibrio cholerae, c-di-GMP has been shown to inversely regulate biofilm-specific and virulence gene expression, suggesting that c-di-GMP signaling is important for the transition of V. cholerae from the environment to the host. However, the mechanism behind this regulation remains unknown. Recently, it was proposed that the PilZ protein domain represents a c-di-GMP-binding domain. Here we show that V. cholerae PilZ proteins bind c-di-GMP specifically and are involved in the regulation of biofilm formation, motility, and virulence. These findings confirm a role for PilZ proteins as c-di-GMP-sensing proteins within the c-di-GMP signaling network.

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