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J Mol Biol. 2009 Feb 6;385(5):1433-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2008.12.017. Epub 2008 Dec 14.

Design and signaling mechanism of light-regulated histidine kinases.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Abstract

Signal transduction proteins are organized into sensor (input) domains that perceive a signal and, in response, regulate the biological activity of effector (output) domains. We reprogrammed the input signal specificity of a normally oxygen-sensitive, light-inert histidine kinase by replacing its chemosensor domain by a light-oxygen-voltage photosensor domain. Illumination of the resultant fusion kinase YF1 reduced net kinase activity by approximately 1000-fold in vitro. YF1 also controls gene expression in a light-dependent manner in vivo. Signals are transmitted from the light-oxygen-voltage sensor domain to the histidine kinase domain via a 40 degrees -60 degrees rotational movement within an alpha-helical coiled-coil linker; light is acting as a rotary switch. These signaling principles are broadly applicable to domains linked by alpha-helices and to chemo- and photosensors. Conserved sequence motifs guide the rational design of light-regulated variants of histidine kinases and other proteins.

PMID:
19109976
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3527124
Free PMC Article

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