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Amino Acids. 2009 Sep;37(3):479-86. doi: 10.1007/s00726-009-0260-9. Epub 2009 Mar 4.

The three-component signalling system HbpS-SenS-SenR as an example of a redox sensing pathway in bacteria.

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  • 1Universität Osnabrück, Germany.


The two-component system SenS-SenR and the extracellular HbpS protein of the cellulose degrader Streptomyces reticuli have been shown to act in concert as a novel system which detects redox stress. In vivo and in vitro experiments have led to the hypothesis that HbpS binds and degrades heme, communicating the extracellular presence of heme and oxidative stress to the membrane-embedded sensor histidine kinase SenS via a bound iron. The response regulator SenR would then up-regulate downstream signalling cascades, leading to the appropriate gene expression levels for bacterial survival in an oxidative environment. Sequence analysis has shown that homologs of HbpS and SenS-SenR exist in a number of ecologically and medically relevant bacterial species, suggesting the existence of a previously undescribed bacterial oxidative stress-response pathway common to both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. The presented report reviews the current knowledge of the function of this novel protein family consisting of an accessory protein and its cognate two-component system, which could be more properly described as a three-component system.

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