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Microbiology. 2011 Oct;157(Pt 10):2974-82. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.049361-0. Epub 2011 Jul 7.

Characterization of the role of the RadS/RadR two-component system in the radiation resistance of Deinococcus radiodurans.

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  • 1Molecular Biology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India.


Deinococcus radiodurans shows extraordinary tolerance to DNA damage, and exhibits differential gene expression and protein recycling. A putative response regulator, the DRB0091 (RadR) ORF, was identified from a pool of DNA-binding proteins induced in response to gamma radiation in this bacterium. radR is located upstream of drB0090, which encodes a putative sensor histidine kinase (RadS) on the megaplasmid. Deletion of these genes both individually and together resulted in hypersensitivity to DNA-damaging agents and a delayed or altered double-strand break repair. A ΔradRradS double mutant and a ΔradR single mutant showed nearly identical responses to gamma radiation and UVC. Wild-type RadR and RadS complemented the corresponding mutant strains, but also exhibited significant cross-complementation, albeit at lower doses of gamma radiation. The radS transcript was not detected in the ΔradR mutant, suggesting the existence of a radRS operon. Recombinant RadS was autophosphorylated and could catalyse the transfer of γ phosphate from ATP to RadR in vitro. These results indicated the functional interaction of RadS and RadR, and suggested a role for the RadS/RadR two-component system in the radiation resistance of this bacterium.

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