National Center for
2FEZ: Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Embr
Molecular structure of EmbR, a response element of Ser/Thr kinase signaling in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2006) 103 p.2558-2563
Ser/Thr phosphorylation has emerged as a critical regulatory mechanism in a number of bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This problematic pathogen encodes 11 eukaryotic-like Ser/Thr kinases, yet few substrates or signaling targets have been characterized. Here, we report the structure of EmbR (2.0 A), a putative transcriptional regulator of key arabinosyltransferases (EmbC, -A, and -B), and an endogenous substrate of the Ser/Thr-kinase PknH. EmbR presents a unique domain architecture: the N-terminal winged-helix DNA-binding domain forms an extensive interface with the all-helical central bacterial transcriptional activation domain and is positioned adjacent to the regulatory C-terminal forkhead-associated (FHA) domain, which mediates binding to a Thr-phosphorylated site in PknH. The structure in complex with a phospho-peptide (1.9 A) reveals a conserved mode of phospho-threonine recognition by the FHA domain and evidence for specific recognition of the cognate kinase. The present structures suggest hypotheses as to how EmbR might propagate the phospho-relay signal from its cognate kinase, while serving as a template for the structurally uncharacterized Streptomyces antibiotic regulatory protein family of transcription factors.