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J Biol Chem. 2004 Dec 17;279(51):53078-86. Epub 2004 Oct 7.

Five histidine kinases perceive osmotic stress and regulate distinct sets of genes in Synechocystis.

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Division of Cellular Regulation, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


Microorganisms respond to hyperosmotic stress via changes in the levels of expression of large numbers of genes. Such responses are essential for acclimation to a new osmotic environment. To identify factors involved in the perception and transduction of signals caused by hyperosmotic stress, we examined the response of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, which has proven to be a particularly useful microorganism in similar analyses. We screened knockout libraries of histidine kinases (Hiks) and response regulators (Rres) in Synechocystis by DNA microarray and slot-blot hybridization analyses, and we identified several two-component systems, which we designated Hik-Rre systems, namely, Hik33-Rre31, Hik34-Rre1, and Hik10-Rre3, as well as Hik16-Hik41-Rre17, as the transducers of hyperosmotic stress. We also identified Hik2-Rre1 as a putative additional two-component system. Each individual two-component system regulated the transcription of a specific group of genes that were responsive to hyperosmotic stress.

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