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J Mol Evol. 2006 Apr;62(4):473-87. Epub 2006 Mar 17.

Two-component signal transduction systems of Desulfovibrio vulgaris: structural and phylogenetic analysis and deduction of putative cognate pairs.

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Microbiology Department, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA.


A large number of two-component signal transduction systems (TCSTS) including 59 putative sensory histidine kinases (HK) and 55 response regulators (RR) were identified from the Desulfovibrio vulgaris genome. In this study, the structural and phylogenetic analyses of all putative TCSTSs in D. vulgaris were performed. The results showed that D. vulgaris contained 21 hybrid-type HKs, implying that multiple-step phosphorelay may be a common signal transduction mechanism in D. vulgaris. Despite the low sequence similarity that restricted the resolution of the phylogenetic analyses, most TCSTS components of D. vulgaris were found clustered into several subfamilies previously recognized in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. An attempt was made in this investigation to identify the possible cognate HK-RR pairs not linked on the chromosome in D. vulgaris based on similar expression patterns in response to various environmental and genetic changes. Expression levels of all HK and RR genes were measured using whole-genome microarrays. Five groups of HK-RR genes not linked on the chromosome were identified as possible cognate pairs in D. vulgaris. The results provided a preliminary list of possible cognate HK-RR pairs and constitute a basis for further exploration of interaction and physiological function of TCSTSs in D. vulgaris.

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