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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2008 Jun;283(2):231-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.2008.01179.x. Epub 2008 Apr 19.

Site-directed mutagenesis of the temperature-sensing histidine protein kinase CorS from Pseudomonas syringae.

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Jacobs University Bremen, School of Engineering and Science, Campus Ring 1, Bremen, Germany.


Several plant pathogenic bacteria belonging to the species Pseudomonas syringae produce the phytotoxin coronatine to enhance their virulence. Pseudomonas syringae pv. glycinea PG4180 synthesizes coronatine at the virulence-promoting temperature of 18 degrees C, but not at 28 degrees C, its optimal growth temperature. In contrast, temperature has virtually no effect on coronatine synthesis in P. syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000. A modified two-component system controlling coronatine synthesis and consisting of the histidine protein kinase (HPK), CorS, the response regulator, CorR, and a third essential component, CorP, had been identified previously in both strains. CorS had been identified previously as a potential thermo-sensor. Comparison of the amino acid sequences of the HPKs from the two organisms revealed distinct differences. Site-directed mutagenesis of CorS from PG4180 was used to identify amino acyl residues potentially important for temperature signal perception. Point mutations and combinations of these were introduced into corS of PG4180 to generate corS variants with increased similarities to the respective allele from strain DC3000. These mutations resulted in either loss of activity, increase of thermoresponsiveness, or had no effect on CorS activity. Although none of the introduced mutations resulted in a clear conversion of CorS activity from thermo-responsive to temperature-independent, amino acyl residues important for temperature-dependent CorS activity and coronatine biosynthesis were identified.

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