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Mol Microbiol. 2009 Apr;72(1):183-201. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06635.x. Epub 2009 Feb 17.

Use of cell wall stress to characterize sigma 22 (AlgT/U) activation by regulated proteolysis and its regulon in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, VA, USA.

Abstract

MucA sequesters extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma(22) (algT/U encoded) from target promoters including PalgD for alginate biosynthesis. We have shown that cell wall stress (e.g. d-cycloserine) is a potent inducer of the algD operon. Here we showed that MucB, encoded by the algT-mucABCD operon, interacts with MucA in the sigma-sequestration complex. We hypothesized that AlgW protease (a DegS homologue) is activated by cell wall stress to cleave MucA and release sigma(22). When strain PAO1 was exposed to d-cycloserine, MucA was degraded within just 10 min, and sigma(22) was activated. However, in an algW mutant, MucA was stable with no increased sigma(22) activity. Studies on a yaeL mutant, defective in an RseP/YaeL homologue, suggest that YaeL protease cleaves MucA only after cleavage by AlgW. A defect in mucD, encoding a periplasmic HtrA/DegP homologue, caused MucA instability, suggesting MucD degrades cell wall stress signals. Overall, these data indicate that cell wall stress signals release sigma(22) by regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP). Microarray analyses identified genes of the early and late cell wall stress stimulon, which included genes for alginate production. The subset of genes in the sigma(22) regulon was then determined, which included gene products predicted to contribute to recovery from cell wall stress.

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