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Mol Microbiol. 2009 Nov;74(3):724-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06897.x. Epub 2009 Sep 28.

Genetic and biochemical analysis of the serine/threonine protein kinases PknA, PknB, PknG and PknL of Corynebacterium glutamicum: evidence for non-essentiality and for phosphorylation of OdhI and FtsZ by multiple kinases.

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Institut für Biotechnologie 1, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich, Germany.


We previously showed that the 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase inhibitor protein OdhI of Corynebacterium glutamicum is phosphorylated by PknG at Thr14, but that also additional serine/threonine protein kinases (STPKs) can phosphorylate OdhI. To identify these, a set of three single (DeltapknA, DeltapknB, DeltapknL), five double (DeltapknAG, DeltapknAL, DeltapknBG, DeltapknBL, DeltapknLG) and two triple deletion mutants (DeltapknALG, DeltapknBLG) were constructed. The existence of these mutants shows that PknA, PknB, PknG and PknL are not essential in C. glutamicum. Analysis of the OdhI phosphorylation status in the mutant strains revealed that all four STPKs can contribute to OdhI phosphorylation, with PknG being the most important one. Only mutants in which pknG was deleted showed a strong growth inhibition on agar plates containing glutamine as carbon and nitrogen source. Thr14 and Thr15 of OdhI were shown to be phosphorylated in vivo, either individually or simultaneously, and evidence for up to two additional phosphorylation sites was obtained. Dephosphorylation of OdhI was shown to be catalysed by the phospho-Ser/Thr protein phosphatase Ppp. Besides OdhI, the cell division protein FtsZ was identified as substrate of PknA, PknB and PknL and of the phosphatase Ppp, suggesting a role of these proteins in cell division.

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