Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochem J. 2013 Apr 15;451(2):269-75. doi: 10.1042/BJ20121825.

Regulation of Bacillus subtilis DesK thermosensor by lipids.

Author information

Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario (IBR) and Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquímicas y Farmacéuticas, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, 2000 Rosario, Argentina.


Temperature sensing is essential for the survival of living cells. The membrane-bound thermosensor DesK from Bacillus subtilis is a key representative of histidine kinases receptors able to remodel membrane lipid composition when the temperature drops below ~30°C. Although the receptor is well studied, a central issue remains: how does the compositional and functional diversity of the surrounding membrane modulate receptor function? Reconstituting full-length DesK into proteoliposomes of well-defined and controlled lipid composition represents a minimal synthetic approach to systematically address this question. Thus DesK has been reconstituted in a variety of phospholipid bilayers and its temperature-regulated autokinase activity determined as function of fatty acyl chain length, lipid head-group structure and phase preference. We show that the head group structure of lipids (both in vitro and in vivo) has little effect on DesK thermosensing, whereas properties determined by the acyl chain of lipids, such as membrane thickness and phase separation into coexisting lipid domains, exert a profound regulatory effect on kinase domain activation at low temperatures. These experiments suggest that the non-polar domain of glycerolipids is essential to regulate the allosteric structural transitions of DesK, by activating the autophosphorylation of the intracellular kinase domain in response to a decrease in temperature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center