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Sci Signal. 2018 Sep 11;11(547). pii: eaat5750. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.aat5750.

The kinases HipA and HipA7 phosphorylate different substrate pools in Escherichia coli to promote multidrug tolerance.

Author information

1
Proteome Center Tuebingen, Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology, University of Tuebingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 15, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany.
2
Centre for Bacterial Stress Response and Persistence, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Ole Maaloesvej 5, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.
3
Centre for Bacterial Stress Response and Persistence, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Ole Maaloesvej 5, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark. boris.macek@uni-tuebingen.de kgerdes@bio.ku.dk.
4
Proteome Center Tuebingen, Interfaculty Institute for Cell Biology, University of Tuebingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 15, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany. boris.macek@uni-tuebingen.de kgerdes@bio.ku.dk.

Abstract

The bacterial serine-threonine protein kinase HipA promotes multidrug tolerance by phosphorylating the glutamate-tRNA ligase (GltX), leading to a halt in translation, inhibition of growth, and induction of a physiologically dormant state (persistence). The HipA variant HipA7 substantially increases persistence despite being less efficient at inhibiting cell growth. We postulated that this phenotypic difference was caused by differences in the substrates targeted by both kinases. We overproduced HipA and HipA7 in Escherichia coli and identified their endogenous substrates by SILAC-based quantitative phosphoproteomics. We confirmed that GltX was the main substrate of both kinase variants and likely the primary determinant of persistence. When HipA and HipA7 were moderately overproduced from plasmids, HipA7 targeted only GltX, but HipA phosphorylated several additional substrates involved in translation, transcription, and replication, such as ribosomal protein L11 (RplK) and the negative modulator of replication initiation, SeqA. HipA7 showed reduced kinase activity compared to HipA and targeted a substrate pool similar to that of HipA only when produced from a high-copy number plasmid. The kinase variants also differed in autophosphorylation, which was substantially reduced for HipA7. When produced endogenously from the chromosome, HipA showed no activity because of inhibition by the antitoxin HipB, whereas HipA7 phosphorylated GltX and phage shock protein PspA. Initial testing did not reveal a connection between HipA-induced phosphorylation of RplK and persistence or growth inhibition, suggesting that other HipA-specific substrates were likely responsible for growth inhibition. Our results contribute to the understanding of HipA7 action and present a resource for elucidating HipA-related persistence.

PMID:
30206139
DOI:
10.1126/scisignal.aat5750

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