Deducing Receptor Signaling Parameters from In Vivo Analysis: LuxN/AI-1 Quorum Sensing in Vibrio harveyi

Lee R. Swem, Danielle L. Swem, Ned S. Wingreen, Bonnie L. Bassler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Quorum sensing, a process of bacterial cell-cell communication, relies on production, detection, and response to autoinducer signaling molecules. LuxN, a nine-transmembrane domain protein from Vibrio harveyi, is the founding example of membrane-bound receptors for acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) autoinducers. We used mutagenesis and suppressor analyses to identify the AHL-binding domain of LuxN and discovered LuxN mutants that confer both decreased and increased AHL sensitivity. Our analysis of dose-response curves of multiple LuxN mutants pins these inverse phenotypes on quantifiable opposing shifts in the free-energy bias of LuxN for occupying its kinase and phosphatase states. To understand receptor activation and to characterize the pathway signaling parameters, we exploited a strong LuxN antagonist, one of fifteen small-molecule antagonists we identified. We find that quorum-sensing-mediated communication can be manipulated positively and negatively to control bacterial behavior and, more broadly, that signaling parameters can be deduced from in vivo data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-473
Number of pages13
JournalCell
Volume134
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 8 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Keywords

  • MICROBIO

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