Mutations that alter the kinase and phosphatase activities of the two- component sensor EnvZ

Weihong Hsing, Frank D. Russo, Karen K. Bernd, Thomas J. Silhavy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


EnvZ, a membrane receptor kinase-phosphatase, modulates porin expression in Escherichia coli in response to medium osmolarity. It shares its basic scheme of signal transduction with many other sensor-kinases, passing information from the amino-terminal, periplasmic, sensory domain via the transmembrane helices to the carboxy-terminal, cytoplasmic, catalytic domain. The native receptor can exist in two active but opposed signaling states, the OmpR kinase-dominant state (K+ P-) and the OmpR-P phosphatase-dominant state (K+P-). The balance between the two states determines the level of intracellular OmpR-P, which in turn determines the level of porin gene transcription. To study the structural requirements for these two states of EnvZ, mutational analysis was performed. Mutations that preferentially affect either the kinase or phosphatase have been identified and characterized both in vivo and in vitro. Most of these mapped to previously identified structural motifs, suggesting an important function for each of these conserved regions. In addition, we identified a novel motif that is weakly conserved among two-component sensors. Mutations that alter this motif, which is termed the X region, alter the confirmation of EnvZ and significantly reduce the phosphatase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4538-4546
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology


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