Sequence and function of LuxU: A two-component phosphorelay protein that regulates quorum sensing in Vibrio harveyi

Jeremy A. Freeman, Bonnie L. Bassler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vibrio harveyi regulates the expression of bioluminescence (lux) in response to cell density, a phenomenon known as quorum sensing. In V. harveyi, two independent quorum-sensing systems exist, and each produces, detects, and responds to a specific cell density-dependent autoinducer signal. The autoinducers are recognized by two-component hybrid sensor kinases called LuxN and LuxQ, and sensory information from both systems is transduced by a phosphorelay mechanism to the response regulator protein LuxO. Genetic evidence suggests that LuxO-phosphate negatively regulates the expression of luminescence at low cell density in the absence of autoinducers. At high cell density, interaction of the sensors with their cognate autoinducers results in dephosphorylation and inactivation of the LuxO repressor. In the present report, we show that LuxN and LuxQ channel sensory information to LuxO via a newly identified phosphorelay protein that we have named LuxU. LuxU shows sequence similarity to other described phosphorelay proteins, including BvgS, ArcB, and Ypd1. A critical His residue (His 58) of LuxU is required for phosphorelay function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-906
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Volume181
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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