Homing In on the Hub

Science Signaling  07 Oct 2008:
Vol. 1, Issue 40, pp. ec351
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.140ec351

Microorganisms respond to a variety of environmental stresses by up-regulating stress-response genes. In many cases, the response is coordinated by a multiprotein signaling hub, the stressosome, which integrates multiple inputs to effect a single outcome. Marles-Wright et al. have fitted high-resolution structures of the stressosome components into an electron microscopy structure to determine a pseudo-atomic resolution structure of the stressosome from Bacillus subtilis. The complex has an icosohedral virus capsid–like core with 20 protruding turrets. Sequences comprising the turrets are variable, perhaps allowing them to sense different signals. The conserved domains of the core may integrate these signals to give a single signaling outcome.

J. Marles-Wright, T. Grant, O. Delumeau, G. van Duinen, S. J. Firbank, P. J. Lewis, J. W. Murray, J. A. Newman, M. B. Quin, P. R. Race, A. Rohou, W. Tichelaar, M. van Heel, R. J. Lewis, Molecular architecture of the "stressosome," a signal integration and transduction hub. Science 322, 92-96 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]