Error message

No crossref credentials set for sci

Blue-Light-Activated Histidine Kinases: Two-Component Sensors in Bacteria

Science, 24 August 2007
Vol. 317, Issue 5841, p. 1090-1093
DOI: 10.1126/science.1144306

Blue-Light-Activated Histidine Kinases: Two-Component Sensors in Bacteria

  1. Trevor E. Swartz1,*,
  2. Tong-Seung Tseng2,
  3. Marcus A. Frederickson1,
  4. Gastón Paris3,
  5. Diego J. Comerci6,
  6. Gireesh Rajashekara4,7,
  7. Jung-Gun Kim5,
  8. Mary Beth Mudgett5,
  9. Gary A. Splitter4,
  10. Rodolfo A. Ugalde6,
  11. Fernando A. Goldbaum3,
  12. Winslow R. Briggs2,
  13. Roberto A. Bogomolni1,
  1. 1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA, USA.
  2. 2 Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, CA, USA.
  3. 3 Fundación Instituto Leloir, Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas Buenos Aires–Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (IIBBA-CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  4. 4 Department of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
  5. 5 Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
  6. 6 Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martín, CONICET, San Martín, Argentina.
  7. 7 Food Animal Health Research Program–Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (FAHRP-OARDC), Ohio State University, Wooster, OH, USA.
  1. To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: bogo{at}
  • * Present address: Early Stage Pharmaceutical Development, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA.


Histidine kinases, used for environmental sensing by bacterial two-component systems, are involved in regulation of bacterial gene expression, chemotaxis, phototaxis, and virulence. Flavin-containing domains function as light-sensory modules in plant and algal phototropins and in fungal blue-light receptors. We have discovered that the prokaryotes Brucella melitensis, Brucella abortus, Erythrobacter litoralis, and Pseudomonas syringae contain light-activated histidine kinases that bind a flavin chromophore and undergo photochemistry indicative of cysteinyl-flavin adduct formation. Infection of macrophages by B. abortus was stimulated by light in the wild type but was limited in photochemically inactive and null mutants, indicating that the flavin-containing histidine kinase functions as a photoreceptor regulating B. abortus virulence.

    • Received for publication 26 April 2007.
    • Accepted for publication 27 June 2007.


    T. E. Swartz, T.-S. Tseng, M. A. Frederickson, G. Paris, D. J. Comerci, G. Rajashekara, J.-G. Kim, M. B. Mudgett, G. A. Splitter, R. A. Ugalde, F. A. Goldbaum, W. R. Briggs, and R. A. Bogomolni, Blue-Light-Activated Histidine Kinases: Two-Component Sensors in Bacteria. Science 317, 1090-1093 (2007).

    Decreased in vivo virulence and altered gene expression by a Brucella melitensis light-sensing histidine kinase mutant
    C. R. Gourley, E. Petersen, J. Harms, and G. Splitter
    Pathog Dis 73, 1-8 (1 March 2015)

    Full-length structure of a monomeric histidine kinase reveals basis for sensory regulation
    G. Rivera-Cancel, W.-h. Ko, D. R. Tomchick, F. Correa, and K. H. Gardner
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111, 17839-17844 (16 December 2014)

    Complex two-component signaling regulates the general stress response in Alphaproteobacteria
    A. Kaczmarczyk, R. Hochstrasser, J. A. Vorholt, and A. Francez-Charlot
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 111, E5196-E5204 (2 December 2014)

    Phototropism: Some History, Some Puzzles, and a Look Ahead
    W. R. Briggs, R. Hochstrasser, J. A. Vorholt, and A. Francez-Charlot
    Plant Physiol. 164, 13-23 (1 January 2014)

    Blue-light-dependent inhibition of twitching motility in Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1: additive involvement of three BLUF-domain-containing proteins
    M. Bitrian, R. H. Gonzalez, G. Paris, K. J. Hellingwerf, and C. B. Nudel
    Microbiology 159, 1828-1841 (1 September 2013)

    Light Regulation of Swarming Motility in Pseudomonas syringae Integrates Signaling Pathways Mediated by a Bacteriophytochrome and a LOV Protein
    L. Wu, R. S. McGrane, and G. A. Beattie
    mBio 4, e00334-13-e00334-13 (11 June 2013)

    Solution Structure of the PAS Domain of a Thermophilic YybT Protein Homolog Reveals a Potential Ligand-binding Site
    E. Tan, F. Rao, S. Pasunooti, T. H. Pham, I. Soehano, M. S. Turner, C. W. Liew, J. Lescar, K. Pervushin, Z.-X. Liang et al.
    J Biol Chem 288, 11949-11959 (26 April 2013)

    Blue Light-Induced Conformational Changes in a Light-Regulated Transcription Factor, Aureochrome-1
    O. Hisatomi, K. Takeuchi, K. Zikihara, Y. Ookubo, Y. Nakatani, F. Takahashi, S. Tokutomi, and H. Kataoka
    Plant Cell Physiol 54, 93-106 (1 January 2013)

    The two-component system PrlS/PrlR of Brucella melitensis is required for persistence in mice and appears to respond to ionic strength
    A. Mirabella, R.-M. Yanez Villanueva, R.-M. Delrue, S. Uzureau, M. S. Zygmunt, A. Cloeckaert, X. De Bolle, and J.-J. Letesson
    Microbiology 158, 2642-2651 (1 October 2012)

    Mutational, proteomic and metabolomic analysis of a plant growth promoting copper-resistant Pseudomonas spp.
    K. Li, R. R. Pidatala, and W. Ramakrishna
    FEMS Microbiol Lett 335, 140-148 (1 October 2012)

    Light regulates attachment, exopolysaccharide production, and nodulation in Rhizobium leguminosarum through a LOV-histidine kinase photoreceptor
    H. R. Bonomi, D. M. Posadas, G. Paris, M. d. C. Carrica, M. Frederickson, L. I. Pietrasanta, R. A. Bogomolni, A. Zorreguieta, and F. A. Goldbaum
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 12135-12140 (24 July 2012)

    The LovK-LovR Two-Component System Is a Regulator of the General Stress Pathway in Caulobacter crescentus
    R. Foreman, A. Fiebig, and S. Crosson
    J. Bacteriol. 194, 3038-3049 (15 June 2012)

    Stressed by a Lov Triangle
    S. Ardissone, and P. H. Viollier
    J. Bacteriol. 194, 3035-3037 (15 June 2012)

    Internal affairs: investigating the Brucella intracellular lifestyle
    K. von Bargen, J.-P. Gorvel, and S. P. Salcedo
    FEMS Microbiol Rev 36, 533-562 (1 May 2012)

    The Role of a 14-3-3 Protein in Stomatal Opening Mediated by PHOT2 in Arabidopsis
    T.-S. Tseng, C. Whippo, R. P. Hangarter, and W. R. Briggs
    Plant Cell 24, 1114-1126 (1 March 2012)

    Role of a short light, oxygen, voltage (LOV) domain protein in blue light- and singlet oxygen-dependent gene regulation in Rhodobacter sphaeroides
    S. Metz, A. Jager, and G. Klug
    Microbiology 158, 368-379 (1 February 2012)

    Light signalling mediated by Per-ARNT-Sim domain-containing proteins in Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris
    D. Mao, J. Tao, C. Li, C. Luo, L. Zheng, and C. He
    FEMS Microbiol Lett 326, 31-39 (1 January 2012)

    Shining a Light on an Opportunistic Pathogen
    M. J. McBride, J. Tao, C. Li, C. Luo, L. Zheng, and C. He
    J. Bacteriol. 192, 6325-6326 (15 December 2010)

    The Opportunistic Human Pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii Senses and Responds to Light
    M. A. Mussi, J. A. Gaddy, M. Cabruja, B. A. Arivett, A. M. Viale, R. Rasia, and L. A. Actis
    J. Bacteriol. 192, 6336-6345 (15 December 2010)

    FMN Binding and Photochemical Properties of Plant Putative Photoreceptors Containing Two LOV Domains, LOV/LOV Proteins
    M. Kasahara, M. Torii, A. Fujita, and K. Tainaka
    J Biol Chem 285, 34765-34772 (5 November 2010)

    Ferrochelatase is a conserved downstream target of the blue light-sensing White collar complex in fungi
    A. Idnurm, and J. Heitman
    Microbiology 156, 2393-2407 (1 August 2010)

    Structural Determinants Underlying Photoprotection in the Photoactive Orange Carotenoid Protein of Cyanobacteria
    A. Wilson, J. N. Kinney, P. H. Zwart, C. Punginelli, S. D'Haene, F. Perreau, M. G. Klein, D. Kirilovsky, and C. A. Kerfeld
    J Biol Chem 285, 18364-18375 (11 June 2010)

    Distribution and Phylogeny of Light-Oxygen-Voltage-Blue-Light-Signaling Proteins in the Three Kingdoms of Life
    U. Krauss, B. Q. Minh, A. Losi, W. Gartner, T. Eggert, A. von Haeseler, and K.-E. Jaeger
    J. Bacteriol. 191, 7234-7242 (1 December 2009)

    Lights, Rhythms, Infection: The Role of Light and the Circadian Clock in Determining the Outcome of Plant-Pathogen Interactions
    L. C. Roden, and R. A. Ingle
    Plant Cell 21, 2546-2552 (1 September 2009)

    Plant research accelerates along the (bio)informatics superhighway: Symposium on Plant Sensing, Response and Adaptation to the Environment
    J. M. Jimenez-Gomez, and J. N. Maloof
    EMBO Rep. 10, 568-572 (1 June 2009)

    The cysteine 354 and 277 residues of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi EnvZ are determinants of autophosphorylation and OmpR phosphorylation
    R. Oropeza, and E. Calva
    FEMS Microbiol Lett 292, 282-290 (1 March 2009)

    Shedding (blue) light on algal gene expression
    A. Losi, and W. Gartner
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 7-8 (8 January 2008)

    A photosensory two-component system regulates bacterial cell attachment
    E. B. Purcell, D. Siegal-Gaskins, D. C. Rawling, A. Fiebig, and S. Crosson
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 18241-18246 (13 November 2007)

    MICROBIOLOGY: A Bacterial Pathogen Sees the Light
    J. T. M. Kennis, and S. Crosson
    Science 317, 1041-1042 (24 August 2007)

    Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882