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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}chemistry.ucsc.edu
  • * Present address: Early Stage Pharmaceutical Development, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Abstract

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.

    Citation:

    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).

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