Rhodobacter sphaeroides WS8 expresses a polypeptide that is similar to MotB of Escherichia coli.
ABSTRACT: A gene which complements a paralyzed flagellar mutant of Rhodobacter sphaeroides was sequenced. The derived protein sequence has similarity to MotB. R. sphaeroides MotB lacks the C-terminal peptidoglycan-binding motif of other MotB proteins. This divergence of sequence may reflect the unusual, unidirectional, stop-start action of the R. sphaeroides flagellar motor.
Project description:In this work, we describe a periplasmic protein that is essential for flagellar rotation in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. This protein is encoded upstream of flgA, and its expression is dependent on the flagellar master regulator FleQ and on the class III flagellar activator FleT. Sequence comparisons suggest that this protein is a distant homologue of FlgT. We show evidence that in R. sphaeroides, FlgT interacts with the periplasmic regions of MotB and FliL and with the flagellar protein MotF, which was recently characterized as a membrane component of the flagellum in this bacterium. In addition, the localization of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-MotF is completely dependent on FlgT. The Mot(-) phenotype of flgT cells was weakly suppressed by point mutants of MotB that presumably keep the proton channel open and efficiently suppress the Mot(-) phenotype of motF and fliL cells, indicating that FlgT could play an additional role beyond the opening of the proton channel. The presence of FlgT in purified filament-hook-basal bodies of the wild-type strain was confirmed by Western blotting, and the observation of these structures under an electron microscope showed that the basal bodies from flgT cells had lost the ring that covers the LP ring in the wild-type structure. Moreover, MotF was detected by immunoblotting in the basal bodies obtained from the wild-type strain but not from flgT cells. From these results, we suggest that FlgT forms a ring around the LP ring, which anchors MotF and stabilizes the stator complex of the flagellar motor.
Project description:In this work we characterize the function of the flagellar protein FliL in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Our results show that FliL is essential for motility in this bacterium and that in its absence flagellar rotation is highly impaired. A green fluorescent protein (GFP)-FliL fusion forms polar and lateral fluorescent foci that show different spatial dynamics. The presence of these foci is dependent on the expression of the flagellar genes controlled by the master regulator FleQ, suggesting that additional components of the flagellar regulon are required for the proper localization of GFP-FliL. Eight independent pseudorevertants were isolated from the fliL mutant strain. In each of these strains a single nucleotide change in motB was identified. The eight mutations affected only three residues located on the periplasmic side of MotB. Swimming of the suppressor mutants was not affected by the presence of the wild-type fliL allele. Pulldown and yeast two-hybrid assays showed that that the periplasmic domain of FliL is able to interact with itself but not with the periplasmic domain of MotB. From these results we propose that FliL could participate in the coupling of MotB with the flagellar rotor in an indirect fashion.
Project description:Here we describe a novel component essential for flagellar rotation in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. This protein is encoded by motF (RSP_0067), the first gene of a predicted transcriptional unit which contains two hypothetical genes. Sequence analysis indicated that MotF is a bitopic membrane-spanning protein. Protease sensitivity assays and green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions confirmed this prediction and allowed us to conclude that the C terminus of MotF is located in the periplasmic space. Wild-type cells expressing a functional GFP-MotF fusion show a single fluorescent focus per cell. The localization of this protein in different genetic backgrounds allowed us to determine that normal localization of MotF depends on the presence of FliL and MotB. Characterization of a ?motF pseudorevertant strain revealed that a single nucleotide change in motB suppresses the Mot(-) phenotype of the motF mutant. Additionally, we show that MotF also becomes dispensable when other mutant alleles of motB previously isolated as second-site suppressors of ?fliL were expressed in the motF mutant strain. These results show that MotF is a new component of the Fla1 flagellum, which together with FliL is required to promote flagellar rotation, possibly through MotB.
Project description:Rhodobacter sphaeroides is an ?-proteobacterium that has the particularity of having two functional flagellar systems used for swimming. Under the growth conditions commonly used in the laboratory, a single subpolar flagellum that traverses the cell membrane, is assembled on the surface. This flagellum has been named Fla1. Phylogenetic analyses have suggested that this flagellar genetic system was acquired from an ancient ?-proteobacterium. It has been shown that this flagellum has components homologous to those present in other ?-proteobacteria such as the H-ring characteristic of the Vibrio species. Other features of this flagellum such as a straight hook, and a prominent HAP region have been studied and the molecular basis underlying these features has been revealed. It has also been shown that FliL, and the protein MotF, mainly found in several species of the family Rhodobacteraceae, contribute to remodel the amphipathic region of MotB, known as the plug, in order to allow flagellar rotation. In the absence of the plug region of MotB, FliL and MotF are dispensable. In this review we have covered the most relevant aspects of the Fla1 flagellum of this remarkable photosynthetic bacterium.
Project description:mRNA levels were measured in Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1 at 20% O2 and 0.5% O2, Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1 App11 (AppA-null), Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1 (pPNs) and PpsR mutant PPS2-4. The mRNA samples were prepared from cultures supplied with 20% O2, 1% CO2, and 79% N2, and grown in the dark to an OD of 0.18. The mRNA levels for each strain was measured three times. Keywords: repeat sample
Project description:Bacteria swim in liquid environments by means of a complex rotating structure known as the flagellum. Approximately 40 proteins are required for the assembly and functionality of this structure. Rhodobacter sphaeroides has two flagellar systems. One of these systems has been shown to be functional and is required for the synthesis of the well-characterized single subpolar flagellum, while the other was found only after the genome sequence of this bacterium was completed. In this work we found that the second flagellar system of R. sphaeroides can be expressed and produces a functional flagellum. In many bacteria with two flagellar systems, one is required for swimming, while the other allows movement in denser environments by producing a large number of flagella over the entire cell surface. In contrast, the second flagellar system of R. sphaeroides produces polar flagella that are required for swimming. Expression of the second set of flagellar genes seems to be positively regulated under anaerobic growth conditions. Phylogenic analysis suggests that the flagellar system that was initially characterized was in fact acquired by horizontal transfer from a gamma-proteobacterium, while the second flagellar system contains the native genes. Interestingly, other alpha-proteobacteria closely related to R. sphaeroides have also acquired a set of flagellar genes similar to the set found in R. sphaeroides, suggesting that a common ancestor received this gene cluster.
Project description:Motility in the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is achieved by the unidirectional rotation of a single subpolar flagellum. In this study, transposon mutagenesis was used to obtain nonmotile flagellar mutants from this bacterium. We report here the isolation and characterization of a mutant that shows a polyhook phenotype. Morphological characterization of the mutant was done by electron microscopy. Polyhooks were obtained by shearing and were used to purify the hook protein monomer (FlgE). The apparent molecular mass of the hook protein was 50 kDa. N-terminal amino acid sequencing and comparisons with the hook proteins of other flagellated bacteria indicated that the Rhodobacter hook protein has consensus sequences common to axial flagellar components. A 25-kb fragment from an R. sphaeroides WS8 cosmid library restored wild-type flagellation and motility to the mutant. Using DNA adjacent to the inserted transposon as a probe, we identified a 4.6-kb SalI restriction fragment that contained the gene responsible for the polyhook phenotype. Nucleotide sequence analysis of this region revealed an open reading frame with a deduced amino acid sequence that was 23.4% identical to that of FliK of Salmonella typhimurium, the polypeptide responsible for hook length control in that enteric bacterium. The relevance of a gene homologous to fliK in the uniflagellated bacterium R. sphaeroides is discussed.
Project description:Flagellar motility in Rhodobacter sphaeroides is notably different from that in other bacteria. R. sphaeroides moves in a series of runs and stops produced by the intermittent rotation of the flagellar motor. R. sphaeroides has a single, plain filament whose conformation changes according to flagellar motor activity. Conformations adopted during swimming include coiled, helical, and apparently straight forms. This range of morphological transitions is larger than that in other bacteria, where filaments alternate between left- and right-handed helical forms. The polymorphic ability of isolated R. sphaeroides filaments was tested in vitro by varying pH and ionic strength. The isolated filaments could form open-coiled, straight, normal, or curly conformations. The range of transitions made by the R. sphaeroides filament differs from that reported for Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. The sequence of the R. sphaeroides fliC gene, which encodes the flagellin protein, was determined. The gene appears to be controlled by a sigma(28)-dependent promoter. It encodes a predicted peptide of 493 amino acids. Serovar Typhimurium mutants with altered polymorphic ability usually have amino acid changes at the terminal portions of flagellin or a deletion in the central region. There are no obvious major differences in the central regions to explain the difference in polymorphic ability. In serovar Typhimurium filaments, the termini of flagellin monomers have a coiled-coil conformation. The termini of R. sphaeroides flagellin are predicted to have a lower probability of coiled coils than are those of serovar Typhimurium flagellin. This may be one reason for the differences in polymorphic ability between the two filaments.
Project description:Gene expression of the flagellar system is tightly controlled by external stimuli or intracellular signals. A general picture of this regulation has been obtained from studies of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. However, these regulatory mechanisms do not apply to all bacterial groups. In this study, we have investigated regulation of the flagellar genetic system in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Deletion analysis, site-directed mutagenesis, and 5'-end mapping were conducted in order to identify the fliO promoter. Our results indicate that this promoter is recognized by the factor sigma(54). Additionally, 5'-end mapping of the flgB and fliK transcripts suggests that these mRNAs are also transcribed from sigma(54) promoters. Finally, we showed evidence that suggests that fliC transcription is not entirely dependent on the presence of a complete basal body-hook structure. Our results are discussed in the context of a possible regulatory hierarchy controlling flagellar gene expression in R. sphaeroides.
Project description:Many bacterial species swim by employing ion-driven molecular motors that power the rotation of helical filaments. Signals are transmitted to the motor from the external environment via the chemotaxis pathway. In bidirectional motors, the binding of phosphorylated CheY (CheY-P) to the motor is presumed to instigate conformational changes that result in a different rotor-stator interface, resulting in rotation in the alternative direction. Controlling when this switch occurs enables bacteria to accumulate in areas favorable for their survival. Unlike most species that swim with bidirectional motors, Rhodobacter sphaeroides employs a single stop-start flagellar motor. Here, we asked, how does the binding of CheY-P stop the motor in R. sphaeroides--using a clutch or a brake? By applying external force with viscous flow or optical tweezers, we show that the R. sphaeroides motor is stopped using a brake. The motor stops at 27-28 discrete angles, locked in place by a relatively high torque, approximately 2-3 times its stall torque.