FlhA provides the adaptor for coordinated delivery of late flagella building blocks to the type III secretion system.
ABSTRACT: Flagella are the bacterial organelles of motility and can play important roles in pathogenesis. Flagella biosynthesis requires the coordinated export of huge protein amounts from the cytosol to the nascent flagellar structure at the cell surface and employs a type III secretion system (T3SS). Here we show that the integral membrane protein FlhA from the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis acts as an adaptor for late export substrates at the T3SS. The major filament protein (flagellin) and the filament-cap protein (FliD) bind to the FlhA cytoplasmic domain (FlhA-C) only in complex with their cognate chaperones (FliS and FliT). To understand the molecular details of these interactions we determined the FlhA-C crystal structure at 2.3 A resolution. FlhA-C consists of an N-terminal linker region, three subdomains with a novel fold, and a disordered region essential for the adaptor function. We show that the export protein FliJ associates with the linker region and modulates the binding properties of FlhA-C. While the interaction of FliD/FliT is enhanced, flagellin/FliS is not affected. FliJ also keeps FliT associated with FlhA-C and excess of FliT inhibits binding of FliD/FliT, suggesting that empty FliT chaperones stay associated with FliJ after export of FliD. Taken together, these results allow to propose a model that explains how the T3SS may switch from the stoichiometric export of FliD to the high-throughput secretion of flagellin.
Project description:The flagellum and the injectisome enable bacterial locomotion and pathogenesis, respectively. These nanomachines assemble and function using a type III secretion system (T3SS). Exported proteins are delivered to the export apparatus by dedicated cytoplasmic chaperones for their transport through the membrane. The structural and mechanistic basis of this process is poorly understood. Here we report the structures of two ternary complexes among flagellar chaperones (FliT and FliS), protein substrates (the filament-capping FliD and flagellin FliC), and the export gate platform protein FlhA. The substrates do not interact directly with FlhA; however, they are required to induce a binding-competent conformation to the chaperone that exposes the recognition motif featuring a highly conserved sequence recognized by FlhA. The structural data reveal the recognition signal in a class of T3SS proteins and provide new insight into the assembly of key protein complexes at the export gate.
Project description:The flagellum is a complex bacterial nanomachine that requires the proper assembly of several different proteins for its function. Dedicated chaperones are central in preventing aggregation or undesired interactions of flagellar proteins, including their targeting to the export gate. FliT is a key flagellar chaperone that binds to several flagellar proteins in the cytoplasm, including its cognate filament-capping protein FliD. We have determined the solution structure of the FliT chaperone in the free state and in complex with FliD and the flagellar ATPase FliI. FliT adopts a four-helix bundle and uses a hydrophobic surface formed by the first three helices to recognize its substrate proteins. We show that the fourth helix constitutes the binding site for FlhA, a membrane protein at the export gate. In the absence of a substrate protein FliT adopts an autoinhibited structure wherein both the binding sites for substrates and FlhA are occluded. Substrate binding to FliT activates the complex for FlhA binding and thus targeting of the chaperone-substrate complex to the export gate. The activation and targeting mechanisms reported for FliT appear to be shared among the other flagellar chaperones.
Project description:For self-assembly of the bacterial flagellum, most of the flagellar component proteins synthesized in the cytoplasm are exported by the flagellar type III export apparatus to the growing, distal end. Flagellar protein export is highly organized and well controlled in every step of the flagellar assembly process. Flagellar-specific chaperones not only facilitate the export of their cognate proteins, as well as prevent their premature aggregation in the cytoplasm, but also play a role in fine-tuning flagellar gene expression to be coupled with the flagellar assembly process. FliT is a flagellar-specific chaperone responsible for the export of the filament-capping protein FliD and for negative control of flagellar gene expression by binding to the FlhDC complex. Here we report the crystal structure of Salmonella FliT at 3.2-A resolution. The structural and biochemical analyses clearly reveal that the C-terminal segment of FliT regulates its interactions with the FlhDC complex, FliI ATPase, and FliJ (subunits of the export apparatus), and that its conformational change is responsible for the switch in its binding partners during flagellar protein export.
Project description:Flagellin is amongst the most abundant proteins in flagellated bacterial species and constitutes the major building block of the flagellar filament. The proteins FliW and FliS serve in the post-transcriptional control of flagellin and guide the protein to the flagellar type III secretion system (fT3SS), respectively. Here, we present the high-resolution structure of FliS/flagellin heterodimer and show that FliS and FliW bind to opposing interfaces located at the N- and C-termini of flagellin. The FliS/flagellin/FliW heterotrimer is able to interact with FlhA-C suggesting that FliW and FliS are released during flagellin export. After release, FliW and FliS are recycled to execute a new round of post-transcriptional regulation and targeting. Taken together, our study provides a mechanism explaining how FliW and FliS synchronize the production of flagellin with the capacity of the fT3SS to secrete flagellin.
Project description:During a genetic screen to identify metalloregulated loci in Bacillus subtilis, we isolated a Tn917-lacZ insertion in the second gene of an operon downstream of the flagellin (hag) gene. Sequence analysis indicates that this gene encodes a homolog of the enteric flagellar filament cap protein FliD. The fliD gene is followed by homologs of the fliS and fliT genes. Transcription of the fliD-lacZ fusion is sigma D dependent, with peak expression at the end of logarithmic-phase growth. Like other sigma D-dependent genes, expression of fliD-lacZ is greatly reduced by mutations in genes essential for assembly and function of the basal body and hook complex (class II functions). These results suggest that B. subtilis flagellar genes are organized in a hierarchy of gene expression similar to that found in enteric bacteria with hag and fliD as class III genes. Expression from the fliD operon promoter, but not the hag promoter, is repressed by iron, which suggests that the target of metalloregulation is the promoter rather than the sigma D protein.
Project description:E. coli is a model platform for engineering microbes, so genetic circuit design and analysis will be greatly facilitated by simple and effective approaches to introduce genetic constructs into the E. coli chromosome at well-characterised loci. We combined the Red recombinase system of bacteriophage ? and Isothermal Gibson Assembly for rapid integration of novel DNA constructs into the E. coli chromosome. We identified the flagellar region as a promising region for integration and expression of genetic circuits. We characterised integration and expression at four candidate loci, fliD, fliS, fliT, and fliY, of the E. coli flagellar region 3a. The integration efficiency and expression from the four integrations varied considerably. Integration into fliD and fliS significantly decreased motility, while integration into fliT and fliY had only a minor effect on the motility. None of the integrations had negative effects on the growth of the bacteria. Overall, we found that fliT was the most suitable integration site.
Project description:A soluble protein, FliJ, along with a membrane protein, FlhA, plays a role in the energy coupling mechanism for bacterial flagellar protein export. The water-soluble FliH(X)-FliI(6) ATPase ring complex allows FliJ to efficiently interact with FlhA. However, the FlhA binding site of FliJ remains unknown. Here, we carried out genetic analysis of a region formed by well-conserved residues-Gln38, Leu42, Tyr45, Tyr49, Phe72, Leu76, Ala79, and His83-of FliJ. A structural model of the FliI(6)-FliJ ring complex suggests that they extend out of the FliI(6) ring. Glutathione S-transferase (GST)-FliJ inhibited the motility of and flagellar protein export by both wild-type cells and a fliH-fliI flhB(P28T) bypass mutant. Pulldown assays revealed that the reduced export activity of the export apparatus results from the binding of GST-FliJ to FlhA. The F72A and L76A mutations of FliJ significantly reduced the binding affinity of FliJ for FlhA, thereby suppressing the inhibitory effect of GST-FliJ on the protein export. The F72A and L76A mutations were tolerated in the presence of FliH and FliI but considerably reduced motility in their absence. These two mutations affected neither the interaction with FliI nor the FliI ATPase activity. These results suggest that FliJ(F72A) and FliJ(L76A) require the support of FliH and FliI to exert their export function. Therefore, we propose that the well-conserved surface of FliJ is involved in the interaction with FlhA.
Project description:Bacteria secrete flagella subunits and deliver virulence effectors via type III export systems. During flagellar filament assembly, a chaperone escort mechanism has been proposed to enhance the export of early, minor flagellar filament components by selectively binding and cycling their chaperones. Here we identify virulence orthologues of the flagellar chaperone escort FliJ and show that the orthologues Salmonella InvI and Yersinia YscO are, like FliJ, essential for their type III export pathway and similarly, do not bind export substrates. Like FliJ, they recognize a subset of export chaperones, in particular those of the host membrane translocon components required for subsequent effector delivery.
Project description:Flagella-driven motility enables bacteria to reach their favorable niche within the host. The human foodborne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni produces two heavily glycosylated structural flagellins (FlaA and FlaB) that form the flagellar filament. It also encodes the non-structural FlaC flagellin which is secreted through the flagellum and has been implicated in host cell invasion. The mechanisms that regulate C. jejuni flagellin biogenesis and guide the proteins to the export apparatus are different from those in most other enteropathogens and are not fully understood. This work demonstrates the importance of the putative flagellar protein FliS in C. jejuni flagella assembly. A constructed fliS knockout strain was non-motile, displayed reduced levels of FlaA/B and FlaC flagellin, and carried severely truncated flagella. Pull-down and Far Western blot assays showed direct interaction of FliS with all three C. jejuni flagellins (FlaA, FlaB, and FlaC). This is in contrast to, the sensor and regulator of intracellular flagellin levels, FliW, which bound to FlaA and FlaB but not to FlaC. The FliS protein but not FliW preferred binding to glycosylated C. jejuni flagellins rather than to their non-glycosylated recombinant counterparts. Mapping of the binding region of FliS and FliW using a set of flagellin fragments showed that the C-terminal subdomain of the flagellin was required for FliS binding, whereas the N-terminal subdomain was essential for FliW binding. The separate binding subdomains required for FliS and FliW, the different substrate specificity, and the differential preference for binding of glycosylated flagellins ensure optimal processing and assembly of the C. jejuni flagellins.
Project description:Flagellar biogenesis is controlled by a negative feedback loop. When FliD was secreted at the late step of flagellar assembly, the FliD-FliT complex disassembled and free FliT bound to the FlhDC complex, a master regulator of flagellar biogenesis, subsequently inhibiting the overall expression of flagellar proteins. In this study, we analyzed the role of the FliD C-terminal domain in pentamer formation and interaction with FliT. Our study showed that the FliD L443R mutant exists as a monomer in solution, indicating that the Leu443 residue of FliD, which contributes to its interaction with FliT, plays a crucial role in the pentameric oligomerization of FliD. Consistently, the increased levels of free FliT proteins caused by FliD L443R mutation had negative effects on the gene expression of flagellar synthesis and reduced the expression of flagellar proteins. The lengths of flagella in each cell were significantly reduced in L443R mutant strain, suggesting that normal flagellar biogenesis was impeded. These results suggest that the C-terminal domain of FliD plays a crucial role in the pentameric oligmerization of FliD and the binding of FliT to the C-terminal domain of FliD is critical to inhibit the premature assembly of the FliD pentamer in the cytosol.