Promoter recognition and activation by the global response regulator CbrB in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
ABSTRACT: In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the CbrA/CbrB two-component system is instrumental in the maintenance of the carbon-nitrogen balance and for growth on carbon sources that are energetically less favorable than the preferred dicarboxylate substrates. The CbrA/CbrB system drives the expression of the small RNA CrcZ, which antagonizes the repressing effects of the catabolite repression control protein Crc, an RNA-binding protein. Dicarboxylates appear to cause carbon catabolite repression by inhibiting the activity of the CbrA/CbrB system, resulting in reduced crcZ expression. Here we have identified a conserved palindromic nucleotide sequence that is present in upstream activating sequences (UASs) of promoters under positive control by CbrB and ?(54) RNA polymerase, especially in the UAS of the crcZ promoter. Evidence for recognition of this palindromic sequence by CbrB was obtained in vivo from mutational analysis of the crcZ promoter and in vitro from electrophoretic mobility shift assays using crcZ promoter fragments and purified CbrB protein truncated at the N terminus. Integration host factor (IHF) was required for crcZ expression. CbrB also activated the lipA (lipase) promoter, albeit less effectively, apparently by interacting with a similar but less conserved palindromic sequence in the UAS of lipA. As expected, succinate caused CbrB-dependent catabolite repression of the lipA promoter. Based on these results and previously published data, a consensus CbrB recognition sequence is proposed. This sequence has similarity to the consensus NtrC recognition sequence, which is relevant for nitrogen control.
Project description:In Pseudomonas putida, the Hfq and Crc proteins regulate the expression of many genes in response to nutritional and environmental cues, by binding to mRNAs that bear specific target motifs and inhibiting their translation. The effect of these two proteins is antagonized by the CrcZ and CrcY small RNAs (sRNAs), the levels of which vary greatly according to growth conditions. The crcZ and crcY genes are transcribed from promoters PcrcZ and PcrcY, respectively, a process that relies on the CbrB transcriptional activator and the RpoN ? factor. Here we show that crcZ can also be transcribed from the promoter of the immediate upstream gene, cbrB, a weak constitutive promoter. The cbrB-crcZ transcript was processed to render a sRNA very similar in size to the CrcZ produced from promoter PcrcZ The processed sRNA, termed CrcZ*, was able to antagonize Hfq/Crc because, when provided in trans, it relieved the deregulated Hfq/Crc-dependent hyperrepressing phenotype of a ?crcZ?crcY strain. CrcZ* may help in attaining basal levels of CrcZ/CrcZ* that are sufficient to protect the cell from an excessive Hfq/Crc-dependent repression. Since a functional sRNA can be produced from PcrcZ, an inducible strong promoter, or by cleavage of the cbrB-crcZ mRNA, crcZ can be considered a 3'-untranslated region of the cbrB-crcZ mRNA. In the absence of Hfq, the processed form of CrcZ was not observed. In addition, we show that Crc and Hfq increase CrcZ stability, which supports the idea that these proteins can form a complex with CrcZ and protect it from degradation by RNases.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that possesses a large arsenal of virulence factors enabling the pathogen to cause serious infections in immunocompromised patients, burn victims, and cystic fibrosis patients. CbrA is a sensor kinase that has previously been implied to play a role with its cognate response regulator CbrB in the metabolic regulation of carbon and nitrogen utilization in P. aeruginosa. Here it is demonstrated that CbrA and CbrB play an important role in various virulence and virulence-related processes of the bacteria, including swarming, biofilm formation, cytotoxicity, and antibiotic resistance. The cbrA deletion mutant was completely unable to swarm while exhibiting an increase in biofilm formation, supporting the inverse regulation of swarming and biofilm formation in P. aeruginosa. The cbrA mutant also exhibited increased cytotoxicity to human lung epithelial cells as early as 4 and 6 h postinfection. Furthermore, the cbrA mutant demonstrated increased resistance toward a variety of clinically important antibiotics, including polymyxin B, ciprofloxacin, and tobramycin. Microarray analysis revealed that under swarming conditions, CbrA regulated the expression of many genes, including phoPQ, pmrAB, arnBCADTEF, dnaK, and pvdQ, consistent with the antibiotic resistance and swarming impairment phenotypes of the cbrA mutant. Phenotypic and real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analyses of a PA14 cbrB mutant suggested that CbrA may be modulating swarming, biofilm formation, and cytotoxicity via CbrB and that the CrcZ small RNA is likely downstream of this two-component regulator. However, as CbrB did not have a resistance phenotype, CbrA likely modulates antibiotic resistance in a manner independent of CbrB.
Project description:The CbrA/CbrB system is a two-component signal transduction system known to participate in the regulation of the cellular carbon/nitrogen balance and to play a central role in carbon catabolite repression in Pseudomonas species. CbrA is composed of a domain with similarity to proteins of the solute/sodium symporter family (SLC5) and domains typically found in bacterial sensor kinases. Here, the functional properties of the sensor kinase CbrA and its domains are analyzed at the molecular level using the system of the soil bacterium P. putida KT2440 as a model. It is demonstrated that CbrA can bind and transport L-histidine. Transport is specific for L-histidine and probably driven by an electrochemical proton gradient. The kinase domain is not required for L-histidine uptake by the SLC5 domain of CbrA, and has no significant impact on transport kinetics. Furthermore, it is shown that the histidine kinase can autophosphorylate and transfer the phosphoryl group to the response regulator CbrB. The SLC5 domain is not essential for these activities but appears to modulate the autokinase activity. A phosphatase activity of CbrA is not detected. None of the activities is significantly affected by L-histidine. The results demonstrate that CbrA functions as a L-histidine transporter and sensor kinase.
Project description:The opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is able to utilize a wide range of carbon and nitrogen compounds, allowing it to grow in vastly different environments. The uptake and catabolism of growth substrates are organized hierarchically by a mechanism termed catabolite repression control (Crc) whereby the Crc protein establishes translational repression of target mRNAs at CA (catabolite activity) motifs present in target mRNAs near ribosome binding sites. Poor carbon sources lead to activation of the CbrAB two-component system, which induces transcription of the small RNA (sRNA) CrcZ. This sRNA relieves Crc-mediated repression of target mRNAs. In this study, we have identified novel targets of the CbrAB/Crc system in P. aeruginosa using transcriptome analysis in combination with a search for CA motifs. We characterized four target genes involved in the uptake and utilization of less preferred carbon sources: estA (secreted esterase), acsA (acetyl-CoA synthetase), bkdR (regulator of branched-chain amino acid catabolism) and aroP2 (aromatic amino acid uptake protein). Evidence for regulation by CbrAB, CrcZ and Crc was obtained in vivo using appropriate reporter fusions, in which mutation of the CA motif resulted in loss of catabolite repression. CbrB and CrcZ were important for growth of P. aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis (CF) sputum medium, suggesting that the CbrAB/Crc system may act as an important regulator during chronic infection of the CF lung.
Project description:Azotobacter vinelandii, a strict aerobic, nitrogen fixing bacterium in the Pseudomonadaceae family, exhibits a preferential use of acetate over glucose as a carbon source. In this study, we show that GluP (Avin04150), annotated as an H+-coupled glucose-galactose symporter, is the glucose transporter in A. vinelandii. This protein, which is widely distributed in bacteria and archaea, is uncommon in Pseudomonas species. We found that expression of gluP was under catabolite repression control thorugh the CbrA/CbrB and Crc/Hfq regulatory systems, which were functionally conserved between A. vinelandii and Pseudomonas species. While the histidine kinase CbrA was essential for glucose utilization, over-expression of the Crc protein arrested cell growth when glucose was the sole carbon source. Crc and Hfq proteins from either A. vinelandii or P. putida could form a stable complex with an RNA A-rich Hfq-binding motif present in the leader region of gluP mRNA. Moreover, in P. putida, the gluP A-rich Hfq-binding motif was functional and promoted translational inhibition of a lacZ reporter gene. The fact that gluP is not widely distributed in the Pseudomonas genus but is under control of the CbrA/CbrB and Crc/Hfq systems demonstrates the relevance of these systems in regulating metabolism in the Pseudomonadaceae family.
Project description:CbrAB is a high ranked global regulatory system exclusive of the Pseudomonads that responds to carbon limiting conditions. It has become necessary to define the particular regulon of CbrB and discriminate it from the downstream cascades through other regulatory components. We have performed in vivo binding analysis of CbrB in P. putida and determined that it directly controls the expression of at least 61 genes; 20% involved in regulatory functions, including the previously identified CrcZ and CrcY small regulatory RNAs. The remaining are porines or transporters (20%), metabolic enzymes (16%), activities related to protein translation (5%) and orfs of uncharacterised function (38%). Amongst the later, we have selected the operon PP2810-13 to make an exhaustive analysis of the CbrB binding sequences, together with those of crcZ and crcY. We describe the implication of three independent non-palindromic subsites with a variable spacing in three different targets; CrcZ, CrcY and operon PP2810-13 in the CbrAB activation. CbrB is a quite peculiar ?N-dependent activator since it is barely dependent on phosphorylation for transcriptional activation. With the depiction of the precise contacts of CbrB with the DNA, the analysis of the multimerisation status and its dependence on other factors such as RpoN o IHF, we propose a model of transcriptional activation.
Project description:Azotobacter vinelandii is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium of the Pseudomonadaceae family that prefers the use of organic acids rather than carbohydrates. Thus, in a mixture of acetate-glucose, glucose is consumed only after acetate is exhausted. In a previous work, we investigated the molecular basis of this carbon catabolite repression (CCR) process under diazotrophic conditions. In the presence of acetate, Crc-Hfq inhibited translation of the gluP mRNA, encoding the glucose transporter in A. vinelandii. Herein, we investigated the regulation in the expression of the small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) crcZ and crcY, which are known to antagonize the repressing activity of Hfq-Crc. Our results indicated higher expression levels of the sRNAs crcZ and crcY under low CCR conditions (i.e. glucose), in relation to the strong one (acetate one). In addition, we also explored the process of CCR in the presence of ammonium. Our results revealed that CCR also occurs under non-diazotrophic conditions as we detected a hierarchy in the utilization of the supplied carbon sources, which was consistent with the higher expression level of the crcZ/Y sRNAs during glucose catabolism. Analysis of the promoters driving transcription of crcZ and crcY confirmed that they were RpoN-dependent but we also detected a processed form of CrcZ (CrcZ*) in the RpoN-deficient strain derived from a cbrB-crcZ co-transcript. CrcZ* was functional and sufficient to allow the assimilation of acetate.
Project description:The RNA chaperone Hfq regulates virulence and metabolism in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. During carbon catabolite repression (CCR) Hfq together with the catabolite repression control protein Crc can act as a translational repressor of catabolic genes. Upon relief of CCR, the level of the Hfq-titrating RNA CrcZ is increasing, which in turn abrogates Hfq-mediated translational repression. As the interdependence of Hfq-mediated and RNA based control mechanisms is poorly understood, we explored the possibility whether the regulatory RNA CrcZ can interfere with riboregulation. We first substantiate that the P. aeruginosa Hfq is proficient and required for riboregulation of the transcriptional activator gene antR by the small RNA PrrF1-2. Our studies further revealed that CrcZ can interfere with PrrF1-2/Hfq-mediated regulation of antR. The competition for Hfq can be rationalized by the higher affinity of Hfq for CrcZ than for antR mRNA.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) can thrive in anaerobic biofilms in the lungs of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Here, we show that CrcZ is the most abundant PA14 RNA bound to the global regulator Hfq in anoxic biofilms grown in cystic fibrosis sputum medium. Hfq was crucial for anoxic biofilm formation. This observation complied with an RNAseq based transcriptome analysis and follow up studies that implicated Hfq in regulation of a central step preceding denitrification. CrcZ is known to act as a decoy that sequesters Hfq during relief of carbon catabolite repression, which in turn alleviates Hfq-mediated translational repression of catabolic genes. We therefore inferred that CrcZ indirectly impacts on biofilm formation by competing for Hfq. This hypothesis was supported by the findings that over-production of CrcZ mirrored the biofilm phenotype of the hfq deletion mutant, and that deletion of the crcZ gene augmented biofilm formation. To our knowledge, this is the first example where competition for Hfq by CrcZ cross-regulates an Hfq-dependent physiological process unrelated to carbon metabolism.
Project description:The opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa can utilize several carbon and nitrogen compounds as energy sources, which allows the bacterium to grow on a variety of different environments. Nevertheless, the uptake and utilization of these compounds is organized in a hierarchical manner, which is guaranteed by a mechanism named catabolite repression. In P. aeruginosa catabolite repression is a post-transcriptional process with the translational repressor protein, Crc, as the main component. Crc recognizes CA-motifs (acronym for catabolite activity) present in the vicinity of the ribosome binfing site of corresponding target mRNAs and therefore compete with ribosome binding. Certain conditions, which are mainly related to changes in the carbon to nitrogen ratio, induce the two component system CbrAB, which activates the transcription of the sRNA CrcZ. The sRNA sequesters Crc and allows the translation of the target mRNAs. The main focus of this study was to identify novel direct targets of the CbrAB/Crc system with the use of a transcriptome analysis in combination with the search for CA-motifs. We were able to identify five novel targets (estA, acsA, dctP, bkdR and aroP2), which were involved in the uptake and utilization of less preferred carbon sources and amino acids. Direct interaction of Crc with these genes and the resulting regulation by CbrB and CrcZ were verified using mutational analysis and in vitro and in vivo experiments. Moreover, these targets were discussed in the light of growth and biofilm development in synthetic CF sputum medium which emphasised the importance of the CbrAB/Crc system as a regulator of chronic infection. Comparative transcriptome analysis with the PAO1 wild type strain and PAO6673 (delta crc), PAO66711 (delta cbrB), PAO6679 (delta crcZ) strains grown in LB medium.