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Activating mutations in quorum-sensing regulator Rgg2 and its conformational flexibility in the absence of an intermolecular disulfide bond.

ABSTRACT: Rap/Rgg/NprR/PlcR/PrgX (RRNPP) quorum-sensing systems use extracellular peptide pheromones that are detected by cytoplasmic receptors to regulate gene expression in firmicute bacteria. Rgg-type receptors are allosterically regulated through direct pheromone binding to control transcriptional activity; however, the receptor activation mechanism remains poorly understood. Previous work has identified a disulfide bond between Cys-45 residues within the homodimer interface of Rgg2 from Streptococcus dysgalactiae (Rgg2Sd). Here, we compared two Rgg2Sd(C45S) X-ray crystal structures with that of wild-type Rgg2Sd and found that in the absence of the intermolecular disulfide, the Rgg2Sd dimer interface is destabilized and Rgg2Sd can adopt multiple conformations. One conformation closely resembled the "disulfide-locked" Rgg2Sd secondary and tertiary structures, but another displayed more extensive rigid-body shifts as well as dramatic secondary structure changes. In parallel experiments, a genetic screen was used to identify mutations in rgg2 of Streptococcus pyogenes (rgg2Sp ) that conferred pheromone-independent transcriptional activation of an Rgg2-stimulated promoter. Eight mutations yielding constitutive Rgg2 activity, designated Rgg2Sp*, were identified, and five of them clustered in or near an Rgg2 region that underwent conformational changes in one of the Rgg2Sd(C45S) crystal structures. The Rgg2Sp* mutations increased Rgg2Sp sensitivity to pheromone and pheromone variants while displaying decreased sensitivity to the Rgg2 antagonist cyclosporine A. We propose that Rgg2Sp* mutations invoke shifts in free-energy bias to favor the active state of the protein. Finally, we present evidence for an electrostatic interaction between an N-terminal Asp of the pheromone and Arg-153 within the proposed pheromone-binding pocket of Rgg2Sp.

SUBMITTER: Wilkening RV 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5733591 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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