Identification of the SlmA Active Site Responsible for Blocking Bacterial Cytokinetic Ring Assembly over the Chromosome
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CitationCho, Hongbaek, and Thomas G. Bernhardt. 2013. Identification of the SlmA active site responsible for blocking bacterial cytokinetic ring assembly over the chromosome. PLoS Genetics 9(2): e1003304.
AbstractBacterial cells use chromosome-associated division inhibitors to help coordinate the processes of DNA replication and segregation with cytokinesis. SlmA from Escherichia coli, a member of the tetracycline repressor (TetR)–like protein family, is one example of this class of regulator. It blocks the assembly of the bacterial cytokinetic ring by interfering with the polymerization of the tubulin-like FtsZ protein in a manner that is dramatically stimulated upon specific DNA binding. Here we used a combination of molecular genetics and biochemistry to identify the active site of SlmA responsible for disrupting FtsZ polymerization. Interestingly, this site maps to a region of SlmA that in the published DNA–free structure is partially occluded by the DNA-binding domains. In this conformation, the SlmA structure resembles the drug/inducer-bound conformers of other TetR–like proteins, which in the absence of inducer require an inward rotation of their DNA-binding domains to bind successive major grooves on operator DNA. Our results are therefore consistent with a model in which DNA-binding activates SlmA by promoting a rotational movement of the DNA-binding domains that fully exposes the FtsZ-binding sites. SlmA may thus represent a special subclass of TetR–like proteins that have adapted conformational changes normally associated with inducer sensing in order to modulate an interaction with a partner protein. In this case, the adaptation ensures that SlmA only blocks cytokinesis in regions of the cell occupied by the origin-proximal portion of the chromosome where SlmA-binding sites are enriched.
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