The Self-Identity Protein IdsD Is Communicated between Cells in Swarming Proteus mirabilis Colonies
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CitationSaak, Christina C., and Karine A. Gibbs. 2016. “The Self-Identity Protein IdsD Is Communicated Between Cells in Swarming Proteus Mirabilis Colonies.” Edited by V. J. DiRita. Journal of Bacteriology 198 (24) (September 26): 3278–3286. doi:10.1128/jb.00402-16.
AbstractProteus mirabilis is a social bacterium that is capable of self (kin) versus nonself recognition. Swarming colonies of this bacterium expand outward on surfaces to centimeter-scale distances due to the collective motility of individual cells. Colonies of genetically distinct populations remain separate, while those of identical populations merge. Ids proteins are essential for this recognition behavior. Two of these proteins, IdsD and IdsE, encode identity information for each strain. These two proteins bind in vitro in an allele-restrictive manner. IdsD-IdsE binding is correlated with the merging of populations, whereas a lack of binding is correlated with the separation of populations. Key questions remained about the in vivo interactions of IdsD and IdsE, specifically, whether IdsD and IdsE bind within single cells or whether IdsD-IdsE interactions occur across neighboring cells and, if so, which of the two proteins is exchanged. Here we demonstrate that IdsD must originate from another cell to communicate identity and that this nonresident IdsD interacts with IdsE resident in the recipient cell. Furthermore, we show that unbound IdsD in recipient cells does not cause cell death and instead appears to contribute to a restriction in the expansion radius of the swarming colony. We conclude that P. mirabilis communicates IdsD between neighboring cells for nonlethal kin recognition, which suggests that the Ids proteins constitute a type of cell-cell communication.
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