Identification of a predicted partner-switching system that affects production of the gene transfer agent RcGTA and stationary phase viability in Rhodobacter capsulatus

Mercer, Ryan G. and Lang, Andrew S. (2014) Identification of a predicted partner-switching system that affects production of the gene transfer agent RcGTA and stationary phase viability in Rhodobacter capsulatus. BMC Microbiology, 14 (71). ISSN 1471-2180

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Abstract

Background: Production of the gene transfer agent RcGTA in the α-proteobacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus is dependent upon the response regulator protein CtrA. Loss of this regulator has widespread effects on transcription in R. capsulatus, including the dysregulation of numerous genes encoding other predicted regulators. This includes a set of putative components of a partner-switching signaling pathway with sequence homology to the σ-regulating proteins RsbV, RsbW, and RsbY that have been extensively characterized for their role in stress responses in gram-positive bacteria. These R. capsulatus homologues, RbaV, RbaW, and RbaY, have been investigated for their possible role in controlling RcGTA gene expression. Results: A mutant strain lacking rbaW showed a significant increase in RcGTA gene expression and production. Mutation of rbaV or rbaY led to a decrease in RcGTA gene expression and production, and these mutants also showed decreased viability in the stationary phase and produced unusual colony morphologies. In vitro and in vivo protein interaction assays demonstrated that RbaW and RbaV interact. A combination of gene disruptions and protein-protein interaction assays were unsuccessful in attempts to identify a cognate σ factor, and the genetic data support a model where the RbaV protein that is the determinant regulator of RcGTA gene expression in this system. Conclusions: These findings provide new information about RcGTA regulation by a putative partner-switching system and further illustrate the integration of RcGTA production into R. capsulatus physiology.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6433
Item ID: 6433
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Keywords: Gene expression, Protein-protein interactions, Partner-switching, Gene exchange
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 19 March 2014
Date Type: Publication
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