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A Disulfide Bridge Network within the Soluble Periplasmic Domain Determines Structure and Function of the Outer Membrane Protein RCSF*

By Vladimir V. Rogov, Natalia Yu. Rogova, Frank Bernhard, Frank Löhr and Volker Dötsch


RcsF, a proposed auxiliary regulator of the regulation of capsule synthesis (rcs) phosphorelay system, is a key element for understanding the RcsC-D-A/B signaling cascade, which is responsible for the regulation of more than 100 genes and is involved in cell division, motility, biofilm formation, and virulence. The RcsC-D-A/B system is one of the most complex bacterial signal transduction pathways, consisting of several membrane-bound and soluble proteins. RcsF is a lipoprotein attached to the outer membrane and plays an important role in activating the RcsC-d-A/B pathway. The exact mechanism of activation of the rcs phosphorelay by RcsF, however, remains unknown. We have analyzed the sequence of RcsF and identified three structural elements: 1) an N-terminal membrane-anchored helix (residues 3–13), 2) a loop (residues 14–48), and 3) a C-terminal folded domain (residues 49–134). We have determined the structure of this C-terminal domain and started to investigate its interaction with potential partners. Important features of its structure are two disulfide bridges between Cys-74 and Cys-118 and between Cys-109 and Cys-124. To evaluate the importance of this RcsF disulfide bridge network in vivo, we have examined the ability of the full-length protein and of specific Cys mutants to initiate the rcs signaling cascade. The results indicate that the Cys-74/Cys-118 and the Cys-109/Cys-124 residues correlate pairwise with the activity of RcsF. Interaction studies showed a weak interaction with an RNA hairpin. However, no interaction could be detected with reagents that are believed to activate the rcs phosphorelay, such as lysozyme, glucose, or Zn2+ ions

Topics: Protein Structure and Folding
Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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