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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cross talk to the phosphate regulon of Escherichia coli by PhoM protein: PhoM is a histidine protein kinase and catalyzes phosphorylation of PhoB and PhoM-open reading frame 2.

Transcription of the genes in the phosphate regulon in Escherichia coli is activated by PhoB protein, which is phosphorylated by PhoR protein under phosphate-limiting conditions. In the absence of the phoR function, the genes in the phosphate regulon are expressed constitutively and the expression is dependent on the function of phoM and phoB. We constructed a plasmid with a lacZ'-'phoM fusion gene, which encoded a hybrid protein (PhoM1206) in which the hydrophobic amino-terminal half of the native PhoM was replaced by beta-galactosidase. The phoM1206 gene could complement the phoM mutation in vivo. We purified PhoM1206 from the overproducing strain carrying the plasmid; it was autophosphorylated at a histidine residue in the presence of ATP, and the phospho-PhoM1206 phosphorylated PhoB. PhoM1206 could also transphosphorylate the product of phoM-orf2, which is structurally homologous to phoB and located immediately upstream of phoM. Although PhoR1084 that lacked the hydrophobic amino-terminal region of the native PhoR protein transphosphorylated PhoB, it could not phosphorylate PhoM-open reading frame 2. Therefore, cross talk by protein phosphorylation appears to occur from PhoM to PhoB but not from PhoR to PhoM-open reading frame 2.[1]


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