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

Altered recognition mutants of the response regulator PhoB: a new genetic strategy for studying protein-protein interactions.

Two-component regulatory systems require highly specific interactions between histidine kinase (transmitter) and response regulator (receiver) proteins. We have developed a novel genetic strategy that is based on tightly regulated synthesis of a given protein to identify domains and residues of an interacting protein that are critical for interactions between them. Using a reporter strain synthesizing the nonpartner kinase VanS under tight arabinose control and carrying a promoter-lacZ fusion activated by phospho-PhoB, we isolated altered recognition (AR) mutants of PhoB showing enhanced activation (phosphorylation) by VanS as arabinose-dependent Lac+ mutants. Changes in the PhoBAR mutants cluster in a "patch" near the proposed helix 4 of PhoB based on the CheY crystal structure (a homolog of the PhoB receiver domain) providing further evidence that helix 4 lies in the kinase-regulator interface. Based on the CheY structure, one mutant has an additional change in a region that may propagate a conformational change to helix 4. The overall genetic strategy described here may also be useful for studying interactions of other components of the vancomycin resistance and P1 signal transduction pathways, other two-component regulatory systems, and other interacting proteins. Conditionally replicative oriRR6K gamma attP "genome targeting" suicide plasmids carrying mutagenized phoB coding regions were integrated into the chromosome of a reporter strain to create mutant libraries; plasmids encoding mutant PhoB proteins were subsequently retrieved by P1-Int-Xis cloning. Finally, the use of similar genome targeting plasmids and P1-Int-Xis cloning should be generally useful for constructing genomic libraries from a wide array of organisms.[1]


  1. Altered recognition mutants of the response regulator PhoB: a new genetic strategy for studying protein-protein interactions. Haldimann, A., Prahalad, M.K., Fisher, S.L., Kim, S.K., Walsh, C.T., Wanner, B.L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
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