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CqsA-CqsS quorum-sensing signal-receptor specificity in P hotobacterium angustum

Author(s): Ke, Xiaobo; Miller, Laura C; Ng, Wai-Leung; Bassler, Bonnie L

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Abstract: Quorum sensing (QS) is a process of bacterial cell-cell communication that relies on the production, detection, and population-wide response to extracellular signal molecules called autoinducers. The QS system commonly found in vibrios and photobacteria consists of the CqsA synthase/CqsS receptor pair. Vibrio cholerae CqsA/S synthesizes and detects (S)-3-hydroxytridecan-4-one (C10-CAI-1), whereas Vibrio harveyi produces and detects a distinct but similar molecule, (Z)-3-aminoundec-2-en-4-one (Ea-C8-CAI-1). To understand the signaling properties of the larger family of CqsA-CqsS pairs, here, we characterize the Photobacterium angustum CqsA/S system. Many photobacterial cqsA genes harbor a conserved frameshift mutation that abolishes CAI-1 production. By contrast, their cqsS genes are intact. Correcting the P. angustum cqsA reading frame restores production of a mixture of CAI-1 moieties, including C8-CAI-1, C10-CAI-1, Ea-C8-CAI-1 and Ea-C10-CAI-1. This signal production profile matches the P. angustum CqsS receptor ligand-detection capability. The receptor exhibits a preference for molecules with 10-carbon tails, and the CqsS Ser168 residue governs this preference. P. angustum can overcome the cqsA frameshift to produce CAI-1 under particular limiting growth conditions presumably through a ribosome slippage mechanism. Thus, we propose that P. angustum uses CAI-1 signaling for adaptation to stressful environments.
Publication Date: Feb-2014
Electronic Publication Date: 14-Jan-2014
Citation: Ke, Xiaobo, Miller, Laura C, Ng, Wai-Leung, Bassler, Bonnie L. (2014). CqsA-CqsS quorum-sensing signal-receptor specificity in P hotobacterium angustum. Molecular Microbiology, 91 (4), 821 - 833. doi:10.1111/mmi.12502
DOI: doi:10.1111/mmi.12502
ISSN: 0950-382X
Pages: 1 - 21
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Molecular Microbiology
Version: Author's manuscript

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