Cross-talk between bacterial two-component systems drives stepwise regulation of flagellar biosynthesis in swarming development

Chia Fong Wei, Yu Huan Tsai, Sheng Hui Tsai, Chuan Sheng Lin, Chih Jung Chang, Chia Chen Lu, Hsiou Chen Huang, Hsin Chih Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Swarming motility is a mode of bacterial movement over a solid surface driven by rotating flagella in a coordinated manner. Bacteria can use two-component system (TCS), which typically comprises a sensor kinase and a specific cognate response regulator, to properly react to environmental changes. We previously showed that the TCS RssAB suppresses flagellar biosynthesis master regulator flhDC specifically in swarming lag phase to control surface migration timing without affecting expansion rate in Serratia marcescens swarming development. Here we demonstrate that the TCS QseBC, which has been found in several human pathogens involved in flagellar and virulence regulation, has cross-talk with RssAB. We demonstrate that the phosphorylated QseB repressed flhDC expression, reducing swarming migration rate with modest effect on migration initiation. Unexpectedly, the QseC can dephosphorylate non-cognate response regulator RssB. Deletion of qseC prolonged RssAB signaling, reduced flhDC expression, and delayed migration initiation. Our data suggest that QseC is a flagellar biosynthesis activator by de-repressing RssB ∼ P and QseB ∼ P respectively in lag and migration phases in a stage-specific manner in swarming development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume489
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • QseBC
  • RssAB
  • Swarming
  • Two-component system

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