Identification of the active site of HetR protease and its requirement for heterocyst differentiation in the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120

Dong, Y., Huang, X. , Wu, X.-Y. and Zhao, J. (2000) Identification of the active site of HetR protease and its requirement for heterocyst differentiation in the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. Journal of Bacteriology, 182(6), pp. 1575-1579. (doi: 10.1128/JB.182.6.1575-1579.2000)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.182.6.1575-1579.2000

Abstract

HetR is a serine-type protease required for heterocyst differentiation in heterocystous cyanobacteria under conditions of nitrogen deprivation. We have identified the active Ser residue of HetR from Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 by site-specific mutagenesis. By changing the S152 residue to an Ala residue, the mutant protein cannot be labeled by Dansyl fluoride, a specific serine-type protein inhibitor. The mutant protein showed no autodegradation in vitro. The mutant hetR gene was introduced intoAnabaena strain 884a, a hetR mutant. The resultant strain, Anabaena strain S152A, could not form heterocysts under conditions of nitrogen deprivation even though the up-regulation of the mutant hetR gene was induced upon removal of combined nitrogen. The Anabaena strain 216, which carries a mutant hetR gene encoding S179N HetR and could not form heterocysts, also produced HetR protein upon induction. Sequence comparison shows that Ser152 is conserved in all cyanobacterial HetR. Immunoblotting was used to study HetR induction in both the wild-type and mutant strains. The amount of mutant HetR in strain S152A and in strain 216 increased continuously for 24 h after nitrogen step-down, while the amount of HetR in wild-type cells reached a maximum level within 6 h after nitrogen step-down. Our results show the Ser152 is the active site of HetR. The protease activity is required for heterocyst differentiation and might be needed for repression of HetR overproduction under conditions of nitrogen deprivation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Huang, Dr Xu
Authors: Dong, Y., Huang, X., Wu, X.-Y., and Zhao, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Bacteriology
Journal Abbr.:J. Bacteriol.
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:0021-9193
ISSN (Online):1098-5530

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