Istituto di Cristallografia - CNR

LuxR Solos from Environmental Fluorescent Pseudomonads

LuxR solos are related to quorum sensing (QS) LuxR family regulators; however, they lack a cognate LuxI family protein. LuxR solos are widespread and almost exclusively found in proteobacteria. In this study, we investigated the distribution and conservation of LuxR solos in the fluorescent pseudomonads group. Our analysis of more than 600 genomes revealed that the majority of fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. carry one or more LuxR solos, occurring considerably more frequently than complete LuxI/LuxR archetypical QS systems. Based on the adjacent gene context and conservation of the primary structure, nine subgroups of LuxR solos have been identified that are likely to be involved in the establishment of communication networks. Modeling analysis revealed that the majority of subgroups shows some substitutions at the invariant amino acids of the ligand-binding pocket of QS LuxRs, raising the possibility of binding to non-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) ligands. Several mutants and gene expression studies on some LuxR solos belonging to different subgroups were performed in order to shed light on their response. The commonality of LuxR solos among fluorescent pseudomonads is an indication of their important role in cell-cell signaling. IMPORTANCE Cell-cell communication in bacteria is being extensively studied in simple settings and uses chemical signals and cognate regulators/receptors. Many Gram-negative proteobacteria use acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) synthesized by LuxI family proteins and cognate LuxR-type receptors to regulate their quorum sensing (QS) target loci. AHL-QS circuits are the best studied QS systems; however, many proteobacterial genomes also contain one or more LuxR solos, which are QS-related LuxR proteins which are unpaired to a cognate LuxI. A few LuxR solos have been implicated in intraspecies, interspecies, and interkingdom signaling. Here, we report that LuxR solo homologs occur considerably more frequently than complete LuxI/ LuxR QS systems within the Pseudomonas fluorescens group of species and that they are characterized by different genomic organizations and primary structures and can be subdivided into several subgroups. The P. fluorescens group consists of more than 50 species, many of which are found in plant-associated environments. The role of LuxR solos in cell-cell signaling in fluorescent pseudomonads is discussed.

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Bez C.; Covaceuzach S.; Bertani I.; Choudhary K.S.; Venturi V.
Autori IC CNR