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Title

The heterocyst differentiation transcriptional regulator HetR of the filamentous cyanobactrium Anabaena forms tetramers and can be regulated by phosphorylation

AuthorsValladares, Ana ; Flores, Enrique ; Herrero, Antonia
KeywordsHeterocyst differentiation
Post-translational modification
Anabaena
Issue Date2016
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationMolecular Microbiology 99: 808- 819 (2016)
AbstractMany filamentous cyanobacteria respond to the external cue of nitrogen scarcity by the differentiation of heterocysts, cells specialized in the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen in oxic environments. Heterocysts follow a spatial pattern along the filament of two heterocysts separated by ca. 10–15 vegetative cells performing oxygenic photosynthesis. HetR is a transcriptional regulator that directs heterocyst differentiation. In the model strain Anabaena sp. PCC 7120, the HetR protein was observed in various oligomeric forms in vivo, including a tetramer that peaked with maximal hetR expression during differentiation. Tetramers were not detected in a hetR point mutant incapable of differentiation, but were conspicuous in an over-differentiating strain lacking the PatS inhibitor. In differentiated filaments the HetR tetramer was restricted to heterocysts, being undetectable in vegetative cells. HetR co-purified with RNA polymerase from Anabaena mainly as a tetramer. In vitro, purified recombinant HetR was distributed between monomers, dimers, trimers and tetramers, and it was phosphorylated when incubated with (γ-32P)ATP. Phosphorylation and PatS hampered the accumulation of HetR tetramers and impaired HetR binding to DNA. In summary, tetrameric HetR appears to represent a functionally relevant form of HetR, whose abundance in the Anabaena filament could be negatively regulated by phosphorylation and by PatS.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/147433
DOI10.1111/mmi.13268
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/mmi.13268
issn: 1365-2958
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