Structure of PlcR: Insights into virulence regulation and evolution of quorum sensing in Gram-positive bacteria

Nathalie Declerck, Laurent Bouillaut, Denis Chaix, Nathalie Rugani, Leyla Slamti, François Hoh, Didier Lereclus*, Stefan T. Arold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gram-positive bacteria use a wealth of extracellular signaling peptides, so-called autoinducers, to regulate gene expression according to population densities. These "quorum sensing" systems control vital processes such as virulence, sporulation, and gene transfer. Using x-ray analysis, we determined the structure of PlcR, the major virulence regulator of the Bacillus cereus group, and obtained mechanistic insights into the effects of autoinducer binding. Our structural and phylogenetic analysis further suggests that all of those quorum sensors that bind directly to their autoinducer peptide derive from a common ancestor and form a single family (the RNPP family, for Rap/NprR/PlcR/PrgX) with conserved features. As a consequence, fundamentally different processes in different bacterial genera appear regulated by essentially the same autoinducer recognition mechanism. Our results shed light on virulence control by PlcR and elucidate origin and evolution of multicellular behavior in bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18490-18495
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume104
Issue number47
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2007

Keywords

  • Crystal structure
  • Tetratricopeptide repeats
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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