the solution NMR structure of the protein of unknown function vca0042 from vibrio cholerae o1
The PilZ protein family is named after the type IV pilus control protein first identified in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, expressed as part of the pil operon. It has a cytoplasmic location and is essential for type IV fimbrial, or pilus, biogenesis. PilZ is a c-di-GMP binding domain and PilZ domain-containing proteins represent the best studied class of c-di-GMP effectors. C-di-GMP, cyclic diguanosine monophosphate, the second messenger in cells, is widespread in and unique to the bacterial kingdom. Elevated intracellular levels of c-di-GMP generally cause bacteria to change from a motile single-cell state to a sessile, adhesive surface-attached multicellular state called biofilm.
Proteins which contain PilZ are known to interact with the flagellar switch-complex proteins FliG and FliM and this is mediated via the c-di-GMP-PliZ complex. This interaction results in a reduction of torque-generation and induces counterclockwise motor bias that slows the motor and induces counterclockwise rotation, inhibiting chemotaxis.
Binding and mutagenesis studies of several PilZ domain proteins have shown that c-di-GMP binding depends on residues in RxxxR and D/NxSxxG sequence-motifs. The crystal structure, at 1.7 A, of a PilZ domain::c-di-GMP complex from Vibrio cholerae shows c-di-GMP contacting seven of nine strongly conserved residues. Binding of c-di-GMP causes a conformational switch whereby the C- and N-terminal domains are brought into close opposition forming a new allosteric interaction surface that spans these domains and the c-di-GMP at their interface.
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