Interaction of the sensor module of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv KdpD with members of the Lpr family

Academic Article


  • The genetic and biochemical mechanisms by which Mycobacterium tuberculosis senses and responds to the complex environment that it encounters during infection and persistence within the host remain unknown. In a number of bacterial species, the Kdp signal transduction pathway appears to be the primary response to environmental osmotic stress, which is primarily mediated by K+ concentration in bacteria. We show that kdp encodes for components of a mycobacterial signalling pathway by demonstrating the K+ dependence of kdpFABC expression in both M. tuberculosis H37Rv and Mycobacterium smegmatis. To identify proteins of M. tuberculosis that participate in this signalling pathway, we used the N-terminal sensing module of the histidine kinase KdpD as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen. We show that the sensing domain of KdpD interacts specifically with two membrane lipoproteins, LprJ (Rv1690) and LprF (Rv1368). Overexpression of lprF and lprJ alleles in mycobacterial kdpF-lacZ reporter strains enabled us to identify alleles that modulate kdpFABC expression. By exploiting the yeast three-hybrid system, we have found that the histidine kinase domain of KdpD forms ternary complexes with LprF and LprJ and the sensing module of KdpD. Our results establish a role for membrane proteins in the Kdp signalling pathway and suggest that LprF and LprJ function as accessory or ligand-binding proteins that communicate directly with the sensing domain of KdpD to modulate kdp expression.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Steyn AJC; Joseph J; Bloom BR
  • Start Page

  • 1075
  • End Page

  • 1089
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 4