Temperature sensing is essential for the survival of living cells. The membrane-bound thermosensor DesK from Bacillus subtilis is a key representative of histidine kinases receptors able to remodel membrane lipid composition when the temperature drops below ~30°C. Although the receptor is well studied, a central issue remains: how does the compositional and functional diversity of the surrounding membrane modulate receptor function? Reconstituting full-length DesK into proteoliposomes of well-defined and controlled lipid composition represents a minimal synthetic approach to systematically address this question. Thus DesK has been reconstituted in a variety of phospholipid bilayers and its temperature-regulated autokinase activity determined as function of fatty acyl chain length, lipid head-group structure and phase preference. We show that the head group structure of lipids (both in vitro and in vivo) has little effect on DesK thermosensing, whereas properties determined by the acyl chain of lipids, such as membrane thickness and phase separation into coexisting lipid domains, exert a profound regulatory effect on kinase domain activation at low temperatures. These experiments suggest that the non-polar domain of glycerolipids is essential to regulate the allosteric structural transitions of DesK, by activating the autophosphorylation of the intracellular kinase domain in response to a decrease in temperature.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| March 28 2013
Regulation of Bacillus subtilis DesK thermosensor by lipids
Diego de Mendoza
Diego de Mendoza 2
1Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario (IBR) and Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquímicas y Farmacéuticas, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, 2000 Rosario, Argentina
2To whom correspondence should be addressed (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Search for other works by this author on:
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
Mariana Martín, Diego de Mendoza; Regulation of Bacillus subtilis DesK thermosensor by lipids. Biochem J 15 April 2013; 451 (2): 269–275. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BJ20121825
Download citation file:
Don't already have an account? Register
Get Access To This Article
Buy This Article