Main content area

A novel mode of regulation of the Staphylococcus aureus Vancomycin-resistance-associated response regulator VraR mediated by Stk1 protein phosphorylation

Canova, Marc J., Baronian, Grégory, Brelle, Solène, Cohen-Gonsaud, Martin, Bischoff, Markus, Molle, Virginie
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2014 v.447 pp. 165-171
Staphylococcus aureus, antibiotic resistance, antibiotics, cell walls, gene expression, mass spectrometry, mutants, protein phosphorylation, protein-serine-threonine kinases, serine, signal transduction, site-directed mutagenesis, threonine
The Staphylococcus aureus Vancomycin-resistance-associated response regulator VraR is known as an important response regulator, member of the VraTSR three-component signal transduction system that modulates the expression of the cell wall stress stimulon in response to a number of different cell wall active antibiotics. Given its crucial role in regulating gene expression in response to antibiotic challenges, VraR must be tightly regulated. We report here for the first time in S. aureus convergence of two major signal transduction systems, serine/threonine protein kinase and two (three)-component systems. We demonstrate that VraR can be phosphorylated by the staphylococcal Ser/Thr protein kinase Stk1 and that phosphorylation negatively affects its DNA-binding properties. Mass spectrometric analyses and site-directed mutagenesis identified Thr106, Thr119, Thr175 and Thr178 as phosphoacceptors. A S. aureus ΔvraR mutant expressing a VraR derivative that mimics constitutive phosphorylation, VraR_Asp, still exhibited markedly decreased antibiotic resistance against different cell wall active antibiotics, when compared to the wild-type, suggesting that VraR phosphorylation may represent a novel and presumably more general mechanism of regulation of the two (three)-component systems in staphylococci.