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Light-Regulated Synthesis of Cyclic-di-GMP by a Bidomain Construct of the Cyanobacteriochrome Tlr0924 (SesA) without Stable Dimerization

Blain-Hartung, Matthew, Rockwell, Nathan C., Lagarias, J. Clark
Biochemistry 2017 v.56 no.46 pp. 6145-6154
Thermosynechococcus elongatus, blue light, catalytic activity, chemical bonding, circular dichroism spectroscopy, dimerization, enzyme activity, gel chromatography, models, mutation, photoisomerization, phytochrome, surfactants
Phytochromes and cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) use double-bond photoisomerization of their linear tetrapyrrole (bilin) chromophores within cGMP-specific phosphodiesterases/adenylyl cyclases/FhlA (GAF) domain-containing photosensory modules to regulate activity of C-terminal output domains. CBCRs exhibit photocycles that are much more diverse than those of phytochromes and are often found in large modular proteins such as Tlr0924 (SesA), one of three blue light regulators of cell aggregation in the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus. Tlr0924 contains a single bilin-binding GAF domain adjacent to a C-terminal diguanylate cyclase (GGDEF) domain whose catalytic activity requires formation of a dimeric transition state presumably supported by a multidomain extension at its N-terminus. To probe the structural basis of light-mediated signal propagation from the photosensory input domain to a signaling output domain for a representative CBCR, these studies explore the properties of a bidomain GAF–GGDEF construct of Tlr0924 (Tlr0924Δ) that retains light-regulated diguanylate cyclase activity. Surprisingly, circular dichroism spectroscopy and size exclusion chromatography data do not support formation of stable dimers in either the blue-absorbing ¹⁵ZPb dark state or the green-absorbing ¹⁵ᴱPg photoproduct state of Tlr0924Δ. Analysis of variants containing site-specific mutations reveals that proper signal transmission requires both chromophorylation of the GAF domain and individual residues within the amphipathic linker region between GAF and GGDEF domains. On the basis of these data, we propose a model in which bilin binding and light signals are propagated from the GAF domain via the linker to alter the equilibrium and interconversion dynamics between active and inactive conformations of the GGDEF domain to favor or disfavor formation of catalytically competent dimers.