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Genetics and proteomics analyses reveal the roles of PhoB1 and PhoB2 regulators in bacterial responses to arsenite and phosphate

Qiao, Zixu, Huang, Jing, Cao, Yajing, Shi, Kaixiang, Wang, Gejiao
Research in microbiology 2019
Agrobacterium radiobacter, arsenic, arsenites, bacteria, energy, exopolysaccharides, genes, oxidation, phosphates, protein kinases, proteomics, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, regulatory proteins, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, stress response, tricarboxylic acid cycle
In bacteria, phosphate (Pi) stress response is governed by the two-component regulatory system, sensor kinase PhoR and its cognate response regulatory protein PhoB. The arsenite [As(III)]-oxidizing bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens GW4 contains two phoB genes, phoB1 and phoB2. phoB1 is adjacent to As(III)-oxidizing genes, however, the functions of PhoB1 and PhoB2 remain unclear. Here, phoB1 and phoB2 were each deleted in-frame, and proteomics, qRT-PCR and protein-DNA interaction were performed. We found that (1) phoB1 and phoB2 were both upregulated under low Pi conditions and phoB1 was induced by As(III), but phoB2 was not; (2) deletion of phoB1 reduced As(III)-oxidizing efficiency and protein-DNA interaction analysis showed PhoB1 could interact with aioXSR promoter to regulate As(III) oxidation; (3) deletions of phoB1 or phoB2 both reduced exopolysaccharides (EPS) synthesis; and (4) PhoB1 influenced Pi uptake, As(III) oxidation, EPS synthesis, TCA cycle, energy production and stress response with As(III), and PhoB2 was associated with Pi uptake and EPS synthesis in low Pi conditions. These results showed PhoB1 and PhoB2 were both involved in Pi acquisition, PhoB1 was more important with As(III) and PhoB2 played a major role without As(III). Strain GW4 uses these two regulators to survive under low Pi and arsenic-rich environments.