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Protein Engineering of Bacterial Histidine Kinase Receptor Systems

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Two-component systems (TCS) involving the His-Asp phosphotransfer are commonly utilized for signal transduction in prokaryotes in which the two essential components are a sensor histidine kinase (HK) receptor and a response regulator (RR). Despite great efforts in structural and functional characterization of signal perception mechanisms, the exact signaling mechanisms remain elusive for many TCSs. Mimicking the natural TCS signaling pathways, chimeric receptor kinases and response regulators have been constructed through the process of swapping modular domains of related TCSs. To design chimeras with new signaling pathways, domains from different proteins that have little relationship at the primary structural level but carrying desirable functional properties can be conjoined to engineer novel TCSs. These chimeras maintain the ability to respond to environmental stimulants by regulating protein phosphorylation to produce downstream output signals. Depending on the nature of external signals, chimeric TCSs can serve as a novel tool not only to examine the natural signaling mechanisms in TCSs, but also for industrial and clinical applications.

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Keywords: Chimera; histidine kinase; phosphotransfer; protein engineering; response regulator; signal transduction; two-component system

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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