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  • Enhanced uptake of potassium or glycine betaine or export of cyclic-di-AMP restores osmoresistance in a high cyclic-di-AMP Lactococcus lactis mutant.

Enhanced uptake of potassium or glycine betaine or export of cyclic-di-AMP restores osmoresistance in a high cyclic-di-AMP Lactococcus lactis mutant.

PLoS genetics (2018-08-04)
Huong Thi Pham, Nguyen Thi Hanh Nhiep, Thu Ngoc Minh Vu, TuAnh Ngoc Huynh, Yan Zhu, Anh Le Diep Huynh, Alolika Chakrabortti, Esteban Marcellin, Raquel Lo, Christopher B Howard, Nidhi Bansal, Joshua J Woodward, Zhao-Xun Liang, Mark S Turner
ABSTRACT

The broadly conserved bacterial signalling molecule cyclic-di-adenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP) controls osmoresistance via its regulation of potassium (K+) and compatible solute uptake. High levels of c-di-AMP resulting from inactivation of c-di-AMP phosphodiesterase activity leads to poor growth of bacteria under high osmotic conditions. To better understand how bacteria can adjust in response to excessive c-di-AMP levels and to identify signals that feed into the c-di-AMP network, we characterised genes identified in a screen for osmoresistant suppressor mutants of the high c-di-AMP Lactococcus ΔgdpP strain. Mutations were identified which increased the uptake of osmoprotectants, including gain-of-function mutations in a Kup family K+ importer (KupB) and inactivation of the glycine betaine transporter transcriptional repressor BusR. The KupB mutations increased the intracellular K+ level while BusR inactivation increased the glycine betaine level. In addition, BusR was found to directly bind c-di-AMP and repress expression of the glycine betaine transporter in response to elevated c-di-AMP. Interestingly, overactive KupB activity or loss of BusR triggered c-di-AMP accumulation, suggesting turgor pressure changes act as a signal for this second messenger. In another group of suppressors, overexpression of an operon encoding an EmrB family multidrug resistance protein allowed cells to lower their intracellular level of c-di-AMP through active export. Lastly evidence is provided that c-di-AMP levels in several bacteria are rapidly responsive to environmental osmolarity changes. Taken together, this work provides evidence for a model in which high c-di-AMP containing cells are dehydrated due to lower K+ and compatible solute levels and that this osmoregulation system is able to sense and respond to cellular water stress.