Two-component systems are widely used by bacteria to mediate adaptive responses to a variety of environmental stimuli. The CusR/CusS two-component system in Escherichia coli induces expression of genes involved in metal efflux under conditions of elevated Cu(I) and Ag(I) concentrations. As seen in most prototypical two-component systems, signal recognition and transmission is expected to occur by ligand binding in the periplasmic sensor domain of the histidine kinase CusS. Although discussed in the extant literature, little experimental evidence is available to establish the role of CusS in metal homeostasis. In this study, we show that the cusS gene is required for Cu(I) and Ag(I) resistance in E. coli and that CusS is linked to the expression of the cusCFBA genes. These results show a metal-dependent mechanism of CusS activation and suggest an absolute requirement for CusS in Cu(I)- and Ag(I)-dependent upregulation of cusCFBA expression in E. coli.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology