The expression of stlA in Photorhabdus luminescens is controlled by nutrient limitation

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Lango-Scholey, Lea
Brachmann, Alexander O.
Bode, Helge B.
Clarke, David J.
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Photorhabdus is a genus of Gram-negative entomopathogenic bacteria that also maintain a mutualistic association with nematodes from the family Heterorhabditis. Photorhabdus has an extensive secondary metabolism that is required for the interaction between the bacteria and the nematode. A major component of this secondary metabolism is a stilbene molecule, called ST. The first step in ST biosynthesis is the non-oxidative deamination of phenylalanine resulting in the production of cinnamic acid. This reaction is catalyzed by phenylalanine-ammonium lyase, an enzyme encoded by the stlA gene. In this study we show, using a stlA-gfp transcriptional fusion, that the expression of stlA is regulated by nutrient limitation through a regulatory network that involves at least 3 regulators. We show that TyrR, a LysR-type transcriptional regulator that regulates gene expression in response to aromatic amino acids in E. coli, is absolutely required for stlA expression. We also show that stlA expression is modulated by σS and Lrp, regulators that are implicated in the regulation of the response to nutrient limitation in other bacteria. This work is the first that describes pathway-specific regulation of secondary metabolism in Photorhabdus and, therefore, our study provides an initial insight into the complex regulatory network that controls secondary metabolism, and therefore mutualism, in this model organism.
Green fluorescent protein , General stress response , Escherichia coli , Antibiotic biosynthesis , Streptomyces coelicolor , Phenotypic variation , Regulatory proteins , Nematode symbiont , Stationary-phase , Metabolic switch
Lango-Scholey L, Brachmann AO, Bode HB, Clarke DJ (2013) The Expression of stlA in Photorhabdus luminescens Is Controlled by Nutrient Limitation. PLoS ONE 8(11): e82152. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082152