Background: Bacteria use two-component signal transduction systems (among others) to perceive and respond to environmental changes. Within the genus Porphyromonas, we observed degeneration of these systems, as exemplified by the loss of RprX, the sensor kinase partner of the RprY. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate modulation of RprY function by acetylation. Design: The transcriptional activity of the rprY-pat genes were measured by RT-PCR and 5ʹ-RACE. The acetylation of RprY were detected by western blotting. Electromobility shift and in vitro ChIP assays were used to measure the DNA binding activity of RprY. The expression of RprY target genes was measured by qRT-PCR. Effects of acetylation on phosphorylation of RprY were measured by Phos-tag gels. Results: The rprY gene is cotranscribed with pat. RprY is acetylated in vivo, and autoacetylated in vitro in a reaction that is enhanced by Pat; the CobB sirtuin deacetylates RprY. Acetylation reduced the DNA binding of RprY. Induced oxidative stress decreased production of RprY in vivo, increased its acetylation and increased expression of nqrA. Conclusions: We propose that to compensate for the loss of RprX, P. gingivalis has evolved a novel mechanism to inactivate RprY through acetylation. © 2018, © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
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