The global transcriptional regulator Spx of Bacillus subtilis is controlled at several levels of the gene expression process. It is maintained at low concentrations during unperturbed growth by the ATP-dependent protease ClpXP. Under disulfide stress, Spx concentration increases due in part to a reduction in ClpXP-catalyzed proteolysis. Recent studies of Larsson and coworkers (Mol. Microbiol. 66:669-684, 2007) implicated the product of the yjbH gene as being necessary for the proteolytic control of Spx. In the present study, yeast two-hybrid analysis and protein-protein cross-linking showed that Spx interacts with YjbH. YjbH protein was shown to enhance the proteolysis of Spx in reaction mixtures containing ClpXP protease but not ClpCP protease. An N-terminal truncated form of YjbH with a deletion of residues 1 to 24 (YjbH Δ1-24) showed no proteolysis enhancement activity. YjbH is specific for Spx as it did not accelerate proteolysis of the ClpXP substrate green fluorescent protein (GFP)-SsrA, a GFP derivative with a C-terminal SsrA tag that is recognized by ClpXP. Using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy and 4-(2-pyridylazo) resorcinol release experiments, YjbH was found to contain zinc atoms. Zinc analysis of YjbH Δ1-24 revealed that the N-terminal histidine-rich region is indispensable for the coordination of at least one Zn atom. A Zn atom coordinated by the N-terminal region was rapidly released from the protein upon treatment with a strong oxidant. In conclusion, YjbH is proposed to be an adaptor for ClpXP-catalyzed Spx degradation, and a model of YjbH redox control involving Zn dissociation is presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology