Nucleoside-diphosphate kinase-mediated signal transduction via histidyl-aspartyl phosphorelay systems in Escherichia coli

Qing Lu, Heiyoung Park, Linda A. Egger, Masayori Inouye

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57 Scopus citations


Nucleoside-diphosphate kinase (NDP kinase), a key enzyme in nucleotide metabolism, is also known to be involved in growth and developmental control and tumor metastasis suppression. Interestingly, we find that coexpression of NDP kinase with Tazl, a Tar/EnvZ chimera, in the absence of its native signal, can activate a porin gene ompC-lacZ expression in Escherichia coli. Further studies show that NDP kinase can act as a protein kinase to phosphorylate histidine protein kinases such as EnvZ and CheA which are members of the His-Asp phosphorelay signal transduction systems in E. coli. Instead of ATP, the exclusive phosphodonor for histidine kinases, GTP can be utilized in vitro in the presence of NDP kinase to phosphorylate EnvZ and CheA, which then transfer the phosphoryl group to OmpR and CheY, the respective response regulators. The direct involvement of GTP for the phosphorylation of EnvZ through NDP kinase was further demonstrated by the use of a mutant EnvZ, which lost ability to be autophosphorylated with ATP. Phospho-OmpR thus formed can bind specifically to an ompF promoter sequence. These results suggest that NDP kinase may play a physiological role in signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32886-32893
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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