Phosphorylation of the Response Regulator CheV Is Required for Adaptation to Attractants during Bacillus subtilis Chemotaxis

Ece Karatan, Michael M. Saulmon, Michael W. Bunn, George W. Ordal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the Gram-positive soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis, the chemoreceptors are coupled to the central two-component kinase CheA via two proteins, CheW and CheV. CheV is a two-domain protein with an N-terminal CheW-like domain and a C-terminal two-component receiver domain. In this study, we show that CheV is phosphorylated in vitro on a conserved aspartate in the presence of phosphorylated CheA (CheA-P). This reaction is slower compared with the phospho-transfer reaction between CheA-P and one other response regulator of the system, CheB. CheV-P is also highly stable in comparison with CheB-P. Both of these properties are more pronounced in the full-length protein compared with a truncated form composed only of the receiver domain, that is, deletion of the CheW-like domain results in increase in the rate of the phospho-transfer reaction and decrease in stability of the phosphorylated protein. Phosphorylation of CheV is required for adaptation to the addition of the chemoattractant asparagine. In tethered-cell assays, strains expressing an unphosphorylatable point mutant of cheV or a truncated mutant lacking the entire receiver domain are severely impaired in adaptation to the addition of asparagine. Both of these strains, however, show near normal counterclockwise biases, suggesting that in the absence of the attractant the chemoreceptors are efficiently coupled to CheA kinase by the mutant CheV proteins. Inability of the CheW-like domain of CheV to support complete adaptation to the addition of asparagine also suggests that unlike CheW, this domain by itself may lead to the formation of signaling complexes that stay overactive in the presence of the attractant. A possible structural basis for this feature is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43618-43626
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 23 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Phosphorylation of the Response Regulator CheV Is Required for Adaptation to Attractants during Bacillus subtilis Chemotaxis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this