Journal of Bacteriology
Quorum sensing in Vibrio cholerae involves signaling between two-component sensor protein kinases and the response regulator LuxO to control the expression of the master regulator HapR. HapR, in turn, plays a central role in regulating a number of important processes, such as virulence gene expression and biofilm formation. We have determined the crystal structure of HapR to 2.2-Å resolution. Its structure reveals a dimeric, two-domain molecule with an all-helical structure that is strongly conserved with members of the TetR family of transcriptional regulators. The N-terminal DNA-binding domain contains a helix-turn-helix DNA-binding motif and alteration of certain residues in this domain completely abolishes the ability of HapR to bind to DNA, alleviating repression of both virulence gene expression and biofilm formation. The C-terminal dimerization domain contains a unique solvent accessible tunnel connected to an amphipathic cavity, which by analogy with other TetR regulators, may serve as a binding pocket for an as-yet-unidentified ligand.
De Silva, Rukman S.; Kovacikova, Gabriela; Lin, Wei; Taylor, Ronald K.; Skorupski, Karen; and Kull, F. Jon, "Crystal Structure of the Vibrio cholerae Quorum-Sensing Regulatory Protein HapR" (2007). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 1090.