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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


The second messenger cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) regulates surface attachment and biofilm formation by many bacteria. For Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1, c-di-GMP impacts the secretion and localization of the adhesin LapA, which is absolutely required for stable surface attachment and biofilm formation by this bacterium. In this study we characterize LapD, a unique c-di-GMP effector protein that controls biofilm formation by communicating intracellular c-di-GMP levels to the membrane-localized attachment machinery via its periplasmic domain. LapD contains degenerate and enzymatically inactive diguanylate cyclase and c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase (EAL) domains and binds to c-di-GMP through a degenerate EAL domain. We present evidence that LapD utilizes an inside-out signaling mechanism: binding c-di-GMP in the cytoplasm and communicating this signal to the periplasm via its periplasmic domain. Furthermore, we show that LapD serves as the c-di-GMP receptor connecting environmental modulation of intracellular c-di-GMP levels by inorganic phosphate to regulation of LapA localization and thus surface commitment by P. fluorescens.