Acetylation represses the binding of CheY to its target proteins

Orna Liarzi, Rina Barak, Vered Bronner, Monica Dines, Yael Sagi, Alla Shainskaya, Michael Eisenbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability of CheY, the response regulator of bacterial chemotaxis, to generate clockwise rotation is regulated by two covalent modifications - phosphorylation and acetylation. While the function and signal propagation of the former are widely understood, the mechanism and role of the latter are still obscure. To obtain information on the function of this acetylation, we non-enzymatically acetylated CheY to a level similar to that found in vivo, and examined its binding to its kinase CheA, its phosphatase CheZ and the switch protein FliM - its target at the flagellar switch complex. Acetylation repressed the binding to all three proteins. These results suggest that both phosphorylation and acetylation determine CheY's ability to bind to its target proteins, thus providing two levels of regulation, fast and slow respectively. The fast level is modulated by environmental signals (e.g. chemotactic and thermotactic stimuli). The slow one is regulated by the metabolic state of the cell and it determines, at each metabolic state, the fraction of CheY molecules that can participate in signalling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)932-943
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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