26 March 2021
AI-2, autoinducer-2, CCR, carbon catabolite repression, LBD, ligand binding domain, Pi, inorganic phosphate, SBP, solute binding protein, TCS, two-component system, Solute binding protein, Chemoreceptor, Sensor kinase, Indirect binding, Bacterial signal transduction, Sensing
The solute binding proteins (SBPs) of prokaryotes are present in the extracytosolic space. Although their primary function is providing substrates to transporters, SBPs also stimulate different signaling proteins, including chemoreceptors, sensor kinases, diguanylate cyclases/phosphodiesterases and Ser/Thr kinases, thereby causing a wide range of responses. While relatively few such systems have been identified, several pieces of evidence suggest that SBP-mediated receptor activation is a widespread mechanism. (1) These systems have been identified in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and archaea. (2) There is a structural diversity in the receptor domains that bind SBPs. (3) SBPs belonging to thirteen different families interact with receptor ligand binding domains (LBDs). (4) For the two most abundant receptor LBD families, dCache and four-helix-bundle, there are different modes of interaction with SBPs. (5) SBP-stimulated receptors carry out many different functions. The advantage of SBP-mediated receptor stimulation is attributed to a strict control of SBP levels, which allows a precise adjustment of the systeḿs sensitivity. We have compiled information on the effect of ligands on the transcript/protein levels of their cognate SBPs. In 87 % of the cases analysed, ligands altered SBP expression levels. The nature of the regulatory effect depended on the ligand family. Whereas inorganic ligands typically downregulate SBP expression, an upregulation was observed in response to most sugars and organic acids. A major unknown is the role that SBPs play in signaling and in receptor stimulation. This review attempts to summarize what is known and to present new information to narrow this gap in knowledge.