Journal article

An analog to digital converter controls bistable transfer competence development of a widespread bacterial integrative and conjugative element

  • Carraro, Nicolas Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Richard, Xavier Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland - Department of Mathematics, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Sulser, Sandra Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Delavat, François Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland - UMR CNRS 6286 UFIP, University of Nantes, Nantes, France
  • Mazza, Christian Department of Mathematics, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  • van der Meer, Jan Roelof Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
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    28.07.2020
Published in:
  • eLife. - 2020, vol. 9, p. e57915
English Conjugative transfer of the integrative and conjugative element ICEclc in Pseudomonas requires development of a transfer competence state in stationary phase, which arises only in 3–5% of individual cells. The mechanisms controlling this bistable switch between non-active and transfer competent cells have long remained enigmatic. Using a variety of genetic tools and epistasis experiments in P. putida, we uncovered an ‘upstream’ cascade of three consecutive transcription factor-nodes, which controls transfer competence initiation. One of the uncovered transcription factors (named BisR) is representative for a new regulator family. Initiation activates a feedback loop, controlled by a second hitherto unrecognized heteromeric transcription factor named BisDC. Stochastic modelling and experimental data demonstrated the feedback loop to act as a scalable converter of unimodal (population-wide or ‘analog’) input to bistable (subpopulation-specific or ‘digital’) output. The feedback loop further enables prolonged production of BisDC, which ensures expression of the ‘downstream’ functions mediating ICE transfer competence in activated cells. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the ICEclc regulatory constellation with BisR and BisDC is widespread among Gamma- and Beta-proteobacteria, including various pathogenic strains, highlighting its evolutionary conservation and prime importance to control the behaviour of this wide family of conjugative elements.
Faculty
Faculté des sciences et de médecine
Department
Département de Mathématiques
Language
  • English
Classification
Biology
License
License undefined
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://folia.unifr.ch/unifr/documents/308833
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