Interdomain linkers of homologous response regulators determine their mechanism of action

Don Walthers, Van K. Tran, Linda J. Kenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


OmpR and PhoB are response regulators that contain an N-terminal phosphorylation domain and a C-terminal DNA binding effector domain connected by a flexible interdomain linker. Phosphorylation of the N terminus results in an increase in affinity for specific DNA and the subsequent regulation of gene expression. Despite their sequence and structural similarity, OmpR and PhoB employ different mechanisms to regulate their effector domains. Phosphorylation of OmpR in the N terminus stimulates the DNA binding affinity of the C terminus, whereas phosphorylation of the PhoB N terminus relieves inhibition of the C terminus, enabling it to bind to DNA. Chimeras between OmpR and PhoB containing either interdomain linker were constructed to explore the basis of the differences in their activation mechanisms. Our results indicate that effector domain regulation by either N terminus requires its cognate interdomain linker. In addition, our findings suggest that the isolated C terminus of OmpR is not sufficient for a productive interaction with RNA polymerase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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