, 1996). More recent studies have shed new light on the role of the transmembrane domains for KdpD sensing and signaling (Heermann et al., 2003b). A truncated KdpD lacking all four transmembrane domains, but retaining the Arg cluster, supported kdpFABC expression in a K+-dependent manner. Furthermore, truncated KdpD proteins that lack only two transmembrane domains or derivatives in which a linker AZD6244 research buy peptide or two transmembrane domains of PutP, the Na+/proline transporter of E. coli, replaced the missing part indicated that the transmembrane domains are not essential for sensing K+ limitation, but are important
for the correct positioning of the large N- and C-terminal cytoplasmic domains to each other (Heermann et al., 2003b). Although not important for sensing K+ limitation, there are some indications that the transmembrane domains of KdpD are involved in osmosensing. A truncated KdpD lacking TM1 and TM2 was unable to sense an increase of medium osmolarity (Heermann et al., 2003b). Furthermore, the systematic replacement of each single amino acid of Bortezomib order TM1 revealed that amino acids of this transmembrane domain are involved in osmosensing, but not in K+ sensing (Stallkamp et al., 2002). Mutational analysis of amino acids located within TM3, TM4, and the adjacent C-terminal hydrophilic region identified a number of KdpD derivatives
that were insensitive towards the K+ signal, but sensitive towards osmotic shifts (Sugiura et al., 1994). Several investigations addressed the identification of the putative K+-binding site. Cells producing
an N-terminal truncated, soluble KdpD (KdpD/Δ1–498) were able to respond to changes of the extracellular K+ concentration (Rothenbücher et al., 2006). Moreover, amino acid replacements located within TM4 and the adjacent region resulted in K+-insensitive KdpD derivatives (Brandon et al., 2000). It is predicted that TM4 forms a long helix that extends into the cytoplasm and contains the cluster of Arg residues (Zimmann et al., 2007). Random mutagenesis of the corresponding part of the kdpD gene produced KdpD derivatives that caused K+-independent kdpFABC expression. Therefore, it is assumed that the putative K+-binding site is located adjacent to TM4 in the C-terminal domain. Because most of these KdpD derivatives also exhibited GNA12 an altered response to osmotic stress (Zimmann et al., 2007), these data indicate that this part of the protein is crucial for stimulus sensing and signal transmission. The N-terminal domain of KdpD comprises two subdomains: a KdpD domain (pfam02702) that is conserved among all KdpD homologues (Heermann et al., 2000, 2003a) and a domain (USP-OKCHK) similar to the universal stress protein family (Usp) (cd01987, pfam00582) (Heermann et al., 2009a, b). There is mounting evidence that this large cytoplasmic N-terminal input domain of KdpD (KdpD/1–395, Fig. 1) is important for fine tuning of the sensor kinase.