• Comparative analysis of the secretion capability of early and late flagellar type III secretion substrates.

      Singer, Hanna M; Erhardt, Marc; Hughes, Kelly T; Helmholtz Centre for ifection research, Innhoffenstr. 7, D38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2014-08)
      A remarkable feature of the flagellar-specific type III secretion system (T3SS) is the selective recognition of a few substrate proteins among the many thousand cytoplasmic proteins. Secretion substrates are divided into two specificity classes: early substrates secreted for hook-basal body (HBB) construction and late substrates secreted after HBB completion. Secretion was reported to require a disordered N-terminal secretion signal, mRNA secretion signals within the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) and for late substrates, piloting proteins known as the T3S chaperones. Here, we utilized translational β-lactamase fusions to probe the secretion efficacy of the N-terminal secretion signal of fourteen secreted flagellar substrates in Salmonella enterica. We observed a surprising variety in secretion capability between flagellar proteins of the same secretory class. The peptide secretion signals of the early-type substrates FlgD, FlgF, FlgE and the late-type substrate FlgL were analysed in detail. Analysing the role of the 5'-UTR in secretion of flgB and flgE revealed that the native 5'-UTR substantially enhanced protein translation and secretion. Based on our data, we propose a multicomponent signal that drives secretion via the flagellar T3SS. Both mRNA and peptide signals are recognized by the export apparatus and together with substrate-specific chaperones allowing for targeted secretion of flagellar substrates.
    • RflM mediates target specificity of the RcsCDB phosphorelay system for transcriptional repression of flagellar synthesis in Salmonella enterica.

      Kühne, Caroline; Singer, Hanna M; Grabisch, Eva; Codutti, Luca; Carlomagno, Teresa; Scrima, Andrea; Erhardt, Marc; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig. (2016-09)
      The bacterial flagellum enables directed movement of Salmonella enterica towards favorable conditions in liquid environments. Regulation of flagellar synthesis is tightly controlled by various environmental signals at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. The flagellar master regulator FlhD4 C2 resides on top of the flagellar transcriptional hierarchy and is under autogenous control by FlhD4 C2 -dependent activation of the repressor rflM. The inhibitory activity of RflM depends on the presence of RcsB, the response regulator of the RcsCDB phosphorelay system. In this study, we elucidated the molecular mechanism of RflM-dependent repression of flhDC. We show that RcsB and RflM form a heterodimer that coordinately represses flhDC transcription independent of RcsB phosphorylation. RcsB-RflM complex binds to a RcsB box downstream the P1 transcriptional start site of the flhDC promoter with increased affinity compared to RcsB in the absence of RflM. We propose that RflM stabilizes binding of unphosphorylated RcsB to the flhDC promoter in absence of environmental cues. Thus, RflM is a novel auxiliary regulatory protein that mediates target specificity of RcsB for flhDC repression. The cooperative action of the RcsB-RflM repressor complex allows Salmonella to fine-tune initiation of flagellar gene expression and adds another level to the complex regulation of flagellar synthesis.