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FliS modulates FlgM activity by acting as a non-canonical chaperone to control late flagellar gene expression, motility and biofilm formation in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

Authors

  • Shengjuan Xu,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas and College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
    2. Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Zhong Peng,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas and College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Boyu Cui,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas and College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
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  • Tietao Wang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas and College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
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  • Yunhong Song,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas and College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
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  • Lei Zhang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas and College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
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  • Gehong Wei,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas and College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
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  • Yao Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas and College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
    2. Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, China
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  • Xihui Shen

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas and College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China
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Summary

The FlgM–FliA regulatory circuit plays a central role in coordinating bacterial flagellar assembly. In this study, we identified multiple novel binding partners of FlgM using bacterial two-hybrid screening. Among these binding partners, FliS, the secretion chaperone of the filament protein FliC, was identified to compete with FliA for the binding of FlgM. We further showed that by binding to FlgM, FliS protects it from secretion and degradation, thus maintaining an intracellular pool of FlgM reserved as the FliS–FlgM complex. Consequently, we found that the flagellar late-class promoter activities are significantly increased in the fliS deletion mutant. The fliS mutant is weakly motile and shows significantly increased biofilm formation on biotic surface. Based on the results obtained, we established for the first time the regulatory role of the flagellin chaperone FliS to fine-tune late flagellar assembly by modulating FlgM activity.

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