Date of this Version


Document Type



Two-component regulatory systems are commonly used by bacteria to coordinate intracellular responses with environmental cues. These systems are composed of functional protein pairs consisting of a sensor histidine kinase and cognate response regulator. In contrast to the well-studied Caulobacter crescentus system, which carries dozens of these pairs, the streamlined bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis encodes only two pairs: CckA/CtrA and PleC/PleD. Here, we used bioinformatic tools to compare characterized two-component system relays from C. crescentus, the related Anaplasmataceae species Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and 12 sequenced Wolbachia strains. We found the core protein pairs and a subset of interacting partners to be highly conserved within Wolbachia and these other Anaplasmataceae. Genes involved in two-component signaling were positioned differently within the various Wolbachia genomes, whereas the local context of each gene was conserved. Unlike Anaplasma and Ehrlichia, Wolbachia two-component genes were more consistently found clustered with metabolic genes. The domain architecture and key functional residues standard for two-component system proteins were well-conserved in Wolbachia, although residues that specify cognate pairing diverged substantially from other Anaplasmataceae. These findings indicate that Wolbachia two-component signaling pairs share considerable functional overlap with other alpha-proteobacterial systems, whereas their divergence suggests the potential for regulatory differences and cross-talk.


Originally published in G3-GENES GENOMES GENETICS.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).