Identification of flgZ as a flagellar gene encoding a PilZ domain protein that regulates swimming motility and biofilm formation in Pseudomonas.

Research paper by Francisco F Martínez-Granero, Ana A Navazo, Emma E Barahona, Miguel M Redondo-Nieto, Elena E González de Heredia, Irene I Baena, Irene I Martín-Martín, Rafael R Rivilla, Marta M Martín

Indexed on: 08 Feb '14Published on: 08 Feb '14Published in: PloS one


Diguanylate cyclase and phosphodiesterase enzymatic activities control c-di-GMP levels modulating planktonic versus sessile lifestyle behavior in bacteria. The PilZ domain is described as a sensor of c-di-GMP intracellular levels and the proteins containing a PilZ domain represent the best studied class of c-di-GMP receptors forming part of the c-di-GMP signaling cascade. In P. fluorescens F113 we have found two diguanylate cyclases (WspR, SadC) and one phosphodiesterase (BifA) implicated in regulation of swimming motility and biofilm formation. Here we identify a flgZ gene located in a flagellar operon encoding a protein that contains a PilZ domain. Moreover, we show that FlgZ subcellular localization depends on the c-di-GMP intracellular levels. The overexpression analysis of flgZ in P. fluorescens F113 and P. putida KT2440 backgrounds reveal a participation of FlgZ in Pseudomonas swimming motility regulation. Besides, the epistasis of flgZ over wspR and bifA clearly shows that c-di-GMP intracellular levels produced by the enzymatic activity of the diguanylate cyclase WspR and the phosphodiesterase BifA regulates biofilm formation through FlgZ.