Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.97, No.15, 6967-6978, 2013
Identification and characterization of genes regulated by AqsR, a LuxR-type regulator in Acinetobacter oleivorans DR1
The complete genome of Acinetobacter oleivorans DR1 contains AqsR and AqsI genes, which are LuxR and LuxI homolog, respectively. In a previous study, we demonstrated that quorum sensing (QS) signals play an important role in biofilm formation and hexadecane biodegradation. However, the regulation of genes controlled by the QS system in DR1 remains unexplored. We constructed an aqsR mutant and performed RNA sequencing analysis to understand the QS system. A total of 353 genes were differentially expressed during the stationary phase of wild-type cells compared to that of the aqsR mutant. AqsR appears to be an exceptionally important regulator because knockout of aqsR affected global gene expression. Genes involved in posttranslational modification, chaperones, cell wall structure, secondary metabolites biosynthesis, and stress defense were highly upregulated only in the wild type. Among upregulated genes, both the AOLE_03905 (putative surface adhesion protein) and the AOLE_11355 (L-asparaginase) genes have putative LuxR binding sites at their promoter regions. Soluble AqsR proteins were successfully purified in Escherichia coli harboring both aqsR and aqsI. Comparison of QS signals in an AqsI-AqsR co-overexpression strain with N-acyl homoserine lactone standards showed that the cognate N-acyl homoserine lactone binding to AqsR might be 3OH C12HSL. Our electrophoretic mobility shift assays with purified AqsR revealed direct binding of AqsR to those promoter regions. Our data showed that AqsR functions as an important regulator and is associated with several phenotypes, such as hexadecane utilization, biofilm formation, and sensitivity to cumene hydroperoxide.