The stringent response regulator DksA plays a key role in Gram negative bacteria adaptation to challenging environments. Intriguingly, the plant and human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is unique as it expresses two functional DksA paralogs: DksA1 and DksA2. However, the role of DksA2 in P. aeruginosa adaptive strategies has been poorly investigated so far. Here, RNA-Seq analysis and phenotypic assays showed that P. aeruginosa DksA1 and DksA2 proteins are largely interchangeable. Relative to wild type P. aeruginosa, transcription of 1779 genes was altered in a dksA1 dksA2 double mutant, and the wild type expression level of ≥90% of these genes was restored by in trans complementation with either dksA1 or dksA2. Interestingly, the expression of a small sub-set of genes seems to be preferentially or exclusively complemented by either dksA1 or dksA2. In addition, evidence has been provided that the DksA-dependent regulation of virulence genes expression is independent and hierarchically dominant over two major P. aeruginosa regulatory circuits, i.e., quorum sensing and cyclic-di-GMP signalling systems. Our findings support the prominent role of both DksA paralogs in P. aeruginosa environmental adaptation.
Fortuna, A., Bahre, H., Visca, P., Rampioni, G., & Leoni, L. (2021). The two Pseudomonas aeruginosa DksA stringent response proteins are largely interchangeable at the whole transcriptome level and in the control of virulence-related traits. ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, 23(9), 5487-5504 [10.1111/1462-2920.15693].