The c-di-GMP recognition mechanism of the PilZ domain of bacterial cellulose synthase subunit A

Takaaki Fujiwara, Keisuke Komoda, Naofumi Sakurai, Kenji Tajima, Isao Tanaka, Min Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


In some Proteobacteria and Firmicutes such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae, Xanthomonas campestris, and Clostridium difficile, cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) is known to regulate cellular processes, including motility, biofilm formation, and virulence, as a second messenger. Cellulose production in Acetobacter xylinum, a model organism of cellulose biosynthesis, also depends on by cellular c-di-GMP level. In cellulose-synthesizing bacteria, a terminal complex localized in the cell membrane synthesizes cellulose and regulates the production of cellulose sensed by c-di-GMP. Although previous studies indicated that the PilZ domain conserved in cellulose synthase subunit A (CeSA) was part of a receptor for c-di-GMP, the recognition mechanism by PilZ domain of CeSA remains unclear. In the present study, we studied the interaction between c-di-GMP and the PilZ domain of CeSA from a structural viewpoint. First, we solved the crystal structure of the PilZ domain of CeSA from A. xylinum (AxCeSA-PilZ) at 2.1. å resolution. Then, comparison of the sequence and structure of AxCeSA-PilZ to those of known structures of PilZ, such as VCA0042, PP4397, and PA4608, indicated the involvement of Lys573 and Arg643 of AxCeSA-PilZ in the recognition of c-di-GMP besides the RxxxR motif. Finally, the binding characteristics of c-di-GMP to AxCeSA-PilZ and mutants were determined with isothermal titration calorimetry, indicating that the residues corresponding to Lys573 and Arg643 in AxCeSA-PilZ generally contribute to the binding of c-di-GMP to PilZ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-807
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacterial cellulose synthase
  • Binding stoichiometry
  • C-di-GMP
  • Isothermal titration calorimetry
  • PilZ domain
  • X-ray crystallography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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