The involvement of a protein methyl transfer system in the chemotaxis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa was investigated. When a methionine auxotroph of P. aeruginosa was starved for methionine, chemotaxis toward serine, measured by a quantitative capillary assay, was reduced 80%, whereas background motility was unaffected or increased. When unstarved bacteria were labeled with L-[methyl-3H]methionine, a labeled species of 73,000 molecular weight which was methylated in response to stimulation by L-serine was identified. Under appropriate electrophoretic conditions, the 73,000 molecular weight species was resolved into two bands, both of which responded to stimulation by L-serine, L-arginine, and α-aminoisobutyrate (AIB) with an increased incorporation of methyl label. Arginine, which elicited the strongest chemotactic response in the capillary assay, also stimulated the greatest methylation response. Methylation of the 73,000 molecular weight species reached a maximum 10 min after stimulation by AIB and returned to the unstimulated level upon removal of the AIB. In vitro labeling of cell extracts with S-adenosyl[methyl-3H]methionine indicated that the 73,000 molecular weight species are methylated by an S-adenosylmethionine-mediated reaction. These results indicate that chemotaxis of P. aeruginosa toward amino acids is mediated by dynamic methylation and demethylation of methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins analogous to those of the enteric bacteria.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology