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Molecular Architecture of the "Stressosome," a Signal Integration and Transduction Hub

Science  03 Oct 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5898, pp. 92-96
DOI: 10.1126/science.1159572

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Abstract

A commonly used strategy by microorganisms to survive multiple stresses involves a signal transduction cascade that increases the expression of stress-responsive genes. Stress signals can be integrated by a multiprotein signaling hub that responds to various signals to effect a single outcome. We obtained a medium-resolution cryo–electron microscopy reconstruction of the 1.8-megadalton “stressosome” from Bacillus subtilis. Fitting known crystal structures of components into this reconstruction gave a pseudoatomic structure, which had a virus capsid–like core with sensory extensions. We suggest that the different sensory extensions respond to different signals, whereas the conserved domains in the core integrate the varied signals. The architecture of the stressosome provides the potential for cooperativity, suggesting that the response could be tuned dependent on the magnitude of chemophysical insult.

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