A transcription factor links growth rate and metabolism in the hypersaline adapted archaeon Halobacterium salinarum.
Co-ordinating metabolism and growth is a key challenge for all organisms. Despite fluctuating environments, cells must produce the same metabolic outputs to thrive. The mechanisms underlying this 'growth homeostasis' are known in bacteria and eukaryotes, but remain unexplored in archaea. In the model archaeon Halobacterium salinarum, the transcription factor TrmB regulates enzyme-coding genes in diverse metabolic pathways in response to glucose. However, H. salinarum is thought not to catabolize glucose. To resolve this discrepancy, we demonstrate that TrmB regulates the gluconeogenic production of sugars incorporated into the cell surface S-layer glycoprotein. Additionally, we show that TrmB-DNA binding correlates with instantaneous growth rate, likely because S-layer glycosylation is proportional to growth. This suggests that TrmB transduces a growth rate signal to co-regulated metabolic pathways including amino acid, purine, and cobalamin biosynthesis. Remarkably, the topology and function of this growth homeostatic network appear conserved across domains despite extensive alterations in protein components.
Todor, H; Dulmage, K; Gillum, N; Bain, JR; Muehlbauer, MJ; Schmid, AK
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