The gram-positive soil bacterium Corynebacterium glutamicum, a major amino acid-producing microorganism in biotechnology, is equipped with several osmoregulated uptake systems for compatible solutes, which is relevant for the physiological response to osmotic stress. The most significant carrier, BetP, is instantly activated in response to an increasing cytoplasmic K(+) concentration. Importantly, it is also activated by chill stress independent of osmotic stress. We show that the activation of BetP by both osmotic stress and chill stress is altered in C. glutamicum cells grown at and adapted to low temperatures. BetP from cold-adapted cells is less sensitive to osmotic stress. In order to become susceptible for chill activation, cold-adapted cells in addition needed a certain amount of osmotic stimulation, indicating that there is cross talk of these two types of stimuli at the level of BetP activity. We further correlated the change in BetP regulation properties in cells grown at different temperatures to changes in the lipid composition of the plasma membrane. For this purpose, the glycerophospholipidome of C. glutamicum grown at different temperatures was analyzed by mass spectrometry using quantitative multiple precursor ion scanning. The molecular composition of glycerophospholipids was strongly affected by the growth temperature. The modulating influence of membrane lipid composition on BetP function was further corroborated by studying the influence of artificial modulation of membrane dynamics by local anesthetics and the lack of a possible influence of internally accumulated betaine on BetP activity.
Journal of Bacteriology, 2007, Vol 189, Issue 20, p. 7485-96
Bacterial Proteins; Betaine; Carrier Proteins; Cell Membrane; Corynebacterium glutamicum; Mass Spectrometry; Membrane Lipids; Osmolar Concentration; Temperature