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System-Wide Analysis of the GATC-Binding Nucleoid-Associated Protein Gbn and Its Impact on Streptomyces Development

  • Du, Chao
  • Willemse, Joost
  • Erkelens, Amanda M.
  • Carrion, Victor J.
  • Dame, Remus T.
  • van Wezel, Gilles P.
Published Article
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
May 16, 2022
DOI: 10.1128/msystems.00061-22
ASM Journals


Bacterial chromosome structure is, to a great extent, organized by a diverse group of proteins collectively referred to as nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs). Many NAPs have been well studied in Streptomyces, including Lsr2, HupA, HupS, and sIHF. Here, we show that SCO1839 represents a novel family of Actinobacteria NAPs and recognizes a consensus sequence consisting of GATC followed by (A/T)T. The protein, which is expressed in particular during sporulation, was designated Gbn for GATC-binding NAP. Deletion of gbn led to alterations in development and antibiotic production in Streptomyces coelicolor. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-Seq) detected more than 2,800 binding regions, encompassing around 3,600 GATCWT motifs. This amounts to 55% of all such sequences in the S. coelicolor genome. DNA binding of Gbn in vitro minimally changes DNA conformation, suggesting a modest role in chromosome organization only, in addition to a gene regulatory role. Transcriptomics analysis showed that Gbn binding generally leads to reduced gene expression. The DNA binding profiles were nearly identical between vegetative and aerial growth. Exceptions are SCO1311 and SCOt32, for a tRNA editing enzyme and a tRNA that recognizes the rare leucine codon CUA, respectively, which nearly exclusively bound during vegetative growth. Taken together, our data show that Gbn is a highly pleiotropic NAP that impacts growth and development in streptomycetes. IMPORTANCE A large part of the chemical space of bioactive natural products is derived from Actinobacteria. Many of the biosynthetic gene clusters for these compounds are cryptic; in others words, they are expressed in nature but not in the laboratory. Understanding the global regulatory networks that control gene expression is key to the development of approaches to activate this biosynthetic potential. Chromosome structure has a major impact on the control of gene expression in eukaryotes. In bacteria, the organization of chromosome structure is mediated by multiple factors, including macromolecular biophysics processes, biological processes, and, more importantly, a diverse group of proteins referred to collectively as nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs). We here present the discovery of a novel and extremely pleiotropic NAP, which we refer to as Gbn. Gbn is an Actinobacteria-specific protein that binds to GATC sequences, with a subtle but broad effect on global gene expression, especially during the late developmental stage. The discovery of Gbn is a new step toward better understanding of how gene expression and chromosome structure are governed in antibiotic-producing streptomycetes.

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