Fang F, Lin YH, Pierce BD, Lynn DG

A Rhizobium radiobacter Histidine Kinase Can Employ Both Boolean AND and OR Logic Gates to Initiate Pathogenesis.

Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology. 2015-10-12; 16.15: 2183-90.

The molecular logic gates that regulate gene circuits are necessarily intricate and highly regulated, particularly in the critical commitments necessary for pathogenesis. We now report simple AND and OR logic gates to be accessible within a single protein receptor. Pathogenesis by the bacterium Rhizobium radiobacter is mediated by a single histidine kinase, VirA, which processes multiple small molecule host signals (phenol and sugar). Mutagenesis analyses converged on a single signal integration node, and finer functional analyses revealed that a single residue could switch VirA from a functional AND logic gate to an OR gate where each of two signals activate independently. Host range preferences among natural strains of R. radiobacter correlate with these gate logic strategies. Although the precise mechanism for the signal integration node requires further analyses, long-range signal transmission through this histidine kinase can now be exploited for synthetic signaling circuits.

PMID: 26310519

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