afsS is a target of AfsR, a transcriptional factor with ATPase activity that globally controls secondary metabolism in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)

Mol Microbiol. 2002 Mar;43(6):1413-30. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2002.02840.x.


AfsR is a pleiotropic, global regulator that controls the production of actinorhodin, undecylprodigiosin and calcium-dependent antibiotic in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). AfsR, with 993 amino acids, is phosphorylated on serine and threonine residues by a protein serine/threonine kinase AfsK and contains an OmpR-like DNA-binding fold at its N-terminal portion and A- and B-type nucleotide-binding motifs in the middle of the protein. The DNA-binding domain, in-dependently of the nucleotide-binding domain, contributed the binding of AfsR to the upstream region of afsS that locates immediately 3' to afsR and encodes a 63-amino-acid protein. No transcription of afsS in the DeltaafsR background and restoration of afsS transcription by afsR on a plasmid in the same genetic background indicated that afsR served as a transcriptional activator for afsS. Interestingly, the AfsR binding site overlapped the promoter of afsS, as determined by DNase I protection assay and high-resolution S1 nuclease mapping. The nucleotide-binding domain contributed distinct ATPase and GTPase activity. The phosphorylation of AfsR by AfsK greatly enhanced the DNA-binding activity and modulated the ATPase activity. The DNA-binding ability of AfsR was independent of the ATPase activity. However, the ATPase activity was essential for transcriptional activation of afsS, probably because the energy available from ATP hydrolysis is required for the isomerization of the closed complex between AfsR and RNA polymerase to a transcriptionally competent open complex. Thus, AfsR turns out to be a unique transcriptional factor, in that it is modular, in which DNA-binding and ATPase activities are physically separable, and the two functions are modulated by phosphorylation on serine and threonine residues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anthraquinones / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphorylation
  • Streptomyces / genetics
  • Streptomyces / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptional Activation*


  • Anthraquinones
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • AfsR protein, Streptomyces coelicolor
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • actinorhodin