A new kind of prokaryotic protein tyrosine kinase was recently discovered, utilizing a guanidino-phosphotransferase domain for its kinase activity. Guanidino kinase domains originate from eukaryotic phosphagen kinases, a family of phosphoryl transfer enzymes with no homology to the serine/threonine and tyrosine kinase superfamily. Nevertheless, this kinase, McsB, exhibits the main structural and functional properties of prokaryotic tyrosine kinases. Tyrosine phosphorylation in bacteria is predominantly described to be involved in the regulation of exopolysaccharide synthesis and is therefore required for biofilm formation and virulence. McsB on the other hand modulates together with its activator protein, McsA, the activity of the repressor of the class III heat shock genes in B. subtilis. The analogy of the kinase mechanism of McsB to tyrosine kinases implicates that tyrosine kinases may harbor various and independently evolved domains for ATP-binding/hydrolysis and the transfer of the gamma-phosphate of ATP onto tyrosine residues.
Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.