Catabolite repression of the TodS/TodT two-component system and effector-dependent transphosphorylation of TodT as the basis for toluene dioxygenase catabolic pathway control

J Bacteriol. 2010 Aug;192(16):4246-50. doi: 10.1128/JB.00379-10. Epub 2010 Jun 11.


The TodS/TodT two-component system of Pseudomonas putida regulates the expression of the toluene dioxygenase (tod) operon for the metabolism of toluene, benzene, and ethylbenzene. The sensor kinase TodS has a complex domain arrangement containing two functional modules, each harboring a sensor and an autokinase domain separated by a receiver domain. The TodT protein is the cognate response regulator that activates transcription of the toluene dioxygenase (TOD) pathway genes at the P(todX) promoter. We report in this study that the todST operon is transcribed from a main promoter and that the +1 initiation point is located 31 nucleotides upstream from the A of the first ATG codon and is preceded by a -10/-35 canonical promoter. Expression from P(todS) is under catabolite control, and in cells growing with glucose, the level of expression from this promoter is reduced, which in turn translates to low levels of the TodS/TodT regulators and results in a decrease of transcription from the P(todX) promoter. Thus, the main underlying regulatory mechanisms of the tod structural genes are at the levels of catabolite repression control from P(todS) and transcription activation, mediated by the TodT response regulator through a regulatory cascade in which the effector enhances autophosphorylation of TodS by ATP, with subsequent transphosphorylation of TodT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Codon, Initiator
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Operon
  • Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas putida / enzymology
  • Pseudomonas putida / physiology*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Transcription Initiation Site


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Codon, Initiator
  • TodT protein, Pseudomonas putida
  • Trans-Activators
  • Oxygenases
  • toluene dioxygenase
  • Protein Kinases
  • TodS protein, Pseudomonas putida