The GGDEF Domain of the Phosphodiesterase PdeB in Shewanella putrefaciens Mediates Recruitment by the Polar Landmark Protein HubP

J Bacteriol. 2019 Mar 13;201(7):e00534-18. doi: 10.1128/JB.00534-18. Print 2019 Apr 1.


Bacteria commonly exhibit a high degree of cellular organization and polarity which affect many vital processes such as replication, cell division, and motility. In Shewanella and other bacteria, HubP is a polar marker protein which is involved in proper chromosome segregation, placement of the chemotaxis system, and various aspects of pilus- and flagellum-mediated motility. Here, we show that HubP also recruits a transmembrane multidomain protein, PdeB, to the flagellated cell pole. PdeB is an active phosphodiesterase and degrades the second messenger c-di-GMP. In Shewanella putrefaciens, PdeB affects both the polar and the lateral flagellar systems at the level of function and/or transcription in response to environmental medium conditions. Mutant analysis on fluorescently labeled PdeB indicated that a diguanylate cyclase (GGDEF) domain in PdeB is strictly required for HubP-dependent localization. Bacterial two-hybrid and in vitro interaction studies on purified proteins strongly indicate that this GGDEF domain of PdeB directly interacts with the C-terminal FimV domain of HubP. Polar localization of PdeB occurs late during the cell cycle after cell division and separation and is not dependent on medium conditions. In vitro activity measurements did not reveal a difference in PdeB phosphodiesterase activities in the presence or absence of the HubP FimV domain. We hypothesize that recruitment of PdeB to the flagellated pole by HubP may create an asymmetry of c-di-GMP levels between mother and daughter cells and may assist in organization of c-di-GMP-dependent regulation within the cell.IMPORTANCE c-di-GMP-dependent signaling affects a range of processes in many bacterial species. Most bacteria harbor a plethora of proteins with domains which are potentially involved in synthesis and breakdown of c-di-GMP. A potential mechanism to elicit an appropriate c-di-GMP-dependent response is to organize the corresponding proteins in a spatiotemporal fashion. Here, we show that a major contributor to c-di-GMP levels and flagellum-mediated swimming in Shewanella, PdeB, is recruited to the flagellated cell pole by the polar marker protein HubP. Polar recruitment involves a direct interaction between HubP and a GGDEF domain in PdeB, demonstrating a novel mechanism of polar targeting by the widely conserved HubP/FimV polar marker.

Keywords: c-di-GMP; cell polarity; flagella; heterogeneity; motility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Domains
  • Protein Interaction Mapping*
  • Protein Transport
  • Shewanella putrefaciens / enzymology*
  • Shewanella putrefaciens / genetics
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases