Stressosomes are stress-sensing protein complexes widely conserved among bacteria. Although a role in the regulation of the general stress response is well documented in Gram-positive bacteria, the activating signals are still unclear, and little is known about the physiological function of stressosomes in the Gram-negative bacteria. Here we investigated the stressosome of the Gram-negative marine pathogen Vibrio vulnificus. We demonstrate that it senses oxygen and identified its role in modulating iron-metabolism. We determined a cryo-electron microscopy structure of the VvRsbR:VvRsbS stressosome complex, the first solved from a Gram-negative bacterium. The structure points to a variation in the VvRsbR and VvRsbS stoichiometry and a symmetry breach in the oxygen sensing domain of VvRsbR, suggesting how signal-sensing elicits a stress response. The findings provide a link between ligand-dependent signaling and an output - regulation of iron metabolism - for a stressosome complex.
© 2022. The Author(s).