The Journal of biological chemistry

Genetic and biochemical characterization of EshA, a protein that forms large multimers and affects developmental processes in Streptomyces griseus.

PMID 12488450


The 52-kDa protein, EshA, whose expression is controlled developmentally, is produced during the late growth phase of Streptomyces spp. We found that disruption of the eshA gene, which encodes the EshA protein, abolishes the aerial mycelium formation and streptomycin production in Streptomyces griseus when grown on an agar plate. The eshA disruptant KO-390 demonstrated a reduced amount of expression of the transcriptional activator strR, thus accounting for the failure to produce streptomycin. KO-390 was found to accumulate deoxynucleoside triphosphates at high levels, including dGTP, at late growth phase. The accumulation of dGTP was a cause for the impaired ability of KO-390 to produce aerial mycelium, because the ability to form aerial mycelium was completely repaired by addition of decoyinine, an inhibitor of GMP synthetase. The accumulation of dNTP in KO-390 coincided with a reduced rate of DNA synthesis. The developmental time frame of these phenomena in KO-390 matched a burst of EshA expression in the wild-type strain. In contrast to S. griseus, the eshA disruption did not affect the ability for Streptomyces coelicolor to form aerial mycelium and did not result in the aberrant accumulation of dNTP accompanied by arrest of DNA synthesis, implying qualitative differences in addition to quantitative differences between the two EshA proteins. We propose that the S. griseus EshA protein somehow positively affects (or regulates) the replication of DNA in wild-type cells at late growth phase but leads to aberrant phenotypes in mutant cells due to the disturbed DNA replication. The EshA protein was found to exist as a multimer ( approximately 20-mers) creating a cubic-like structure with a diameter of 27 nm and located predominantly in cytoplasm.