The Escherichia coli envelope stress sensor CpxA can sense changes in lipid bilayer properties
Journal article, 2015
The Cpx stress response system is induced by various environmental and cellular stimuli. It is also activated in Escherichia coli strains lacking the major phospholipid, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). However, it is not known whether CpxA directly senses changes in the lipid bilayer or the presence of misfolded proteins due to the lack of PE in their membranes. To address this question, we used an in vitro reconstitution system and vesicles with different lipid compositions to track modulations in the activity of CpxA in different lipid bilayers. Moreover, the Cpx response was validated in vivo by monitoring expression of a PcpxP-gfp reporter in lipid-engineered strains of E. coli. Our combined data indicate that CpxA responds specifically to different lipid compositions.