The Three Streptomyces lividans HtrA-Like Proteases Involved in the Secretion Stress Response Act in a Cooperative Manner
Overproduction of Sec-proteins in S. lividans accumulates misfolded proteins outside of the cytoplasmic membrane where the accumulated proteins interfere with the correct functioning of the secretion machinery and with the correct cell functionality, triggering the expression in S. lividans of a CssRS two-component system which regulates the degradation of the accumulated protein, the so-called secretion stress response. Optimization of secretory protein production via the Sec route requires the identification and characterisation of quality factors involved in this process. The phosphorylated regulator (CssR) interacts with the regulatory regions of three genes encoding three different HtrA-like proteases. Individual mutations in each of these genes render degradation of the misfolded protein inoperative, and propagation in high copy number of any of the three proteases encoding genes results on indiscriminate alpha-amylase degradation. None of the proteases could complement the other two deficiencies and only propagation of each single copy protease gene can restore its own deficiency. The obtained results strongly suggest that the synthesis of the three HtrA-like proteases needs to be properly balanced to ensure the effective degradation of misfolded overproduced secretory proteins and, at the same time, avoid negative effects in the secreted proteins and the secretion machinery. This is particularly relevant when considering the optimisation of Streptomyces strains for the overproduction of homologous or heterologous secretory proteins of industrial application.