CdbA is a DNA-binding protein and c-di-GMP receptor important for nucleoid organization and segregation in Myxococcus xanthus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Dorota Skotnicka
  • Wieland Steinchen
  • Dobromir Szadkowski
  • Gert Bange
  • Lotte Søgaard-andersen

Colleges, School and Institutes


Cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) is a second messenger that modulates multiple responses to environmental and cellular signals in bacteria. Here we identify CdbA, a DNA-binding protein of the ribbon-helix-helix family that binds c-di-GMP in Myxococcus xanthus. CdbA is essential for viability, and its depletion causes defects in chromosome organization and segregation leading to a block in cell division. The protein binds to the M. xanthus genome at multiple sites, with moderate sequence specificity; however, its depletion causes only modest changes in transcription. The interactions of CdbA with c-di-GMP and DNA appear to be mutually exclusive and residue substitutions in CdbA regions important for c-di-GMP binding abolish binding to both c-di-GMP and DNA, rendering these protein variants non-functional in vivo. We propose that CdbA acts as a nucleoid-associated protein that contributes to chromosome organization and is modulated by c-di-GMP, thus revealing a link between c-di-GMP signaling and chromosome biology.


Original languageEnglish
Article number1791
Number of pages19
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020