Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19114043
FEBS Lett. 2009 Jan;583(2):301-7
Fork-head associated (FHA) domains are widely found in bacteria, but their cellular functions remain unclear. Here, we focus on Mycobacterium tuberculosis GarA, an FHA-containing protein conserved in actinomycetes that is phosphorylated by different Ser/Thr protein kinases. Using various physicochemical approaches, we show that phosphorylation significantly stabilizes GarA, and that its FHA domain interacts strongly with the phosphorylated N-terminal extension. Altogether, our results indicate that phosphorylation triggers an intra-molecular protein closure, blocking the phosphothreonine-binding site and switching off the regulatory properties of GarA. The model can explain the reported functions of this mycobacterial protein as regulator of glycogen degradation and glutamate metabolism.