Hybrid promiscuous (Hypr) GGDEF enzymes produce cyclic AMP-GMP (3′, 3′-cGAMP) Academic Article uri icon


  • Over 30 years ago, GGDEF domain-containing enzymes were shown to be diguanylate cyclases that produce cyclic di-GMP (cdiG), a second messenger that modulates the key bacterial lifestyle transition from a motile to sessile biofilm-forming state. Since then, the ubiquity of genes encoding GGDEF proteins in bacterial genomes has established the dominance of cdiG signaling in bacteria. However, the observation that proteobacteria encode a large number of GGDEF proteins, nearing 1% of coding sequences in some cases, raises the question of why bacteria need so many GGDEF enzymes. In this study, we reveal that a subfamily of GGDEF enzymes synthesizes the asymmetric signaling molecule cyclic AMP-GMP (cAG or 3', 3'-cGAMP). This discovery is unexpected because GGDEF enzymes function as symmetric homodimers, with each monomer binding to one substrate NTP. Detailed analysis of the enzyme from Geobacter sulfurreducens showed it is a dinucleotide cyclase capable of switching the major cyclic dinucleotide (CDN) produced based on ATP-to-GTP ratios. We then establish through bioinformatics and activity assays that hybrid CDN-producing and promiscuous substrate-binding (Hypr) GGDEF enzymes are found in other deltaproteobacteria. Finally, we validated the predictive power of our analysis by showing that cAG is present in surface-grown Myxococcus xanthus. This study reveals that GGDEF enzymes make alternative cyclic dinucleotides to cdiG and expands the role of this widely distributed enzyme family to include regulation of cAG signaling.

published proceedings

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

altmetric score

  • 9.8

author list (cited authors)

  • Hallberg, Z. F., Wang, X. C., Wright, T. A., Nan, B., Ad, O., Yeo, J., & Hammond, M. C.

citation count

  • 61

complete list of authors

  • Hallberg, Zachary F||Wang, Xin C||Wright, Todd A||Nan, Beiyan||Ad, Omer||Yeo, Jongchan||Hammond, Ming C

publication date

  • February 2016