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Gene Review

phoB  -  transcriptional regulator PhoB

Escherichia coli CFT073

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Disease relevance of phoB

  • The expression of alkaline phosphatase (the product of the phoA gene) in Escherichia coli is believed to be subject to both positive control by the phoB gene product and negative control by the phoR gene product [1].
  • Hence, accumulation of polyP requires a functional phoB gene and elevated levels of (p)ppGpp [2].
  • To determine if stalk elongation is regulated by the Pho regulon, the Caulobacter phoB gene that encodes the transcriptional activator of the Pho regulon was cloned and mutated [3].

High impact information on phoB

  • The synthesis of these proteins is controlled by two genes (the phoB-phoR operon), involving both negative and positive functions [4].
  • The phoB gene was cloned and sequenced and in the deduced amino acid sequence two deviations from that of E. coli PhoB were detected [5].
  • Using low micromolar concentrations we observed dose- and sequence-dependent inhibition of the reporter gene gfp and endogenous gene phoB [6].
  • Together with the DNA sequence of the upstream phoB gene that we determined previously, this region shows the following features [7].
  • The plasmid was introduced into various regulatory mutants related to the phosphate regulon, and phoB gene expression in these strains was studied under limited and excess phosphate conditions [8].

Chemical compound and disease context of phoB


Biological context of phoB

  • (1974) that phoRc mutants represent a cistron (phoB) different from phoR [10].
  • The S. meliloti phoB gene was required for the activation of exp gene expression under phosphate limitation, but not for induction of exp expression by MucR or ExpG [11].
  • Of a variety of well-characterized Pi transport mutants, only phoB mutants were equally resistant to TeO3(2-), and susceptibility could also be restored in strains carrying an F' plasmid for the phoB region and lost once more after F' curing [12].
  • In-frame deletions were generated within the phoB gene, and the phenotypes of the mutants were analyzed [13].
  • The fusion gene product interfered with phoB and phoA expression in the phoR mutants [14].

Other interactions of phoB

  • The transcriptome profiles of the wild-type and the phoB mutant strains were compared at the time point showing the highest expression levels of the phoB and phoR genes under a P-limiting condition [15].


  1. Mutants affected in alkaline phosphatase, expression: evidence for multiple positive regulators of the phosphate regulon in Escherichia coli. Wanner, B.L., Latterell, P. Genetics (1980) [Pubmed]
  2. Inorganic polyphosphate in Escherichia coli: the phosphate regulon and the stringent response. Rao, N.N., Liu, S., Kornberg, A. J. Bacteriol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  3. Regulation of stalk elongation by phosphate in Caulobacter crescentus. Gonin, M., Quardokus, E.M., O'Donnol, D., Maddock, J., Brun, Y.V. J. Bacteriol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. From cell membrane to nucleotides: the phosphate regulon in Escherichia coli. Torriani, A. Bioessays (1990) [Pubmed]
  5. The pho regulon of Shigella flexneri. Scholten, M., Janssen, R., Bogaarts, C., van Strien, J., Tommassen, J. Mol. Microbiol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  6. Inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus gene expression and growth using antisense peptide nucleic acids. Nekhotiaeva, N., Awasthi, S.K., Nielsen, P.E., Good, L. Mol. Ther. (2004) [Pubmed]
  7. Nucleotide sequence of the phoR gene, a regulatory gene for the phosphate regulon of Escherichia coli. Makino, K., Shinagawa, H., Amemura, M., Nakata, A. J. Mol. Biol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  8. Regulation of the pho regulon in Escherichia coli K-12. Genetic and physiological regulation of the positive regulatory gene phoB. Shinagawa, H., Makino, K., Nakata, A. J. Mol. Biol. (1983) [Pubmed]
  9. Characterization of the ugp region containing the genes for the phoB dependent sn-glycerol-3-phosphate transport system of Escherichia coli. Schweizer, H., Boos, W. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1984) [Pubmed]
  10. Genetic analysis of regulatory mutants of alkaline phosphatase of E. coli. Kreuzer, K., Pratt, C., Torriani, A. Genetics (1975) [Pubmed]
  11. Biosynthesis of the exopolysaccharide galactoglucan in Sinorhizobium meliloti is subject to a complex control by the phosphate-dependent regulator PhoB and the proteins ExpG and MucR. Rüberg, S., Pühler, A., Becker, A. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (1999) [Pubmed]
  12. Tellurite susceptibility and non-plasmid-mediated resistance in Escherichia coli. Tomás, J.M., Kay, W.W. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1986) [Pubmed]
  13. Genetic evidence that the alpha5 helix of the receiver domain of PhoB is involved in interdomain interactions. Allen, M.P., Zumbrennen, K.B., McCleary, W.R. J. Bacteriol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  14. Cloning and characterization of the alkaline phosphatase positive regulatory gene (phoM) of Escherichia coli. Makino, K., Shinagawa, H., Nakata, A. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1984) [Pubmed]
  15. Novel gene members in the Pho regulon of Escherichia coli. Baek, J.H., Lee, S.Y. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (2006) [Pubmed]
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