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Gene Review

relA  -  GDP/GTP pyrophosphokinase

Escherichia coli CFT073

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Disease relevance of relA


High impact information on relA

  • We find that rRNA synthesized from plasmids does exhibit a relA-dependent, stringent response [2].
  • The activation was dependent on relA and spoT, which encode enzymes for the synthesis and degradation of ppGpp, and on dksA, which encodes an RNA polymerase accessory protein required for the stringent response [3].
  • The genome of Borrelia burgdorferi encodes a single chromosomal rel gene (BB0198) (B. burgdorferi rel [rel(Bbu)]) homologous to relA and spoT of E. coli [4].
  • Subsequent in vitro assays using ribosomes isolated from wild-type and relA and relC mutant strains confirmed that (p)ppGpp is synthesized by ribosomes and that mutation of RelA or L11 blocks that activity [5].
  • The presence of a relA mutant allele affects the kinetics of cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate accumulation during downshift from glucose to succinate [6].

Chemical compound and disease context of relA


Biological context of relA

  • Partial suppression of the lysis-resistant phenotype was also observed in a relA genetic background [9].
  • Amino acid deprivation resulted in a reduction in the cell sizes of rel+ strains but not of relA- strains [8].


  1. Identification and characterization of a second, inducible promoter of relA in Escherichia coli. Nakagawa, A., Oshima, T., Mori, H. Genes Genet. Syst. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Regions of DNA involved in the stringent control of plasmid-encoded rRNA in vivo. Gourse, R.L., Stark, M.J., Dahlberg, A.E. Cell (1983) [Pubmed]
  3. ppGpp with DksA controls gene expression in the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli through activation of two virulence regulatory genes. Nakanishi, N., Abe, H., Ogura, Y., Hayashi, T., Tashiro, K., Kuhara, S., Sugimoto, N., Tobe, T. Mol. Microbiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  4. Borrelia burgdorferi rel is responsible for generation of guanosine-3'-diphosphate-5'-triphosphate and growth control. Bugrysheva, J.V., Bryksin, A.V., Godfrey, H.P., Cabello, F.C. Infect. Immun. (2005) [Pubmed]
  5. Physiological Analysis of the Stringent Response Elicited in an Extreme Thermophilic Bacterium, Thermus thermophilus. Kasai, K., Nishizawa, T., Takahashi, K., Hosaka, T., Aoki, H., Ochi, K. J. Bacteriol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  6. Role of the rel gene product in the control of cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate accumulation. Braedt, G., Gallant, J. J. Bacteriol. (1977) [Pubmed]
  7. The effect of intracellular ppGpp levels on glutamate and lysine overproduction in Escherichia coli. Imaizumi, A., Kojima, H., Matsui, K. J. Biotechnol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  8. Effect of amino acid deprivation and chloramphenicol treatment on cell sizes of rel+ and relA- strains of Escherichia coli. Ishiguro, E.E., Ramey, W.D. Can. J. Microbiol. (1978) [Pubmed]
  9. Isolation and characterization of autolysis-defective mutants of Escherichia coli that are resistant to the lytic activity of seminalplasmin. Chitnis, S.N., Prasad, K.S., Bhargava, P.M. J. Gen. Microbiol. (1990) [Pubmed]
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