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Gene Review

fliA  -  RNA polymerase sigma factor FliA

Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium str. LT2

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Disease relevance of fliA

  • Late gene expression during flagellum biosynthesis in Salmonella typhimurium is dependent upon an alternative sigma factor, sigma28, the product of the fliA gene [1].
  • Remarkably the fliA gene from the extreme thermophile Aquifex aeolicus restored motility to the E. coli mutant at relatively low temperature, albeit partially [2].

High impact information on fliA

  • Using a set of fliA deletion mutants in a high-expression plasmid, we demonstrated that polypeptides containing the C-terminal portion of FliA could titrate the intracellular FlgM protein resulting in derepression of the class 3 operons [3].
  • The V. cholerae genome sequence revealed the presence of a fliA gene, which is predicted to encode the alternative flagellar sigma factor sigma28 [4].
  • At 20 min after induction, the class 2 fliA promoter became active and intracellular FliA protein levels increased; at 30 min after induction, the class 3 fliC promoter was activated [5].
  • Transcription of the late (Class 3) flagellar promoters in Salmonella typhimurium is dependent upon the flagellar specific sigma factor, sigma28, encoded by the fliA gene. sigma28-dependent transcription is inhibited by an anti-sigma factor, FlgM, through a direct interaction [6].
  • We found that serovar Typhi strains carrying a null mutation in either of the flagellar regulatory genes flhDC or fliA were severely deficient in entry into cultured epithelial cells and macrophage cytotoxicity [7].

Biological context of fliA


Anatomical context of fliA

  • However, a flgM-fliA double mutant was fully virulent in mice and survived in macrophages at wild-type levels [10].

Other interactions of fliA

  • However, though neither flhD nor flhC mutants could express the class 2 operons, the fliA mutants permitted the basal-level expression of those operons [8].


  1. Transcription initiation at the flagellin promoter by RNA polymerase carrying sigma28 from Salmonella typhimurium. Schaubach, O.L., Dombroski, A.J. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. The alternative sigma factor sigma(28) of the extreme thermophile Aquifex aeolicus restores motility to an Escherichia coli fliA mutant. Studholme, D.J., Buck, M. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (2000) [Pubmed]
  3. Genetic and molecular analyses of the interaction between the flagellum-specific sigma and anti-sigma factors in Salmonella typhimurium. Kutsukake, K., Iyoda, S., Ohnishi, K., Iino, T. EMBO J. (1994) [Pubmed]
  4. The novel sigma54- and sigma28-dependent flagellar gene transcription hierarchy of Vibrio cholerae. Prouty, M.G., Correa, N.E., Klose, K.E. Mol. Microbiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. Completion of the hook-basal body complex of the Salmonella typhimurium flagellum is coupled to FlgM secretion and fliC transcription. Karlinsey, J.E., Tanaka, S., Bettenworth, V., Yamaguchi, S., Boos, W., Aizawa, S.I., Hughes, K.T. Mol. Microbiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. A multipartite interaction between Salmonella transcription factor sigma28 and its anti-sigma factor FlgM: implications for sigma28 holoenzyme destabilization through stepwise binding. Chadsey, M.S., Hughes, K.T. J. Mol. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  7. The flagellar sigma factor FliA (sigma(28)) regulates the expression of Salmonella genes associated with the centisome 63 type III secretion system. Eichelberg, K., Galán, J.E. Infect. Immun. (2000) [Pubmed]
  8. Role of the FliA-FlgM regulatory system on the transcriptional control of the flagellar regulon and flagellar formation in Salmonella typhimurium. Kutsukake, K., Iino, T. J. Bacteriol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  9. Multiple factors independently regulate hilA and invasion gene expression in Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium. Lucas, R.L., Lostroh, C.P., DiRusso, C.C., Spector, M.P., Wanner, B.L., Lee, C.A. J. Bacteriol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. Mutation of flgM attenuates virulence of Salmonella typhimurium, and mutation of fliA represses the attenuated phenotype. Schmitt, C.K., Darnell, S.C., Tesh, V.L., Stocker, B.A., O'Brien, A.D. J. Bacteriol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  11. Structure and expression of the fliA operon of Salmonella typhimurium. Ikebe, T., Iyoda, S., Kutsukake, K. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (1999) [Pubmed]
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