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Gene Review

fliA  -  flagellar biosynthesis sigma factor

Escherichia coli O157:H7 str. Sakai

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Disease relevance of ECs2661

  • Hence E. coli sigma F holoenzyme appears to be analogous to the B. subtilis sigma 28 RNA polymerase, both in its promoter specificity and in the nature of the regulon it controls [1].
  • The sigma F factor is a regulatory protein that is responsible for directing gene expression in the forespore compartment of developing cells of the spore-forming soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis [2].
  • However, all of the sequenced flagellar, chemotaxis, and motility operons from the enteric bacteria are preceded by DNA sequences highly homologous to B. subtilis sigma 28 promoters [3].
  • Sigma F, the enteric homolog of sigma D, controls similar functions in E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium, and these factors appear to be representative of a family of factors implicated in flagellar synthesis in many bacterial species, which we propose to designate the sigma 28 family [4].
  • The deduced promoter of the Borrelia flagellin gene resembled neither the sigma 70 promoter of prokaryotes, as seen for the genes for the outer-surface proteins A and B in Lyme disease Borrelia and the genes for the variable major proteins 7 and 21 of B. hermsii, nor the sigma 28 consensus promoter region of motility genes from other bacteria [5].

High impact information on ECs2661

  • The sigma F factor is encoded by the promoter-distal member of sporulation operon spoIIA, which consists of cistrons called spoIIAA, spoIIAB, and spoIIAC [2].
  • Only mRNA that was transcribed from gene A was detected in flagellate cells. sigma 28-specific promoter sequences were found upstream of the transcription initiation site [6].
  • Expression of class II depends on expression of class I. One of the class II gene products, the FIIA protein, is an alternative sigma factor (sigma 28) required for transcription of the class III operons [7].
  • The transcription of fliA directed by E sigma 28 could outcompete that by E sigma 70-FlhD/C, indicating a positive autoregulation [7].
  • The transcription start is preceded by a putative -10 box for the vegetative RNA polymerase as well as by sequences resembling the consensus sequence recognized by sigma 28 [8].

Chemical compound and disease context of ECs2661

  • Apparently, the outer layer polypeptides of S. aurantia, Treponema pallidum and Serpulina hyodysenteriae are transcribed from sigma-70-like promoters, whereas the core polypeptide genes are transcribed from sigma-28-like promoters [9].

Biological context of ECs2661

  • Additionally, both fliC1 and fliC2 have a conserved direct tandem repeat (DTR) sequence upstream from the sigma 28 promoter that may have functional significance in the transcriptional control of fliC expression during swarmer cell differentiation [10].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of ECs2661

  • Sequence analysis and primer extension experiments indicated that the transcription of the gene flaA is directed by a sigma 28-like RpoF-FliA factor [11].


  1. Secondary sigma factor controls transcription of flagellar and chemotaxis genes in Escherichia coli. Arnosti, D.N., Chamberlin, M.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1989) [Pubmed]
  2. SpoIIAB is an anti-sigma factor that binds to and inhibits transcription by regulatory protein sigma F from Bacillus subtilis. Duncan, L., Losick, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1993) [Pubmed]
  3. DNA sequence analysis suggests that expression of flagellar and chemotaxis genes in Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium is controlled by an alternative sigma factor. Helmann, J.D., Chamberlin, M.J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1987) [Pubmed]
  4. An operon of Bacillus subtilis motility genes transcribed by the sigma D form of RNA polymerase. Mirel, D.B., Lustre, V.M., Chamberlin, M.J. J. Bacteriol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  5. Expression of the flagellin gene in Borrelia is controlled by an alternative sigma factor. Noppa, L., Burman, N., Sadziene, A., Barbour, A.G., Bergström, S. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (1995) [Pubmed]
  6. Structural and functional analysis of two Campylobacter jejuni flagellin genes. Nuijten, P.J., van Asten, F.J., Gaastra, W., van der Zeijst, B.A. J. Biol. Chem. (1990) [Pubmed]
  7. Differential regulation of multiple overlapping promoters in flagellar class II operons in Escherichia coli. Liu, X., Matsumura, P. Mol. Microbiol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  8. MyfF, an element of the network regulating the synthesis of fibrillae in Yersinia enterocolitica. Iriarte, M., Cornelis, G.R. J. Bacteriol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  9. Spirochete chemotaxis, motility, and the structure of the spirochetal periplasmic flagella. Charon, N.W., Greenberg, E.P., Koopman, M.B., Limberger, R.J. Res. Microbiol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  10. Sequence and genetic analysis of multiple flagellin-encoding genes from Proteus mirabilis. Belas, R., Flaherty, D. Gene (1994) [Pubmed]
  11. Cloning and genetic characterization of the flagellum subunit gene (flaA) of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1. Heuner, K., Bender-Beck, L., Brand, B.C., Lück, P.C., Mann, K.H., Marre, R., Ott, M., Hacker, J. Infect. Immun. (1995) [Pubmed]
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