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Gene Review

sigF  -  RNA polymerase sigma factor SigF

Mycobacterium tuberculosis CDC1551

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Disease relevance of sigF

  • Using PCR amplification with degenerate primers, we identified and cloned a sigma factor gene, sigF, from Mycobacterium tuberculosis [1].
  • RNase protection assays revealed that M. tuberculosis sigF mRNA is not present during exponential-phase growth in M. bovis BCG cultures but is strongly induced during stationary phase, nitrogen depletion, and cold shock [1].
  • The sigF gene has been overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified, and used to raise polyclonal antibodies [2].

High impact information on sigF

  • Weak expression of M. tuberculosis sigF was also detected during late-exponential phase, oxidative stress, anaerobiasis, and alcohol shock [1].
  • Additionally, the DeltasigF mutant displayed diminished uptake of chenodeoxycholate, and this effect was reversed by complementation with a wild-type sigF gene [3].
  • These data indicate that M. tuberculosis sigF is a nonessential alternate sigma factor both in axenic culture and for survival in macrophages in vitro [3].
  • Determination of conditions of sigF expression is an important step in understanding the conditional gene regulation which may govern such processes as virulence and dormancy in mycobacteria [4].
  • Primer extension analysis of the usfXp1 promoter in the E. coli two-plasmid system after IPTG-induced expression of M. tuberculosis sigF revealed a transcription start point that was identical as in M. tuberculosis [5].

Biological context of sigF

  • A second open reading frame called usfY precedes usfX, but has no significant homologues and may not be contranscribed with the usfX and sigF [2].

Associations of sigF with chemical compounds


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of sigF

  • Southern blot surveys with a sigF-specific probe identified cross-hybridizing bands in other slow-growing mycobacteria, Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and Mycobacterium avium, but not in the rapid-growers Mycobacterium smegmatis or Mycobacterium abscessus [1].
  • The induction of sigF following antibiotic exposure suggests that this bacterial transcription factor may control genes which are important for mycobacterial persistence in the host during chemotherapy [4].
  • Sequence analysis suggests that the usfX and sigF genes appear to be cotranscribed and translationally coupled [2].


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