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Gene Review

bolA  -  stationary-phase morphogene,...

Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Synonyms: ECK0429, JW5060
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Disease relevance of bolA


High impact information on bolA

  • The cell division ftsQAZ cluster and the ftsZ-dependent bolA morphogene of Escherichia coli are found to be driven by gearboxes, a distinct class of promoters characterized by showing an activity that is inversely dependent on growth rate [3].
  • Gearbox promoters are essential for driving ftsQAZ and bolA gene expression so that the encoded products are synthesized at constant amounts per cell independently of cell size [3].
  • The evidence presented demonstrates that bolA is a regulator of cell wall biosynthetic enzymes with different roles in cell morphology and cell division [4].
  • However, using transcription fusions, we have found that the ampG transcription is not regulated by bolA [5].
  • Size reduction of E. coli cells along the growth curve is a continuous and at least biphasic process, the second phase of which is absent in rpoS-deficient cells and correlates with induction of the morphogene bolA in wild-type cells [6].

Biological context of bolA

  • The RpoS-regulated bolA gene in Escherichia coli is important for the decrease in cell size during stationary phase or sudden carbon starvation [2].
  • Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis indicated that the bolA homologue is the second gene in an operon where the two next ORFs encode putative proteins with homology to sulphurtransferases and protein disulphide isomerases [2].
  • This plasmid contained a novel secretion system consisting of the kil gene (killing protein) of plasmid ColE1 under the stationary-phase promoter of either the fic or the bolA gene, an omega interposon (Prentki and Krisch 1984) located upstream of the promoters and a hybrid beta-glucanase gene of Bacillus [7].

Other interactions of bolA

  • In order to understand the molecular basis of selective expression of stationary-phase genes by RNA polymerase containing sigma38 (Esigma38) in Escherichia coli, we examined transcription from the stationary-phase promoters, katEP, bolAP, hdeABP, csgBAP, and mcbP, in vivo and in vitro [8].


  1. Induction of a growth-phase-dependent promoter triggers transcription of bolA, an Escherichia coli morphogene. Aldea, M., Garrido, T., Hernández-Chico, C., Vicente, M., Kushner, S.R. EMBO J. (1989) [Pubmed]
  2. Initial characterization of a bolA homologue from Pseudomonas fluorescens indicates different roles for BolA-like proteins in P. fluorescens and Escherichia coli. Koch, B., Nybroe, O. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Division genes in Escherichia coli are expressed coordinately to cell septum requirements by gearbox promoters. Aldea, M., Garrido, T., Pla, J., Vicente, M. EMBO J. (1990) [Pubmed]
  4. The gene bolA regulates dacA (PBP5), dacC (PBP6) and ampC (AmpC), promoting normal morphology in Escherichia coli. Santos, J.M., Lobo, M., Matos, A.P., De Pedro, M.A., Arraiano, C.M. Mol. Microbiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. AmpG, a signal transducer in chromosomal beta-lactamase induction. Lindquist, S., Weston-Hafer, K., Schmidt, H., Pul, C., Korfmann, G., Erickson, J., Sanders, C., Martin, H.H., Normark, S. Mol. Microbiol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  6. Growth phase-regulated expression of bolA and morphology of stationary-phase Escherichia coli cells are controlled by the novel sigma factor sigma S. Lange, R., Hengge-Aronis, R. J. Bacteriol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  7. Extracellular production of a hybrid beta-glucanase from Bacillus by Escherichia coli under different cultivation conditions in shaking cultures and bioreactors. Miksch, G., Neitzel, R., Fiedler, E., Friehs, K., Flaschel, E. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  8. Factors influencing preferential utilization of RNA polymerase containing sigma-38 in stationary-phase gene expression in Escherichia coli. Kim, E.Y., Shin, M.S., Rhee, J.H., Choy, H.E. J. Microbiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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