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Gene Review

csrA  -  pleiotropic regulatory protein for carbon...

Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Synonyms: ECK2691, JW2666, zfiA
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Disease relevance of csrA


High impact information on csrA


Biological context of csrA

  • The carbon storage regulator gene, csrA, encodes a factor which negatively modulates the expression of the glycogen biosynthetic gene glgC by enhancing the decay of its mRNA (M. Y. Liu, H. Yang, and T. Romeo, J. Bacteriol. 177:2663-2672, 1995) [7].
  • Thus, csrA is now known to control all of the known glycogen biosynthetic genes (glg), which are located in three different operons [7].
  • Genetic and physical mapping of the regulatory gene csrA on the Escherichia coli K-12 chromosome [8].
  • Identification and molecular characterization of csrA, a pleiotropic gene from Escherichia coli that affects glycogen biosynthesis, gluconeogenesis, cell size, and surface properties [9].
  • A plasmid clone of the native csrA gene strongly inhibited glycogen accumulation and affected the ability of cells to utilize certain carbon sources for growth [9].

Anatomical context of csrA

  • We report here that epithelial cell invasion requires the serovar Typhimurium homologue of Escherichia coli csrA, which encodes a regulator that alters the stability of specific mRNA targets [2].
  • These suppressed strains, however, did not recover the ability to invade cultured cells, indicating that the csrA-mediated loss of invasion cannot be attributed simply to poor growth and that the growth and invasion deficits of the csrA mutant arise from effects of CsrA on different targets [2].

Associations of csrA with chemical compounds

  • Biofilm formation is not regulated by csrA, csrB or uvrY in a DeltapgaC mutant, which cannot synthesize PGA [10].
  • Expression levels in the csrA mutant were approximately twofold higher when cells were grown in Luria broth (LB) and 5- to 10-fold higher when LB was supplemented with glucose [11].
  • These effects of csrA were not mediated by increasing the regulatory enzymes of phenylalanine biosynthesis [12].
  • A strain in which the aromatic (shikimate) pathway had been optimized produced twofold more phenylalanine when csrA was disrupted [12].

Other interactions of csrA

  • The csrA gene did not affect glycogen debranching enzyme, which is now shown to be encoded by the gene glgX [7].
  • Similarly, the expression of the degradative enzyme glycogen phosphorylase, which is encoded by glgY, was found to be negatively regulated via csrA in vivo [7].
  • We investigated the influence of sigma(S) on cstA expression and found that a sigma(S) deficiency resulted in a threefold increase in cstA expression in wild-type and csrA mutant strains; however, CsrA-dependent regulation was retained [11].


  1. Pleiotropic regulation of central carbohydrate metabolism in Escherichia coli via the gene csrA. Sabnis, N.A., Yang, H., Romeo, T. J. Biol. Chem. (1995) [Pubmed]
  2. Regulation of Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium invasion genes by csrA. Altier, C., Suyemoto, M., Lawhon, S.D. Infect. Immun. (2000) [Pubmed]
  3. Phylogenetic distribution of the global regulatory gene csrA among eubacteria. White, D., Hart, M.E., Romeo, T. Gene (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Global regulation in Erwinia species by Erwinia carotovora rsmA, a homologue of Escherichia coli csrA: repression of secondary metabolites, pathogenicity and hypersensitive reaction. Mukherjee, A., Cui, Y., Liu, Y., Dumenyo, C.K., Chatterjee, A.K. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (1996) [Pubmed]
  5. Overexpresssion of a Legionella pneumophila homologue of the E. coli regulator csrA affects cell size, flagellation, and pigmentation. Fettes, P.S., Forsbach-Birk, V., Lynch, D., Marre, R. Int. J. Med. Microbiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  6. Comprehensive Alanine-scanning Mutagenesis of Escherichia coli CsrA Defines Two Subdomains of Critical Functional Importance. Mercante, J., Suzuki, K., Cheng, X., Babitzke, P., Romeo, T. J. Biol. Chem. (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Coordinate genetic regulation of glycogen catabolism and biosynthesis in Escherichia coli via the CsrA gene product. Yang, H., Liu, M.Y., Romeo, T. J. Bacteriol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  8. Genetic and physical mapping of the regulatory gene csrA on the Escherichia coli K-12 chromosome. Romeo, T., Gong, M. J. Bacteriol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  9. Identification and molecular characterization of csrA, a pleiotropic gene from Escherichia coli that affects glycogen biosynthesis, gluconeogenesis, cell size, and surface properties. Romeo, T., Gong, M., Liu, M.Y., Brun-Zinkernagel, A.M. J. Bacteriol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  10. CsrA post-transcriptionally represses pgaABCD, responsible for synthesis of a biofilm polysaccharide adhesin of Escherichia coli. Wang, X., Dubey, A.K., Suzuki, K., Baker, C.S., Babitzke, P., Romeo, T. Mol. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  11. CsrA regulates translation of the Escherichia coli carbon starvation gene, cstA, by blocking ribosome access to the cstA transcript. Dubey, A.K., Baker, C.S., Suzuki, K., Jones, A.D., Pandit, P., Romeo, T., Babitzke, P. J. Bacteriol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  12. Disruption of a global regulatory gene to enhance central carbon flux into phenylalanine biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. Tatarko, M., Romeo, T. Curr. Microbiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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