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Gene Review

lacZ  -  beta-D-galactosidase

Escherichia coli O157:H7 str. EDL933

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Disease relevance of lacZ

  • The reporter gene lacZ, encoding beta-galactosidase, and the gene encoding spiralin, an abundant surface lipoprotein of the related mollicute Spiroplasma citri, were successfully expressed [1].
  • We developed a novel triplex PCR method for detection of E. coli in which cyd gene coding for cytochrome bd complex was co-amplified along with lacZ and uidA genes [2].
  • Using reporter plasmids containing lacZ transcriptional fusions, we showed that the ipaH7.8. ipa4.5. ospC1, and ospF promoters are activated under conditions of deregulated secretion and that both MxiE and IpgC are necessary and sufficient for their activation in both Shigella flexneri and Escherichia coli [3].
  • A mycobacteriophage Ms6 strong promoter region (P(lys)) was isolated by using transcriptional fusions with the lacZ reporter gene [4].
  • Benzoate-CoA ligase assays and transcriptional analyses based on lacZ-reporter fusions revealed that benzoate degradation in Azoarcus sp. strain CIB is subject to carbon catabolite repression by some organic acids, indicating the existence of a physiological control that connects the expression of the bzd genes to the metabolic status of the cell [5].

High impact information on lacZ

  • To understand the mechanism of heat induction of sigma32 synthesis further, we analyzed expression of rpoH-lacZ gene fusions with altered stability of mRNA structure before and after heat shock [6].
  • The predatory mite was transformed with a plasmid containing the Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase gene (lacZ) regulated by the Drosophila hsp70 heat-shock promoter [7].
  • Escherichia coli strain MM18 cells containing malE-lacZ hybrid protein was reported to accumulate prolipoprotein when they were induced with maltose [Ito, K., Bassford, P. J. & Beckwith, J. (1981) Cell 24, 707-717] [8].
  • One fusion, LexA1-87-FadR102-239, was able to repress the LexA reporter sulA-lacZ, and beta-galactosidase activities were derepressed by fatty acids, suggesting that the fusion protein had determinants both for dimerization and ligand binding [9].
  • A series of detailed point mutations in BS15 were tested for their effects upon translational repression of lacZ activity [10].

Chemical compound and disease context of lacZ


Biological context of lacZ


Anatomical context of lacZ


Associations of lacZ with chemical compounds

  • This was in contrast to the much-studied glnD99::Tn10 mutation, which carries its insertion in the 3' end of the gene, causes a complete repression of glnKp-lacZ expression under all growth conditions, and also confers leaky glutamine auxotrophy [18].
  • We assessed the transcriptional profile of uspA in S. typhimurium C5 by constructing a lacZ fusion revealing that uspA is induced by metabolic, oxidative, and temperature stresses [19].
  • Both nalidixic acid and novobiocin reduce cydA-lacZ expression in a concentration-dependent manner [20].
  • The yeeI mutants exhibited increased generation times during growth on glucose, reduced transport of methyl-alpha-d-glucopyranoside, a substrate of EIICB(Glc), reduced induction of a ptsG-lacZ operon fusion, and reduced catabolite repression in lactose/glucose diauxic growth experiments [21].
  • YtsJ activity, in contrast, was 70-fold higher with NADP+ than with NAD+, with Km values of 0.055 and 2.8 mM, respectively. lacZ fusions revealed strong transcription of ytsJ, twofold higher in malate than in glucose medium, but weak transcription of malS and mleA [22].

Other interactions of lacZ

  • The xylS promoter was fused upstream of two promoterless genes coding the lacZ gene and phoA [23].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of lacZ


  1. Versatile use of oriC plasmids for functional genomics of Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum. Janis, C., Lartigue, C., Frey, J., Wróblewski, H., Thiaucourt, F., Blanchard, A., Sirand-Pugnet, P. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. Direct detection of bacterial faecal indicators in water samples using PCR. Hor??kov??, K., Mlejnkov??, H., Mlejnek, P. Water Sci. Technol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Identification of the cis-acting site involved in activation of promoters regulated by activity of the type III secretion apparatus in Shigella flexneri. Mavris, M., Sansonetti, P.J., Parsot, C. J. Bacteriol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  4. Expression of Mycobacteriophage Ms6 lysis genes is driven by two sigma(70)-like promoters and is dependent on a transcription termination signal present in the leader RNA. Garcia, M., Pimentel, M., Moniz-Pereira, J. J. Bacteriol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. The bzd gene cluster, coding for anaerobic benzoate catabolism, in Azoarcus sp. strain CIB. López Barragán, M.J., Carmona, M., Zamarro, M.T., Thiele, B., Boll, M., Fuchs, G., García, J.L., Díaz, E. J. Bacteriol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. Translational induction of heat shock transcription factor sigma32: evidence for a built-in RNA thermosensor. Morita, M.T., Tanaka, Y., Kodama, T.S., Kyogoku, Y., Yanagi, H., Yura, T. Genes Dev. (1999) [Pubmed]
  7. Stable genetic transformation of a beneficial arthropod, Metaseiulus occidentalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae), by a microinjection technique. Presnail, J.K., Hoy, M.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1992) [Pubmed]
  8. Post-translational modification and processing of Escherichia coli prolipoprotein in vitro. Tokunaga, M., Tokunaga, H., Wu, H.C. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1982) [Pubmed]
  9. Characterization of the fatty acid-responsive transcription factor FadR. Biochemical and genetic analyses of the native conformation and functional domains. Raman, N., Black, P.N., DiRusso, C.C. J. Biol. Chem. (1997) [Pubmed]
  10. The binding interface between Bacillus stearothermophilus ribosomal protein S15 and its 5'-translational operator mRNA. Scott, L.G., Williamson, J.R. J. Mol. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  11. Dual repression by Fe(2+)-Fur and Mn(2+)-MntR of the mntH gene, encoding an NRAMP-like Mn(2+) transporter in Escherichia coli. Patzer, S.I., Hantke, K. J. Bacteriol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  12. Detection of gentoxicity of benzidine and its derivatives with the Escherichia coli DJ 702 lacZ reversion mutagenicity assay. Chen, S.C., Lin, C.S., Liang, S.H., Chuang, J.Y. Lett. Appl. Microbiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  13. An activator of glutamate decarboxylase genes regulates the expression of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli virulence genes through control of the plasmid-encoded regulator, Per. Shin, S., Castanie-Cornet, M.P., Foster, J.W., Crawford, J.A., Brinkley, C., Kaper, J.B. Mol. Microbiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  14. LfrR Is a Repressor That Regulates Expression of the Efflux Pump LfrA in Mycobacterium smegmatis. Buroni, S., Manina, G., Guglierame, P., Pasca, M.R., Riccardi, G., De Rossi, E. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (2006) [Pubmed]
  15. New Tn10 derivatives for transposon mutagenesis and for construction of lacZ operon fusions by transposition. Way, J.C., Davis, M.A., Morisato, D., Roberts, D.E., Kleckner, N. Gene (1984) [Pubmed]
  16. Surveying biotransformations with à la carte genetic traps: translating dehydrochlorination of lindane (gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane) into lacZ-based phenotypes. Mohn, W.W., Garmendia, J., Galvao, T.C., de Lorenzo, V. Environ. Microbiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  17. Sprouting of sensory neurons in dorsal root ganglia after transection of peripheral nerves. Tsuyoshi, H., Zenzai, K., Okado, H., Endo, N., Shibata, M., Hirano, S. Arch. Histol. Cytol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  18. Transposon mutations in the 5' end of glnD, the gene for a nitrogen regulatory sensor, that suppress the osmosensitive phenotype caused by otsBA lesions in Escherichia coli. Tøndervik, A., Torgersen, H.R., Botnmark, H.K., Strøm, A.R. J. Bacteriol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  19. Role of the universal stress protein UspA of Salmonella in growth arrest, stress and virulence. Liu, W.T., Karavolos, M.H., Bulmer, D.M., Allaoui, A., Hormaeche, R.D., Lee, J.J., Anjam Khan, C.M. Microb. Pathog. (2007) [Pubmed]
  20. A role for DNA supercoiling in the regulation of the cytochrome bd oxidase of Escherichia coli. Bebbington, K.J., Williams, H.D. Microbiology (Reading, Engl.) (2001) [Pubmed]
  21. YeeI, a novel protein involved in modulation of the activity of the glucose-phosphotransferase system in Escherichia coli K-12. Becker, A.K., Zeppenfeld, T., Staab, A., Seitz, S., Boos, W., Morita, T., Aiba, H., Mahr, K., Titgemeyer, F., Jahreis, K. J. Bacteriol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  22. YtsJ has the major physiological role of the four paralogous malic enzyme isoforms in Bacillus subtilis. Lerondel, G., Doan, T., Zamboni, N., Sauer, U., Aymerich, S. J. Bacteriol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  23. Monitoring aromatic hydrocarbons by whole cell electrochemical biosensors. Paitan, Y., Biran, I., Shechter, N., Biran, D., Rishpon, J., Ron, E.Z. Anal. Biochem. (2004) [Pubmed]
  24. Identification of a novel mycobacterial transcriptional regulator and its involvement in growth rate dependence and stringent control. Kamalakannan, V., Ramachandran, G., Narayanan, S., Vasan, S.K., Narayanan, P.R. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. (2002) [Pubmed]
  25. Nucleotide sequence of dcrA, a Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough chemoreceptor gene, and its expression in Escherichia coli. Dolla, A., Fu, R., Brumlik, M.J., Voordouw, G. J. Bacteriol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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