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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Early Caulobacter crescentus genes fliL and fliM are required for flagellar gene expression and normal cell division.

The biogenesis of the Caulobacter crescentus polar flagellum requires the expression of more than 48 genes, which are organized in a regulatory hierarchy. The flbO locus is near the top of the hierarchy, and consequently strains with mutations in this locus are nonmotile and lack the flagellar basal body complex. In addition to the motility phenotype, mutations in this locus also cause abnormal cell division. Complementing clones restore both motility and normal cell division. Sequence analysis of a complementing subclone revealed that this locus encodes at least two proteins that are homologs of the Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli flagellar proteins FliL and FliM. FliM is thought to be a switch protein and to interface with the flagellum motor. The C. crescentus fliL and fliM genes form an operon that is expressed early in the cell cycle. Tn5 insertions in the fliM gene prevent the transcription of class II and class III flagellar genes, which are lower in the regulatory hierarchy. The start site of the fliLM operon lies 166 bp from the divergently transcribed flaCBD operon that encodes several basal body genes. Sequence comparison of the fliL transcription start site with those of other class I genes, flaS and flaO, revealed a highly conserved 29-bp sequence in a potential promoter region that differs from sigma 70, sigma 54, sigma 32, and sigma 28 promoter sequences, suggesting that at least three class I genes share a unique 5' regulatory region.[1]


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