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

Mutations in a central highly conserved non-DNA-binding region of OmpR, an Escherichia coli transcriptional activator, influence its DNA-binding ability.

OmpR is a transcriptional activator for the expression of outer membrane porin genes ompF and ompC in Escherichia coli. Its C-terminal half has been identified as the DNA-binding domain (K. Tsung, R. Brissette, and M. Inouye, J. Biol. Chem. 264:10104-10109, 1989). Recent studies have indicated that the N-terminal non-DNA-binding domain of OmpR is involved in modulating OmpR function through interaction with the EnvZ protein, a kinase and phosphatase for OmpR. We isolated and characterized two mutations, G94D and E111K, in the N-terminal domain of OmpR and one mutation, R182C, in the DNA-binding domain of OmpR. All three mutations abolished the ability of OmpR to bind to the ompF and ompC promoters in vivo, thus giving an OmpF- OmpC- phenotype. The decreased DNA-binding ability of the mutant OmpRs was not due to diminished phosphorylation of their N termini, since all the mutant OmpRs were found to be normally phosphorylated by EnvZ in vitro. The mutant OmpRs produced from multicopy plasmids were also found to inhibit completely the production of OmpF and OmpC in wild-type cells, and the complete inhibition depended on the function of EnvZ which was produced in cis or in trans from plasmids. The relationship of the possible alterations in OmpR by the mutations with the observed diminished binding ability is discussed.[1]


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