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

Effect of promoter region mutations and mgrA overexpression on transcription of norA, which encodes a Staphylococcus aureus multidrug efflux transporter.

NorA is a Staphylococcus aureus multidrug transporter that confers resistance to structurally distinct compounds. The MgrA global regulatory protein is reported to augment norA expression when mgrA is overexpressed from an undefined plasmid-based promoter. Further details about norA regulatory mechanisms are scant. A chromosomal norA::lacZ transcriptional fusion was constructed in different S. aureus strains, and allele replacement was used to define the relevance of promoter region sequences to norA expression. The effect of mgrA overexpression in wild-type and mutant backgrounds was also determined. Contrary to existing data, overexpression of mgrA repressed norA transcription in all parent and selected norA promoter mutant strains in a dose-dependent fashion. Disruption of a near-perfect inverted repeat or other putative regulatory protein binding sites did not affect norA transcription, but the repressive effect of mgrA overexpression was blunted in these mutants. This result, and the conservation of all of these motifs in S. aureus, suggests that their presence is required for the full effect of MgrA, or other regulatory proteins, on norA expression. Mutations at the +5 nucleotide of norA mRNA (flqB mutations) had a major impact; all resulted in markedly increased norA expression that was significantly reversed by mgrA overexpression. The flqB position of norA mRNA is part of a conserved imperfect inverted repeat; it is feasible that this motif could be a binding site for a norA regulatory protein.[1]


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