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

Promoter elements required for positive control of transcription of the Escherichia coli uhpT gene.

The uhpABCT locus of Escherichia coli encodes the transport system which allows the cell to accumulate a variety of sugar phosphates in unaltered form. The expression of uhpT, the gene encoding the transport protein, is regulated by the uhpABC gene products. The UhpA protein is required for expression; its deduced amino acid sequence shows that it belongs to a subfamily of bacterial transcription regulators including NarL, DegU, and FixJ. Members of this subfamily have an amino-terminal phosphorylation domain characteristic of so-called two-component regulators, such as OmpR, CheY, PhoB, and NtrC, and a carboxyl-terminal domain conserved among many transcriptional activators, including LuxR and MalT. The major sequence elements in the uhpT promoter that are needed for uhpT expression were investigated. Northern (RNA) hybridization analysis showed that the uhpT transcript was only present in cells induced for UhpT transport activity. The start site of transcription was identified by primer extension. Comparison of the regions upstream of the uhpT transcription start site in E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium suggested the presence of four sequence elements that might be involved in promoter function: a typical -10 region, a short inverted repeat centered at -32, a long inverted repeat centered at -64, and a cyclic AMP receptor protein-binding sequence centered at -103. Deletion and linker substitution mutations in the promoter demonstrated that the presence of the cyclic AMP receptor protein-binding site resulted in about an eightfold increase in promoter activity and that the -64, -32, and -10 elements were essential for promoter function. In vivo titration of transcriptional activator UhpA by the intact or mutant promoters on multicopy plasmids identified the -64 element as the UhpA-binding site. The two halves of the -64 inverted repeat did not contribute equally to promoter function and did not have to be intact for UhpA titration. The sequence recognized by UhpA is predicted to be 5' -GGCAAAACNNNGAAA.[1]


  1. Promoter elements required for positive control of transcription of the Escherichia coli uhpT gene. Merkel, T.J., Nelson, D.M., Brauer, C.L., Kadner, R.J. J. Bacteriol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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