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

Growth phase-regulated expression of bolA and morphology of stationary-phase Escherichia coli cells are controlled by the novel sigma factor sigma S.

The novel sigma factor (sigma S) encoded by rpoS (katF) is required for induction of many growth phase-regulated genes and expression of a variety of stationary-phase phenotypes in Escherichia coli. Here we demonstrate that wild-type cells exhibit spherical morphology in stationary phase, whereas rpoS mutant cells remain rod shaped and are generally larger. Size reduction of E. coli cells along the growth curve is a continuous and at least biphasic process, the second phase of which is absent in rpoS-deficient cells and correlates with induction of the morphogene bolA in wild-type cells. Stationary-phase induction of bolA is dependent on sigma S. The "gearbox" a characteristic sequence motif present in the sigma S-dependent growth phase- and growth rate-regulated bolAp1 promoter, is not recognized by sigma S, since stationary-phase induction of the mcbA promoter, which also contains a gearbox, does not require sigma S, and other sigma S-controlled promoters do not contain gearboxes. However, good homology to the potential -35 and -10 consensus sequences for sigma S regulation is found in the bolAp1 promoter.[1]


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