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

The OmpR protein of Escherichia coli binds to sites in the ompF promoter region in a hierarchical manner determined by its degree of phosphorylation.

In Escherichia coli the ompF gene encodes a major outer membrane porin protein that is differentially regulated by the OmpR protein. OmpR acts as a positive as well as a negative regulator of ompF expression by binding to DNA sequences in the ompF promoter region. The DNA binding activity of OmpR is itself regulated by phosphorylation through the kinase protein EnvZ. Phosphorylation is believed to change the function of OmpR from an activator to a repressor molecule. By using purified OmpR and various regions of the ompF promoter we show that phosphorylation causes binding of OmpR to a DNA region between the -40 to -100 region of the ompF promoter previously shown to be important for ompF expression. As the amount of OmpR-phosphate increases, a binding site located at a further upstream -360 to -380 region was occupied. This latter site has been reported to be important for ompF repression. Further experiments indicate that the -70 to -100 region is a high affinity site, while the -45 to -60 and -360 to -380 regions are low affinity sites. We also provide evidence that OmpR binding at the -360 to -380 region requires previous binding at downstream sequences, which is indicative of long range interactions between OmpR molecules. We interpret our results in terms of a model for ompF regulation involving hierarchical binding by phosphorylated OmpR and potential DNA looping.[1]


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