The control of the expression of the pilin gene () in under a wide variety of growth conditions has been studied. The expression of was measured using transcriptional fusions between and the gene encoding chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT), and the level of pilin production was measured by Western blot analysis. Many of the conditions tested affected both growth rate and pilin gene expression (e.g. isoleucine, high osmolarity, high temperature, anaerobic growth, pH 6, urea and iron depletion). Changes in the level of many other proteins were also observed, depending on the conditions, indicating that gonococci undergo an adaptive response to environmental variations. Moreover, environment-induced changes in the level of many proteins, including pilin, seem to involve the regulatory system, which has been previously proposed to modulate the expression of the gonococcal pilin gene.


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