1887

Abstract

The widely conserved phage-shock-protein A () operon encodes an extracytoplasmic stress response system that is essential for virulence in , and has been linked to other important phenotypes in , and . Regulation of operon expression is mediated through a promoter upstream of that depends on sigma factor RpoN ( ) and the enhancer binding protein PspF. PspA, PspB and PspC, encoded within the operon, also regulate expression by participating in a putative signal transduction pathway that probably serves to modulate PspF activity. All of this suggests that appropriate expression of the operon is critical. Previous genetic analysis of the operon suggested that an additional level of complexity might be mediated by PspF/RpoN-independent expression of some genes. Here, an null mutation and interposon analysis were used to confirm that PspF/RpoN-independent gene expression does originate within the locus. Molecular genetic approaches were used to systematically analyse the two large non-coding regions within the locus. Primer extension, control region deletion and site-directed mutagenesis experiments led to the identification of RpoN-independent promoters both upstream and downstream of . The precise location of the PspF/RpoN-dependent promoter upstream of was also determined. The discovery of these RpoN-independent promoters reveals yet another level of transcriptional complexity for the operon that may function to allow low-level constitutive expression of genes and/or additional regulation under some conditions.

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2006-04-01
2019-10-17
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