Four dimers of lambda repressor bound to two suitably spaced pairs of lambda operators form octamers and DNA loops over large distances.
Transcription factors that are bound specifically to DNA often interact with each other over thousands of base pairs  . Large DNA loops resulting from such interactions have been observed in Escherichia coli with the transcription factors deoR  and NtrC , but such interactions are not, as yet, well understood. We propose that unique protein complexes, that are not present in solution, may form specifically on DNA. Their uniqueness would make it possible for them to interact tightly and specifically with each other. We used the repressor and operators of coliphage lambda to construct a model system in which to test our proposition. lambda repressor is a dimer at physiological concentrations, but forms tetramers and octamers at a hundredfold higher concentration. We predict that two lambda repressor dimers form a tetramer in vitro when bound to two lambda operators spaced 24 bp apart and that two such tetramers interact to form an octamer. We examined, in vitro, relaxed circular plasmid DNA in which such operator pairs were separated by 2,850 bp and 2,470 bp. Of these molecules, 29% formed loops as seen by electron microscopy (EM). The loop increased the tightness of binding of lambda repressor to lambda operator. Consequently, repression of the lambda PR promoter in vivo was increased fourfold by the presence of a second pair of lambda operators, separated by a distance of 3,600 bp. (+info)
Identification and characterization of a DeoR-specific operator sequence essential for induction of dra-nupC-pdp operon expression in Bacillus subtilis.
The deoR gene located just upstream the dra-nupC-pdp operon of Bacillus subtilis encodes the DeoR repressor protein that negatively regulates the expression of the operon at the level of transcription. The control region upstream of the operon was mapped by the use of transcriptional lacZ fusions. It was shown that all of the cis-acting elements, which were necessary for full DeoR regulation of the operon, were included in a 141-bp sequence just upstream of dra. The increased copy number of this control region resulted in titration of the DeoR molecules of the cell. By using mutagenic PCR and site-directed mutagenesis techniques, a palindromic sequence located from position -60 to position -43 relative to the transcription start point was identified as a part of the operator site for the binding of DeoR. Furthermore, it was shown that a direct repeat of five nucleotides, which was identical to the 3' half of the palindrome and was located between the -10 and -35 regions of the dra promoter, might function as a half binding site involved in cooperative binding of DeoR to the regulatory region. Binding of DeoR protein to the operator DNA was confirmed by a gel electrophoresis mobility shift assay. Moreover, deoxyribose-5-phosphate was shown to be a likely candidate for the true inducer of the dra-nupC-pdp expression. (+info)
Sequence of Shiga toxin 2 phage 933W from Escherichia coli O157:H7: Shiga toxin as a phage late-gene product.
Lysogenic bacteriophages are major vehicles for the transfer of genetic information between bacteria, including pathogenicity and/or virulence determinants. In the enteric pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7, which causes hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome, Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2) are phage encoded. The sequence and analysis of the Stx2 phage 933W is presented here. We find evidence that the toxin genes are part of a late-phage transcript, suggesting that toxin production may be coupled with, if not dependent upon, phage release during lytic growth. Another phage gene, stk, encodes a product resembling eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinases. Based on its position in the sequence, Stk may be produced by the prophage in the lysogenic state, and, like the YpkA protein of Yersinia species, it may interfere with the signal transduction pathway of the mammalian host. Three novel tRNA genes present in the phage genome may serve to increase the availability of rare tRNA species associated with efficient expression of pathogenicity determinants: both the Shiga toxin and serine/threonine kinase genes contain rare isoleucine and arginine codons. 933W also has homology to lom, encoding a member of a family of outer membrane proteins associated with virulence by conferring the ability to survive in macrophages, and bor, implicated in serum resistance. (+info)
Specific contacts between residues in the DNA-binding domain of the TyrR protein and bases in the operator of the tyrP gene of Escherichia coli.
In the presence of tyrosine, the TyrR protein of Escherichia coli represses the expression of the tyrP gene by binding to the double TyrR boxes which overlap the promoter. Previously, we have carried out methylation, uracil, and ethylation interference experiments and have identified both guanine and thymine bases and phosphates within the TyrR box sequences that are contacted by the TyrR protein (J. S. Hwang, J. Yang, and A. J. Pittard, J. Bacteriol. 179:1051-1058, 1997). In this study, we have used missing contact probing to test the involvement of all of the bases within the tyrP operator in the binding of TyrR. Our results indicate that nearly all the bases within the palindromic arms of the strong and weak boxes are important for the binding of the TyrR protein. Two alanine-substituted mutant TyrR proteins, HA494 and TA495, were purified, and their binding affinities for the tyrP operator were measured by a gel shift assay. HA494 was shown to be completely defective in binding to the tyrP operator in vitro, while, in comparison with wild-Type TyrR, TA495 had only a small reduction in DNA binding. Missing contact probing was performed by using the purified TA495 protein, and the results suggest that T495 makes specific contacts with adenine and thymine bases at the +/-5 positions in the TyrR boxes. (+info)
Determination of the Paracoccus denitrificans SOS box.
By gel retardation experiments with crude cell extracts of Paracoccus denitrificans it was demonstrated that a protein specifically binds to the promoter of the P. denitrificans recA gene. PCR mutagenesis of the recA promoter showed that the GAACN7GAAC motif is required for the formation of the DNA-protein complex. This protein also binds to the GTTCN7GTTC motif, which is present in the promoter of the P. denitrificans uvrA gene. Mutational analysis of the promoter regions of both P. denitrificans recA and uvrA genes indicated that the GAACN7GAAC and GTTCN7GTTC sequences are required for DNA-damage-mediated induction of these two genes in vivo. Furthermore, the P. denitrificans recA gene was DNA-damage-inducible when introduced into cells of the phylogenetically related phototrophic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides, although this inducibility was lost in mutants in the GAACN7GAAC motif. These results indicate that P. denitrificans possesses the same SOS box as R. sphaeroides, which, in agreement with previous work, is proposed as being the GTTCN7GTTC motif. (+info)
IncC of broad-host-range plasmid RK2 modulates KorB transcriptional repressor activity In vivo and operator binding in vitro.
The korAB operon of broad-host-range plasmid RK2 encodes five genes, two of which, incC and korB, belong to the parA and parB families, respectively, of genome partitioning functions. Both korB and a third gene, korA, are responsible for coordinate regulation of operons encoding replication, transfer, and stable inheritance functions. Overexpression of incC alone caused rapid displacement of RK2. Using two different reporter systems, we show that incC modulates the action of KorB. Using promoter fusions to the reporter gene xylE, we show that incC potentiates the repression of transcription by korB. This modulation of korB activity was only observed with incC1, which encodes the full-length IncC (364 amino acids [aa]), whereas no effect was observed with incC2, which encodes a polypeptide of 259 aa that lacks the N-terminal 105 aa. Using bacterial extracts with IncC1 and IncC2 or IncC1 purified through the use of a His6 tail and Ni-agarose chromatography, we showed that IncC1 potentiates the binding of KorB to DNA at representative KorB operators. The ability of IncC to stabilize KorB-DNA complexes suggests that these two proteins work together in the global regulation of many operons on the IncP-1 genomes, as well in plasmid partitioning. (+info)
Molecular analysis of the recA gene and SOS box of the purple non-sulfur bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris no. 7.
The recA gene of the purple non-sulfur bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris no. 7 was isolated by a PCR-based method and sequenced. The complete nucleotide sequence consists of 1089 bp encoding a polypeptide of 363 amino acids which is most closely related to the RecA proteins from species of Rhizobiaceae and Rhodospirillaceae. A recA-deficient strain of R. palustris no. 7 was obtained by gene replacement. As expected, this strain exhibited increased sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents. Transcriptional fusions of the recA promoter region to lacZ confirmed that the R. palustris no. 7 recA gene is inducible by DNA damage. Primer extension analysis of recA mRNA located the recA gene transcriptional start. A sequential deletion of the fusion plasmid was used to delimit the promoter region of the recA gene. A gel mobility shift assay demonstrated that a DNA-protein complex is formed at this promoter region. This DNA-protein complex was not formed when protein extracts from cells treated with DNA-damaging agents were used, indicating that the binding protein is a repressor. Comparison of the minimal R. palustris no. 7 recA promoter region with the recA promoter sequences from other alpha-Proteobacteria revealed the presence of the conserved sequence GAACA-N6-G(A/T)AC. Site-directed mutations that changed this consensus sequence abolished the DNA-damage-mediated expression of the R. palustris recA gene, confirming that this sequence is the SOS box of R. palustris and probably plays the same role in other alpha-Proteobacteria. (+info)
Large-scale chromatin unfolding and remodeling induced by VP16 acidic activation domain.
Analysis of the relationship between transcriptional activators and chromatin organization has focused largely on lower levels of chromatin structure. Here we describe striking remodeling of large-scale chromatin structure induced by a strong transcriptional activator. A VP16-lac repressor fusion protein targeted the VP16 acidic activation domain to chromosome regions containing lac operator repeats. Targeting was accompanied by increased transcription, localized histone hyperacetylation, and recruitment of at least three different histone acetyltransferases. Observed effects on large-scale chromatin structure included unfolding of a 90-Mbp heterochromatic chromosome arm into an extended 25-40-micrometers chromonema fiber, remodeling of this fiber into a novel subnuclear domain, and propagation of large-scale chromatin unfolding over hundreds of kilobase pairs. These changes in large-scale chromatin structure occurred even with inhibition of ongoing transcription by alpha-amanitin. Our results suggest a functional link between recruitment of the transcriptional machinery and changes in large-scale chromatin structure. Based on the observed long-range propagation of changes in large-scale chromatin structure, we suggest a possible rationale for the observed clustering of housekeeping genes within Mbp-sized chromosome bands. (+info)