Cloning and characterisation of a novel ompB operon from Vibrio cholerae 569B.
The ompB operon of Vibrio cholerae 569B has been cloned and fully sequenced. The operon encodes two proteins, OmpR and EnvZ, which share sequence identity with the OmpR and EnvZ proteins of a variety of other bacteria. Although the order of the ompR and envZ genes of V. cholerae is similar to that of the ompB operon of E. coli, S. typhimurium and X. nematophilus, the Vibrio operon exhibits a number of novel features. The structural organisation and features of the V. cholerae ompB operon are described. (+info)
In vivo and in vitro processing of the Bacillus subtilis transcript coding for glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, serine acetyltransferase, and cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase.
In Bacillus subtilis, the adjacent genes gltX, cysE, and cysS encoding respectively glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, serine acetyl-transferase, and cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase, are transcribed as an operon but a gltX probe reveals only the presence of a monocistronic gltX mRNA (Gagnon et al., 1994, J Biol Chem 269:7473-7482). The transcript of the gltX-cysE intergenic region contains putative alternative secondary structures forming a p-independent terminator or an antiterminator, and a conserved sequence (T-box) found in the leader of most aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase and many amino acid biosynthesis genes in B. subtilis and in other Gram-positive eubacteria. The transcription of these genes is initiated 45 nt upstream from the first codon of gltX and is under the control of a sigmaA-type promoter. Analysis of the in vivo transcript of this operon revealed a cleavage site immediately downstream from the p-independent terminator structure. In vitro transcription analysis, using RNA polymerases from Escherichia coli, B. subtilis, and that encoded by the T7 phage, in the presence of various RNase inhibitors, shows the same cleavage. This processing generates mRNAs whose 5'-end half-lives differ by a factor of 2 in rich medium, and leaves putative secondary structures at the 3' end of the gltX transcript and at the 5' end of the cysE/S mRNA, which may be involved in the stabilization of these mRNAs. By its mechanism and its position, this cleavage differs from that of the other known transcripts encoding aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in B. subtilis. (+info)
A 55-kilodalton immunodominant antigen of Porphyromonas gingivalis W50 has arisen via horizontal gene transfer.
A 55-kDa outer membrane protein of Porphyromonas gingivalis W50 is a significant target of the serum immunoglobulin G antibody response of periodontal disease patients and hence may play an important role in host-bacterium interactions in periodontal disease. The gene encoding the 55-kDa antigen (ragB, for receptor antigen B) was isolated on a 9.5-kb partial Sau3AI fragment of P. gingivalis W50 chromosomal DNA in pUC18 by immunoscreening with a monoclonal antibody to this antigen. The 1.6-kb open reading frame (ORF) encoding RagB was located via subcloning and nested-deletion analysis. Sequence analysis demonstrated the presence of an upstream 3.1-kb ORF (ragA) which is cotranscribed with ragB. A number of genetic characteristics suggest that the ragAB locus was acquired by a horizontal gene transfer event. These include a significantly reduced G+C content relative to that of the P. gingivalis chromosome (42 versus 48%) and the presence of mobility elements flanking this locus in P. gingivalis W50. Furthermore, Southern blotting and PCR analyses showed a restricted distribution of this locus in laboratory and clinical isolates of this bacterium. The association of ragAB+ P. gingivalis with clinical status was examined by PCR analysis of subgingival samples. ragAB+ was not detected in P. gingivalis-positive shallow pockets from periodontal disease patients but was present in 36% of the P. gingivalis-positive samples from deep pockets. These data suggest that the ragAB locus was acquired by certain P. gingivalis strains via horizontal gene transfer and that the acquisition of this locus may facilitate the survival of these strains at sites of periodontal destruction. (+info)
The virulence plasmid-encoded impCAB operon enhances survival and induced mutagenesis in Shigella flexneri after exposure to UV radiation.
Upon exposure to UV radiation, Shigella flexneri SA100 displayed survival and mutation frequencies comparable to those of Escherichia coli AB1157, which contains a functional UmuDC error-prone DNA repair system. Survival of SA100 after UV irradiation was associated with the presence of the 220-kb virulence plasmid, pVP. This plasmid encodes homologues of ImpA and ImpB, which comprise an error-prone DNA repair system encoded on plasmid TP110 that was initially identified in Salmonella typhimurium, and ImpC, encoded upstream of ImpA and ImpB. Although the impB gene was present in representatives of all four species of Shigella, not all isolates tested contained the gene. Shigella isolates that lacked impB were more sensitive to UV radiation than isolates that contained impB. The nucleotide sequence of a 2.4-kb DNA fragment containing the imp operon from S. flexneri SA100 pVP was 96% identical to the imp operon from the plasmid TP110. An SA100 derivative with a mutation in the impB gene had reduced survival following UV irradiation and less UV-induced mutagenesis relative to the parental strain. We also found that S. flexneri contained a chromosomally encoded umuDC operon; however, the umuDC promoter was not induced by exposure to UV radiation. This suggests that the imp operon but not the umuDC operon contributes to survival and induced mutagenesis in S. flexneri following exposure to UV radiation. (+info)
A novel reduced flavin mononucleotide-dependent methanesulfonate sulfonatase encoded by the sulfur-regulated msu operon of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
When Pseudomonas aeruginosa is grown with organosulfur compounds as sulfur sources, it synthesizes a set of proteins whose synthesis is repressed in the presence of sulfate, cysteine, or thiocyanate (so-called sulfate starvation-induced proteins). The gene encoding one of these proteins, PA13, was isolated from a cosmid library of P. aeruginosa PAO1 and sequenced. It encoded a 381-amino-acid protein that was related to several reduced flavin mononucleotide (FMNH2)-dependent monooxygenases, and it was the second in an operon of three genes, which we have named msuEDC. The MsuD protein catalyzed the desulfonation of alkanesulfonates, requiring oxygen and FMNH2 for the reaction, and showed highest activity with methanesulfonate. MsuE was an NADH-dependent flavin mononucleotide (FMN) reductase, which provided reduced FMN for the MsuD enzyme. Expression of the msu operon was analyzed with a transcriptional msuD::xylE fusion and was found to be repressed in the presence of sulfate, sulfite, sulfide, or cysteine and derepressed during growth with methionine or alkanesulfonates. Growth with methanesulfonate required an intact cysB gene, and the msu operon is therefore part of the cys regulon, since sulfite utilization was found to be CysB independent in this species. Measurements of msuD::xylE expression in cysN and cysI genetic backgrounds showed that sulfate, sulfite, and sulfide or cysteine play independent roles in negatively regulating msu expression, and sulfonate utilization therefore appears to be tightly regulated. (+info)
An Lrp-like protein of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus which binds to its own promoter.
Regulation of gene expression in the domain Archaea, and specifically hyperthermophiles, has been poorly investigated so far. Biochemical experiments and genome sequencing have shown that, despite the prokaryotic cell and genome organization, basal transcriptional elements of members of the domain Archaea (i.e., TATA box-like sequences, RNA polymerase, and transcription factors TBP, TFIIB, and TFIIS) are of the eukaryotic type. However, open reading frames potentially coding for bacterium-type transcription regulation factors have been recognized in different archaeal strains. This finding raises the question of how bacterial and eukaryotic elements interact in regulating gene expression in Archaea. We have identified a gene coding for a bacterium-type transcription factor in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. The protein, named Lrs14, contains a potential helix-turn-helix motif and is related to the Lrp-AsnC family of regulators of gene expression in the class Bacteria. We show that Lrs14, expressed in Escherichia coli, is a highly thermostable DNA-binding protein. Bandshift and DNase I footprint analyses show that Lrs14 specifically binds to multiple sequences in its own promoter and that the region of binding overlaps the TATA box, suggesting that, like the E. coli Lrp, Lrs14 is autoregulated. We also show that the lrs14 transcript is accumulated in the late growth stages of S. solfataricus. (+info)
Molecular characterization of the nitrite-reducing system of Staphylococcus carnosus.
Characterization of a nitrite reductase-negative Staphylococcus carnosus Tn917 mutant led to the identification of the nir operon, which encodes NirBD, the dissimilatory NADH-dependent nitrite reductase; SirA, the putative oxidase and chelatase, and SirB, the uroporphyrinogen III methylase, both of which are necessary for biosynthesis of the siroheme prosthetic group; and NirR, which revealed no convincing similarity to proteins with known functions. We suggest that NirR is essential for nir promoter activity. In the absence of NirR, a weak promoter upstream of sirA seems to drive transcription of sirA, nirB, nirD, and sirB in the stationary-growth phase. In primer extension experiments one predominant and several weaker transcription start sites were identified in the nir promoter region. Northern blot analyses indicated that anaerobiosis and nitrite are induction factors of the nir operon: cells grown aerobically with nitrite revealed small amounts of full-length transcript whereas cells grown anaerobically with or without nitrite showed large amounts of full-length transcript. Although a transcript is detectable, no nitrite reduction occurs in cells grown aerobically with nitrite, indicating an additional oxygen-controlled step at the level of translation, enzyme folding, assembly, or insertion of prosthetic groups. The nitrite-reducing activity expressed during anaerobiosis is switched off reversibly when the oxygen tension increases, most likely due to competition for electrons with the aerobic respiratory chain. Another gene, nirC, is located upstream of the nir operon. nirC encodes a putative integral membrane-spanning protein of unknown function. A nirC mutant showed no distinct phenotype. (+info)
Role of ribosome release in regulation of tna operon expression in Escherichia coli.
Expression of the degradative tryptophanase (tna) operon of Escherichia coli is regulated by catabolite repression and tryptophan-induced transcription antitermination. In cultures growing in the absence of added tryptophan, transcription of the structural genes of the tna operon is limited by Rho-dependent transcription termination in the leader region of the operon. Tryptophan induction prevents this Rho-dependent termination, and requires in-frame translation of a 24-residue leader peptide coding region, tnaC, that contains a single, crucial, Trp codon. Studies with a lacZ reporter construct lacking the spacer region between tnaC and the first major structural gene, tnaA, suggested that tryptophan induction might involve cis action by the TnaC leader peptide on the ribosome translating the tnaC coding region. The leader peptide was hypothesized to inhibit ribosome release at the tnaC stop codon, thereby blocking Rho's access to the transcript. Regulatory studies with deletion constructs of the tna operon of Proteus vulgaris supported this interpretation. In the present study the putative role of the tnaC stop codon in tna operon regulation in E. coli was examined further by replacing the natural tnaC stop codon, UGA, with UAG or UAA in a tnaC-stop codon-tnaA'-'lacZ reporter construct. Basal level expression was reduced to 20 and 50% when the UGA stop codon was replaced by UAG or UAA, respectively, consistent with the finding that in E. coli translation terminates more efficiently at UAG and UAA than at UGA. Tryptophan induction was observed in strains with any of the stop codons. However, when UAG or UAA replaced UGA, the induced level of expression was also reduced to 15 and 50% of that obtained with UGA as the tnaC stop codon, respectively. Introduction of a mutant allele encoding a temperature-sensitive release factor 1, prfA1, increased basal level expression 60-fold when the tnaC stop codon was UAG and 3-fold when this stop codon was UAA; basal level expression was reduced by 50% in the construct with the natural stop codon, UGA. In strains with any of the three stop codons and the prfA1 mutation, the induced levels of tna operon expression were virtually identical. The effects of tnaC stop codon identity on expression were also examined in the absence of Rho action, using tnaC-stop codon-'lacZ constructs that lack the tnaC-tnaA spacer region. Expression was low in the absence of tnaC stop codon suppression. In most cases, tryptophan addition resulted in about 50% inhibition of expression when UGA was replaced by UAG or UAA and the appropriate suppressor was present. Introduction of the prfA1 mutant allele increased expression of the suppressed construct with the UAG stop codon; tryptophan addition also resulted in ca. 50% inhibition. These findings provide additional evidence implicating the behavior of the ribosome translating tnaC in the regulation of tna operon expression. (+info)