Identification of Conserved, RpoS-Dependent Stationary-Phase Genes of Escherichia coli Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • ABSTRACT During entry into stationary phase, many free-living, gram-negative bacteria express genes that impart cellular resistance to environmental stresses, such as oxidative stress and osmotic stress. Many genes that are required for stationary-phase adaptation are controlled by RpoS, a conserved alternative sigma factor, whose expression is, in turn, controlled by many factors. To better understand the numbers and types of genes dependent upon RpoS, we employed a genetic screen to isolate more than 100 independent RpoS-dependent gene fusions from a bank of several thousand mutants harboring random, independent promoter- lacZ operon fusion mutations. Dependence on RpoS varied from 2-fold to over 100-fold. The expression of all fusion mutations was normal in an rpoS/rpoS + merodiploid ( rpoS background transformed with an rpoS -containing plasmid). Surprisingly, the expression of many RpoS-dependent genes was growth phase dependent, albeit at lower levels, even in an rpoS background, suggesting that other growth-phase-dependent regulatory mechanisms, in addition to RpoS, may control postexponential gene expression. These results are consistent with the idea that many growth-phase-regulated functions in Escherichia coli do not require RpoS for expression. The identities of the 10 most highly RpoS-dependent fusions identified in this study were determined by DNA sequence analysis. Three of the mutations mapped to otsA , katE , ecnB , and osmY —genes that have been previously shown by others to be highly RpoS dependent. The six remaining highly-RpoS-dependent fusion mutations were located in other genes, namely, gabP , yhiUV , o371 , o381 , f186 , and o215.

publication date

  • December 1998

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