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J Bacteriol. Sep 1996; 178(18): 5438–5446.
PMCID: PMC178364

Identification of sulfate starvation-regulated genes in Escherichia coli: a gene cluster involved in the utilization of taurine as a sulfur source.

Abstract

Genes whose expression is regulated by sulfate starvation in Escherichia coli were identified by generating random translational lacZ fusions in the chromosome with the lambda placMu9 system. Nine lacZ fusion strains which expressed beta-galactosidase after growth under sulfate starvation conditions but not after growth in the presence of sulfate were found. These included two strains with insertions in the dmsA and rhsD genes, respectively, and seven strains in which the insertions were located within a 1.8-kb region downstream of hemB at 8.5 minutes on the E. coli chromosome. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence of this region indicated the presence of four open reading frames designated tauABCD. Disruption of these genes resulted in the loss of the ability to utilize taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonate) as a source of sulfur but did not affect the utilization of a range of other aliphatic sulfonates as sulfur sources. The TauA protein contained a putative signal peptide for transport into the periplasm; the TauB and TauC proteins showed sequence similarity to ATP-binding proteins and membrane proteins, respectively, of ABC-type transport systems; and the TauD protein was related in sequence to a dichlorophenoxyacetic acid dioxygenase. We therefore suggest that the proteins encoded by tauABC constitute an uptake system for taurine and that the product of tauD is involved in the oxygenolytic release of sulfite from taurine. The transcription initiation site was detected 26 to 27 bp upstream of the translational start site of tauA. Expression of the tauD gene was dependent on CysB, the transcriptional activator of the cysteine regulon.

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Selected References

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