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J Bacteriol. 1996 Nov; 178(21): 6238–6249.
PMCID: PMC178496

Transcriptional control mediated by the ArcA two-component response regulator protein of Escherichia coli: characterization of DNA binding at target promoters.


ArcA protein bearing an amino-terminal, oligohistidine extension has been purified, and its DNA binding activity has been characterized with or without prior incubation with carbamoyl phosphate. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and DNase I protection assays indicate that where the phosphorylated form of the ArcA protein (ArcA-P) is expected to act as a transcriptional repressor (e.g., of lctPRD and gltA-sdhCDAB), the effect is likely to be mediated by sequestration of cis-controlling transcriptional regulatory elements. In contrast, in the case of cydAB, for which ArcA-P is expected to function as a transcriptional activator, two discrete binding sites have been identified upstream of a known promoter, and activation from these sites is likely to be mediated by a mechanism typical of the type I class of prokaryotic transcriptional activators. An additional ArcA-P binding site has also been located downstream of the known promoter, and a distinct role for this site in the regulation of the cydAB operon during anoxic growth transitions is suggested. These results are discussed within the framework of an overall model of signaling by the Arc two-component signal transduction system in response to changes in aerobiosis.

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