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J Bacteriol. May 1991; 173(9): 3000–3009.
PMCID: PMC207884

Cloning and characterization of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa lasR gene, a transcriptional activator of elastase expression.

Abstract

We report the discovery of the lasR gene, which positively regulates elastase expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. The lasR gene was cloned by its ability to restore a positive elastase phenotype in strain PA103, a strain which possesses the elastase structural gene (lasB) but fails to synthesize the enzyme. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame of 716 nucleotides encoding a protein of approximately 27 kDa. A labeled LasR protein of 27 kDa was detected in Escherichia coli by using a T7 RNA polymerase expression system. A chromosomal deletion mutant of the lasR gene was constructed in PAO1 by gene replacement. This mutant (PAO-R1) is devoid of elastolytic activity and elastase antigen. The deduced amino acid sequence of LasR is 27% homologous to the positive activator LuxR of Vibrio fischeri and the suspected activator 28K-UvrC of E. coli. Northern (RNA) analysis of total cellular RNA from PAO1, PAO-R1, and PAO-R1 containing the lasR gene on a multicopy plasmid (pMG1.7) revealed that a functional lasR gene is required for transcription of the elastase structural gene (lasB).

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