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J Bacteriol. 1999 Jun;181(12):3768-76.

Transcriptional organization and in vivo role of the Escherichia coli rsd gene, encoding the regulator of RNA polymerase sigma D.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Shizuoka 411-8540, Japan.


The regulator of sigma D (Rsd) was identified as an RNA polymerase sigma70-associated protein in stationary-phase Escherichia coli with the inhibitory activity of sigma70-dependent transcription in vitro (M. Jishage and A. Ishihama, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95:4953-4958, 1998). Primer extension analysis of rsd mRNA indicated the presence of two promoters, sigmaS-dependent P1 and sigma70-dependent P2 with the gearbox sequence. To get insight into the in vivo role of Rsd, the expression of a reporter gene fused to either the sigma70- or sigmaS-dependent promoter was analyzed in the absence of Rsd or the presence of overexpressed Rsd. In the rsd null mutant, the sigma70- and sigmaS-dependent gene expression was increased or decreased, respectively. On the other hand, the sigma70- or sigmaS-dependent transcription was reduced or enhanced, respectively, after overexpression of Rsd. The repression of the sigmaS-dependent transcription in the rsd mutant is overcome by increased production of the sigmaS subunit. Together these observations support the prediction that Rsd is involved in replacement of the RNA polymerase sigma subunit from sigma70 to sigmaS during the transition from exponential growth to the stationary phase.

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