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J Bacteriol. 2000 Jan;182(2):311-9.

The PspA protein of Escherichia coli is a negative regulator of sigma(54)-dependent transcription.

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  • 1Laboratory of Genetics, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


In Eubacteria, expression of genes transcribed by an RNA polymerase holoenzyme containing the alternate sigma factor sigma(54) is positively regulated by proteins belonging to the family of enhancer-binding proteins (EBPs). These proteins bind to upstream activation sequences and are required for the initiation of transcription at the sigma(54)-dependent promoters. They are typically inactive until modified in their N-terminal regulatory domain either by specific phosphorylation or by the binding of a small effector molecule. EBPs lacking this domain, such as the PspF activator of the sigma(54)-dependent pspA promoter, are constitutively active. We describe here the in vivo and in vitro properties of the PspA protein of Escherichia coli, which negatively regulates expression of the pspA promoter without binding DNA directly.

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