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J Bacteriol. 2001 Feb;183(4):1205-14.

Role of CspC and CspE in regulation of expression of RpoS and UspA, the stress response proteins in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


Nine homologous proteins, CspA to CspI, constitute the CspA family of Escherichia coli. Recent studies are aimed at elucidating the individual cellular functions of these proteins. Two members of this family, CspC and CspE, are constitutively produced at 37 degrees C. In the present study, these two proteins were evaluated for their cellular role(s). The expression of three stress proteins, OsmY, Dps, and UspA, is significantly affected by the overexpression and deletion of CspC and CspE. RpoS is a regulatory element for osmY and dps. Further analysis showed a larger amount and greater stability of the rpoS mRNA as well as a higher level of RpoS itself with the overexpression of CspC and CspE. This suggests that CspC and CspE upregulate the expression of OsmY and Dps by regulating the expression of RpoS itself. Indeed, this upregulation is lost in the Delta rpoS strain. Other RpoS-controlled proteins such as ProP and KatG, are also upregulated by the overexpression of CspC. The present study suggests that CspC and CspE are the important elements involved in the regulation of the expression of RpoS, a global stress response regulator, and UspA, a protein responding to numerous stresses. In the light of these observations, it seems plausible that CspC and CspE function as regulatory elements for the expression of stress proteins in the complex stress response network of E. coli.

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