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J Bacteriol. 2002 Jan;184(2):350-62.

Identification of target genes regulated by the two-component system HP166-HP165 of Helicobacter pylori.

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  • 1Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften, Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Universität Würzburg, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany.


Two-component systems are signal transduction systems which enable bacteria to regulate cellular functions in response to changing environmental conditions. In most cases regulation is accomplished on the transcriptional level by a response regulator protein, which, according to the phosphorylation state of its receiver domain, displays different affinities for its target promoters. Here we describe identification of genes regulated by the two-component system HP166-HP165 of Helicobacter pylori and characterization of the corresponding target promoters. We demonstrated that expression of the HP166-HP165 two-component system is negatively autoregulated under conditions favoring autophosphorylation of the histidine kinase. Furthermore, we found that response regulator HP166 activates transcription of genes encoding a protein family with an unknown function present in H. pylori 26695, as well as an operon composed of five H. pylori-specific genes. While open reading frame HP166 is an essential gene, the target genes of the response regulator are not required for growth under in vitro culture conditions.

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