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Mol Microbiol. 2003 Sep;49(5):1309-20.

GadE (YhiE) activates glutamate decarboxylase-dependent acid resistance in Escherichia coli K-12.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, AL 36688, USA.

Abstract

Commensal and pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli possess three inducible acid resistance systems that collaboratively protect cells against acid stress to pH 2 or below. The most effective system requires glutamate in the acid challenge media and relies on two glutamate decarboxylases (GadA and B) combined with a putative glutamate:gamma-aminobutyric acid antiporter (GadC). A complex network of regulators mediates induction of this system in response to various media, pH and growth phase signals. We report that the LuxR-like regulator GadE (formerly YhiE) is required for expression of gadA and gadBC regardless of media or growth conditions. This protein binds directly to the 20 bp GAD box sequence found in the control regions of both loci. Two previously identified AraC-like regulators, GadX and GadW, are only needed for gadA/BC expression under some circumstances. Overexpression of GadX or GadW will not overcome a need for GadE. However, overexpression of GadE can supplant a requirement for GadX and W. Data provided also indicate that GadX and GadE can simultaneously bind the area around the GAD box region and probably form a complex. The gadA, gadBC and gadE genes are all induced by low pH in exponential phase cells grown in minimal glucose media. The acid induction of gadA/BC results primarily from the acid induction of gadE. Constitutive expression of GadE removes most pH control over the glutamate decarboxylase and antiporter genes. The small amount of remaining pH control is governed by GadX and W. The finding that gadE mutations also diminish the effectiveness of the other two acid resistance systems suggests that GadE influences the expression of additional acid resistance components. The number of regulatory proteins (five), sigma factors (two) and regulatory feedback loops focused on gadA/BC expression make this one of the most intensively regulated systems in E. coli.

PMID:
12940989
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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