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J Bacteriol. 2004 Mar;186(6):1898-901.

Cellular XylS levels are a function of transcription of xylS from two independent promoters and the differential efficiency of translation of the two mRNAs.

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  • 1Estación Experimental del Zaidín, CSIC, Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, E-18080 Granada, Spain.


XylS controls the expression of the meta-cleavage pathway for the metabolism of benzoates in Pseudomonas putida KT2440. The xylS gene is expressed from two promoters, Ps1 and Ps2. Transcription from Ps2 is low and constitutive, whereas transcription from Ps1 is induced in the presence of toluene. In this study, we also show that translation of mRNA generated from Ps1 is 10 times more efficient than that generated from Ps2. This pattern of transcription and translation of xylS gives rise to two modes of activation of the promoter of the meta pathway operon (Pm) according to the concentration of XylS in the cell. In cells growing with benzoate, with small amounts of XylS, the activated XylS regulator binds the effector and stimulates transcription from Pm, whereas in cells growing with toluene, the high levels of XylS suffice to stimulate transcription from Pm even in the absence of XylS effectors.

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