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Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 May;36(8):2667-76. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkn119. Epub 2008 Mar 16.

Autoregulation of the Escherichia coli melR promoter: repression involves four molecules of MelR.

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  • 1School of Biosciences, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK.


The Escherichia coli MelR protein is a transcription activator that autoregulates its own promoter by repressing transcription initiation. Optimal repression requires MelR binding to a site that overlaps the melR transcription start point and to upstream sites. In this work, we have investigated the different determinants needed for optimal repression and their spatial requirements. We show that repression requires a complex involving four DNA-bound MelR molecules, and that the global CRP regulator plays little or no role.

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