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J Bacteriol. 1986 Jun;166(3):706-12.

Contrasting mechanisms of envZ control of mal and pho regulon genes in Escherichia coli.


The envZ11 missense mutation in the regulatory gene envZ pleiotropically repressed synthesis of OmpF, alkaline phosphatase, and several proteins of the maltose regulon. Procaine treatment of wild-type cells resulted in the same phenotype through an envZ+-mediated mechanism. Here we show that envZ11-procaine act differently on the mal and pho regulons. In the mal system, the expression of the positive regulator gene malT, measured as beta-galactosidase activity of a malT-lac+ operon fusion, was drastically reduced by procaine treatment or by the envZ11 mutation. In contrast, expression of the positive regulator of the pho regulon phoB was not reduced by procaine treatment. The products of the regulatory genes phoM, phoR, and phoU were also not required for procaine action. Procaine and envZ11 inhibited expression of only two products of the pho regulon, alkaline phosphatase and the PhoE porin. The conclusion that envZ11-procaine act differently on the mal and the pho regulons is supported by our ability to isolate second-site mutations with a Mal+ PhoA- phenotype in an envZ11 strain.

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