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J Bacteriol. 1995 Oct;177(19):5401-10.

Five promoters integrate control of the cob/pdu regulon in Salmonella typhimurium.

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  • 1Biology Department, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112, USA.


Propanediol is degraded by a B12-dependent pathway in Salmonella typhimurium. The enzymes for this pathway are encoded in a small region (minute 41) that includes the pdu operon (controlling B12-dependent degradation of propanediol) and the divergent cob operon (controlling synthesis of cobalamin, B12). Expression of both operons is induced by propanediol and globally controlled by the ArcA and Crp systems. The region between the two operons encodes two proteins, PduF, a transporter of propanediol, and PocR, which mediates the induction of the regulon by propanediol. Insertion mutations between the pdu and cob operons have been characterized, and their exact positions have been correlated with mutant phenotypes. The region includes five promoters, four of which are controlled by the PocR protein and induced by propanediol. The cob and pdu operons each have one regulated promoter; the pduF gene is expressed from two regulated promoters (P1 and P2). The P1 and P2 transcripts extend beyond pduF to include the pocR gene; thus the PocR protein autoregulates its expression from these promoters. The fifth promoter, PPoc, is adjacent to the pocR gene and associated with a Crp binding site. We suggest that all global control of the regulon is exerted by regulating the level of PocR protein at the P1, P2, and PPoc promoters. A putative binding site for the PocR protein has been identified by computer analysis. Eight close matches to this proposed site were found in regions near the four promoters known to be regulated by PocR protein: PPdu, P1, P2, and PCob. A three-state model is proposed in which the regulon uses all five of its promoters to control expression.

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