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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Aug 2;91(16):7573-7.

Analysis of the Streptomyces coelicolor sigE gene reveals the existence of a subfamily of eubacterial RNA polymerase sigma factors involved in the regulation of extracytoplasmic functions.

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  • 1Department of Stomatology, University of California at San Francisco 94143-0512.


sigma E, an RNA polymerase sigma factor of apparent M(r) 28,000, was previously identified by its ability to direct transcription from the P2 promoter of the agarose gene (dagA) of Streptomyces coelicolor. A degenerate oligonucleotide probe, designed from the N-terminal sequence of purified sigma E, was used to isolate the sigma E gene (sigE). The predicted sequence of sigma E shows greatest similarity to sequences of seven other proteins: Myxococcus xanthus CarQ, Pseudomonas aeruginosa AlgU, Pseudomonas syringae HrpL, Escherichia coli sigma E, Alcaligenes eutrophus CnrH, E. coli FecI, and Bacillus subtilis SigX, a protein of unknown function. These eight proteins define a subfamily of eubacterial RNA polymerase factors sufficiently different from other sigma s that, in many cases, they are not identified by standard similarity searching methods. Available information suggests that all of them regulate extracytoplasmic functions and that they function as effector molecules responding to extracytoplasmic stimuli. A. eutrophus CnrH appears to be a plasmid-encoded factor.

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