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J Bacteriol. 1997 Nov;179(21):6858-61.

Inactivation of mdoH leads to increased expression of colanic acid capsular polysaccharide in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331-3804, USA.


Capsule gene (cps) expression, which normally occurs at low levels in Escherichia coli lon+ cells, increased 38-fold in lon+ cells carrying a Tn10::delta kan insertion mapping to 24 min on the E. coli chromosome. Null mutations in rcsA, rcsB, or rcsC abolished the effect of the Tn10::delta kan insertion. Sequencing of both sides of the Tn10::delta kan insertion localized the insertion to the previously reported mdoH gene, which encodes a protein involved in biosynthesis of membrane-derived oligosaccharides (MDOs). A model suggesting that the periplasmic levels of MDOs act to signal RcsC to activate cps expression is proposed.

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