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J Bacteriol. 1999 Nov;181(21):6772-8.

The CpxRA signal transduction system of Escherichia coli: growth-related autoactivation and control of unanticipated target operons.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


In Escherichia coli, the CpxRA two-component signal transduction system senses and responds to aggregated and misfolded proteins in the bacterial envelope. We show that CpxR-P (the phosphorylated form of the cognate response regulator) activates cpxRA expression in conjunction with RpoS, suggesting an involvement of the Cpx system in stationary-phase survival. Engagement of the CpxRA system in functions beyond protein management is indicated by several putative targets identified after a genomic screening for the CpxR-P recognition consensus sequence. Direct negative control of the newly identified targets motABcheAW (specifying motility and chemotaxis) and tsr (encoding the serine chemoreceptor) by CpxR-P was shown by electrophoretic mobility shift analysis and Northern hybridization. The results suggest that the CpxRA system plays a core role in an extensive stress response network in which the coordination of protein turnover and energy conservation may be the unifying element.

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