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Mol Microbiol. 2001 Jun;40(6):1323-33.

degS (hhoB) is an essential Escherichia coli gene whose indispensable function is to provide sigma (E) activity.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


DegS (HhoB), a putative serine protease related to DegP/HtrA, regulates the basal and induced activity of the essential Escherichia coli sigma factor sigma (E), which is involved in the cellular response to extracytoplasmic stress. DegS promotes the destabilization of the sigma (E)-specific anti-sigma factor RseA, thereby releasing sigma (E) to direct gene expression. We demonstrate that degS is an essential E. coli gene and show that the essential function of DegS is to provide the cell with sigma (E) activity. We also show that the putative active site of DegS is periplasmic and that DegS requires its N-terminal transmembrane domain for its sigma (E)-related function.

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