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EMBO J. 2001 Oct 1;20(19):5392-9.

Repression of deoP2 in Escherichia coli by CytR: conversion of a transcription activator into a repressor.

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Department of Microbiology, Chonnam University Medical College, 5 Hakdong, Dongku, Gwangju, South Korea 501-714.


In the deoP2 promoter of Escherichia coli, a transcription activator, cAMP-CRP, binds at two sites, centered at -41.5 and -93.5 from the start site of transcription, while a repressor, CytR, binds to a space between the two cAMP-CRP complexes. The mechanisms for the cAMP-CRP-mediated transcription activation and CytR-mediated transcription repression were investigated in vitro using purified components. We classified the deoP2 promoter as a class II cAMP-CRP-dependent promoter, primarily by the action of cAMP-CRP at the downstream site. Interestingly, we also found that deoP2 carries an "UP-element" immediately upstream of the downstream cAMP-CRP site. The UP-element overlaps with the DNA site for CytR. However, it was observed that CytR functions with the RNA polymerase devoid of the C-terminal domain of the alpha-subunit as well as with intact RNA polymerase. The mechanism of repression by CytR proposed in this study is that the cAMP-CRP bound at -41.5 undergoes an allosteric change upon direct interaction with CytR such that it no longer maintains a productive interaction with the N-terminal domain of alpha, but instead acts as a repressor to interfere with RNA polymerase acting on deoP2.

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