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Res Microbiol. 2003 Oct;154(8):559-72.

DNA array analysis of gene expression in response to UV irradiation in Escherichia coli.

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Unité de Programmation Moléculaire et Toxicologie Génétique, CNRS Ura 1444, Institut Pasteur, 25, rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris cédex 15, France.


The capacity of DNA macroarrays that contain all 4290 predicted open reading frames of the E. coli K12 genome was evaluated by measuring changes in gene expression in response to irradiation by ultraviolet light (UV). UV and other DNA damaging agents are known to trigger the induction of the SOS response. This is a coordinated increase in the level of expression of a set of approximately 30 unlinked genes, the SOS genes, negatively regulated by the LexA repressor. The analysis was performed on a set of isogenic strains with mutations that affect expression of genes of the SOS system: (i) the lexA+ strain, in which the SOS system can be induced after DNA damage, (ii) lexAind- mutants in which the SOS system cannot be induced, and (iii) lexAdef mutants in which the SOS system is induced constitutively. We found that a large set of genes appeared to be either upregulated or downregulated following UV irradiation. Among the genes which appeared to be upregulated in a LexA-dependent manner, we correctly identified 9 out of 27 SOS genes printed on the arrays and one gene containing a LexA binding site. One gene, dnaN, encoding the beta subunit of DNA polymerase III holoenzyme, was identified as an upregulated gene in a LexA-independent manner. Our results were compared to those of similar studies previously published. Although the SOS response as a whole could not be illustrated by using DNA arrays, the data suggest that regulation of some SOS genes might be more complex than previously thought.

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