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J Biol Chem. 2005 Sep 2;280(35):30653-9. Epub 2005 Jun 8.

Positive regulation of sugar catabolic pathways in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by the group 2 sigma factor sigE.

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Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.


The sigE gene of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 encodes a group 2 sigma factor for RNA polymerase and has been proposed to function in transcriptional regulation of nitrogen metabolism. By using microarray and Northern analyses, we demonstrated that the abundance of transcripts derived from genes important for glycolysis, the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, and glycogen catabolism is reduced in a sigE mutant of Synechocystis maintained under the normal growth condition. Furthermore, the activities of the two key enzymes of the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, encoded by the zwf and gnd genes were also reduced in the sigE mutant. The dark enhancements in both enzyme activity and transcript abundance apparent in the wild type were eliminated by the mutation. In addition, the sigE mutant showed a reduced rate of glucose uptake and an increased intracellular level of glycogen. Moreover, it was unable to proliferate under the light-activated heterotrophic growth conditions. These results indicate that SigE functions in the transcriptional activation of sugar catabolic pathways in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

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