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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2008 Jan;32(1):38-55. Epub 2007 Dec 7.

Sigma factors in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Centre de Recherche sur la Fonction, Structure et Ingénierie des Protéines, Faculté de Médecine, Pavillon Charles-Eugène Marchand, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada.


In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as in most bacterial species, the expression of genes is tightly controlled by a repertoire of transcriptional regulators, particularly the so-called sigma (sigma) factors. The basic understanding of these proteins in bacteria has initially been described in Escherichia coli where seven sigma factors are involved in core RNA polymerase interactions and promoter recognition. Now, 7 years have passed since the completion of the first genome sequence of the opportunistic pathogen P. aeruginosa. Information from the genome of P. aeruginosa PAO1 identified 550 transcriptional regulators and 24 putative sigma factors. Of the 24 sigma, 19 were of extracytoplasmic function (ECF). Here, basic knowledge of sigma and ECF proteins was reviewed with particular emphasis on their role in P. aeruginosa global gene regulation. Summarized data are obtained from in silico analysis of P. aeruginosasigma and ECF including rpoD (sigma(70)), RpoH (sigma(32)), RpoF (FliA or sigma(28)), RpoS (sigma(S) or sigma(38)), RpoN (NtrA, sigma(54) or sigma(N)), ECF including AlgU (RpoE or sigma(22)), PvdS, SigX and a collection of uncharacterized sigma ECF, some of which are implicated in iron transport. Coupled to systems biology, identification and functional genomics analysis of P. aeruginosasigma and ECF are expected to provide new means to prevent infection, new targets for antimicrobial therapy, as well as new insights into the infection process.

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