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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2008 Apr;11(2):113-20. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2008.02.011. Epub 2008 Apr 2.

New insights into transcriptional regulation by H-NS.

Author information

1
Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Box 357242, Seattle, WA 98195-7242 USA. fcfang@u.washington.edu

Abstract

H-NS, a nucleoid-associated DNA-binding protein of enteric bacteria, was discovered 35 years ago and subsequently found to exert widespread and highly pleiotropic effects on gene regulation. H-NS binds to high-affinity sites and spreads along adjacent AT-rich DNA to silence transcription. Preferential binding to sequences with higher AT-content than the resident genome allows H-NS to repress the expression of foreign DNA in a process known as 'xenogeneic silencing.' Counter-silencing by a variety of mechanisms facilitates the evolutionary acquisition of horizontally transferred genes and their integration into pre-existing regulatory networks. This review will highlight recent insights into the mechanism and biological importance of H-NS-DNA interactions.

PMID:
18387844
PMCID:
PMC2394665
DOI:
10.1016/j.mib.2008.02.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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