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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Dec 2;105(48):18947-52. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0808215105. Epub 2008 Nov 21.

H-NS family members function coordinately in an opportunistic pathogen.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The histone-like nucleoid structuring protein, H-NS, is a prominent global regulator of gene expression. Many Gram-negative bacteria contain multiple members of the H-NS family of proteins. Thus, a key question is whether H-NS family members have overlapping or distinct functions. To address this question we performed genome-wide location analyses with MvaT and MvaU, the two H-NS family members present in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show that MvaT and MvaU bind the same chromosomal regions, coregulating the expression of approximately 350 target genes. We show further that like H-NS in enteric bacteria, which functions as a transcriptional silencer of foreign DNA by binding to AT-rich elements, MvaT and MvaU bind preferentially to AT-rich regions of the chromosome. Our findings establish that H-NS paralogs can function coordinately to regulate expression of the same set of target genes, and suggest that MvaT and MvaU are involved in silencing foreign DNA elements in P. aeruginosa.

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