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PLoS Genet. 2009 Sep;5(9):e1000651. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000651. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

Global analysis of extracytoplasmic stress signaling in Escherichia coli.

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Laboratoire de Signalisation et Réseaux de Régulations Bactériens, Université Paris-Sud 11, CNRS, UMR8621, Institut de Génétique et Microbiologie Bâtiment 400, Orsay Cedex, France.


The Bae, Cpx, Psp, Rcs, and sigma(E) pathways constitute the Escherichia coli signaling systems that detect and respond to alterations of the bacterial envelope. Contributions of these systems to stress response have previously been examined individually; however, the possible interconnections between these pathways are unknown. Here we investigate the dynamics between the five stress response pathways by determining the specificities of each system with respect to signal-inducing conditions, and monitoring global transcriptional changes in response to transient overexpression of each of the effectors. Our studies show that different extracytoplasmic stress conditions elicit a combined response of these pathways. Involvement of the five pathways in the various tested stress conditions is explained by our unexpected finding that transcriptional responses induced by the individual systems show little overlap. The extracytoplasmic stress signaling pathways in E. coli thus regulate mainly complementary functions whose discrete contributions are integrated to mount the full adaptive response.

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