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Mol Microbiol. 1990 Dec;4(12):2007-12.

Protein H1: a role for chromatin structure in the regulation of bacterial gene expression and virulence?

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1
ICRF Laboratories, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, UK.

Abstract

There has been a recent revival of interest in one of the most abundant Escherichia coli proteins, H1 (also called H-NS). This protein was first identified many years ago as a major component of the bacterial nucleoid, and has been characterized biochemically by several groups. However, no clear function for the protein emerged from these studies. Our thinking has been transformed by recent findings which complement the biochemistry with genetic data. Several mutations, selected over many years by virtue of their diverse effects on gene expression, have turned out to be allelic and to fall within the structural gene for H1. Bringing together the genetics and the biochemistry has demonstrated that the whole is worth more than the sum of the parts! These findings have far-reaching implications for the mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated and also, perhaps, for the control of bacterial virulence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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