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J Microbiol Methods. 2012 Jul;90(1):46-52. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2012.03.019. Epub 2012 Apr 13.

DNA binding site analysis of Burkholderia thailandensis response regulators.

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Bioscience Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA.


Bacterial response regulators (RR) that function as transcription factors in two component signaling pathways are crucial for ensuring tight regulation and coordinated expression of the genome. Currently, consensus DNA binding sites in the promoter for very few bacterial RRs have been identified. A systematic method to characterize these DNA binding sites for RRs would enable prediction of specific gene expression patterns in response to extracellular stimuli. To identify RR DNA binding sites, we functionally activated RRs using beryllofluoride and applied them to a protein-binding microarray (PBM) to discover DNA binding motifs for RRs expressed in Burkholderia, a Gram-negative bacterial genus. We identified DNA binding motifs for conserved RRs in Burkholderia thailandensis, including KdpE, RisA, and NarL, as well as for a previously uncharacterized RR at locus BTH_II2335 and its ortholog in the human pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei at locus BPSS2315. We further demonstrate RR binding of predicted genomic targets for the two orthologs using gel shift assays and reveal a pattern of RR regulation of expression of self and other two component systems. Our studies illustrate the use of PBMs to identify DNA binding specificities for bacterial RRs and enable prediction of gene regulatory networks in response to two component signaling.

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