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J Bacteriol. 2013 Oct;195(19):4496-505. doi: 10.1128/JB.00304-13. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Identification of the set of genes, including nonannotated morA, under the direct control of ModE in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Frontier Bioscience.


ModE is the molybdate-sensing transcription regulator that controls the expression of genes related to molybdate homeostasis in Escherichia coli. ModE is activated by binding molybdate and acts as both an activator and a repressor. By genomic systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) screening and promoter reporter assays, we have identified a total of nine operons, including the hitherto identified modA, moaA, dmsA, and napF operons, of which six were activated by ModE and three were repressed. In addition, two promoters were newly identified and direct transcription of novel genes, referred to as morA and morB, located on antisense strands of yghW and torY, respectively. The morA gene encodes a short peptide, MorA, with an unusual initiation codon. Surprisingly, overexpression of the morA 5' untranslated region exhibited an inhibitory influence on colony formation of E. coli K-12.

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