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Mol Gen Genet. 1989 Feb;215(3):374-80.

Regulation of the phosphate regulon of Escherichia coli: characterization of the promoter of the pstS gene.

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Department of Experimental Chemotherapy, Osaka University, Japan.


The pstS gene belongs to the phosphate regulon whose expression is induced by phosphate starvation and regulated positively by the PhoB protein. The phosphate (pho) box is a consensus sequence shared by the regulatory regions of the genes in the pho regulon. We constructed two series of deletion mutations in a plasmid in vitro, with upstream and downstream deletions in the promoter region of pstS, which contains two pho boxes in tandem, and studied their promoter activity by connecting them with a promoterless gene for chloramphenicol acetyltransferase. Deletions extending into the upstream pho box but retaining the downstream pho box greatly reduced promoter activity, but the remaining activity was still regulated by phosphate levels in the medium and by the PhoB protein, indicating that each pho box is functional. No activity was observed in deletion mutants which lacked the remaining pho box or the -10 region. Therefore, the pstS promoter was defined to include the two pho boxes and the -10 region. The PhoB protein binding region in the pstS regulatory region was studied with the deletion plasmids by a gel-mobility retardation assay. The results suggest the protein binds to each pho box on the pstS promoter. A phoB deletion mutant was constructed, and we demonstrated that expression of pstS was strictly dependent on the function of the PhoB protein.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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