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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Jun;86(11):4061-5.

An Escherichia coli chemoreceptor gene is temporally controlled in Caulobacter.

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Department of Microbiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, NY 10032.


Flagellar and chemotaxis genes are transcribed at a discrete time in the Caulobacter cell cycle. We demonstrate here that the expression of the Escherichia coli chemoreceptor gene tsr, with 2.6 kilobases of its upstream sequence, is temporally controlled in Caulobacter crescentus. The tsr gene was placed on the chromosome in single copy or on a low-copy-number plasmid. It was found that the Tsr protein appeared at the same point in the cell cycle as an endogenous C. crescentus methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein. Nuclease S1 mapping experiments showed that the tsr transcript was also controlled by the cell cycle, suggesting that the E. coli tsr gene is regulated by C. crescentus factors that mediate the timing of transcription initiation. The apparent transcription start site of the E. coli tsr gene was determined in both E. coli and C. crescentus, and we found that in both backgrounds the promoter used conforms to the consensus sequence for the promoters of the flagellar and chemosensory genes of Bacillus subtilis and E. coli. The use of this promoter suggests that C. crescentus has a cognate sigma factor and predicts that other C. crescentus genes are expressed from this consensus promoter.

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