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EMBO J. 1989 Dec 1;8(12):3923-31.

Induction of a growth-phase-dependent promoter triggers transcription of bolA, an Escherichia coli morphogene.

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Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


The bolA gene, which is involved in the morphogenetic pathways of Escherichia coli, was sequenced and two potential promoters were identified. Expression from promoter P1, proximal to the bolA structural gene is specifically induced during the transition to the stationary phase of growth. This promoter contains an unusual--10 region (CGGCTAGTA), which defines a new class of E. coli promoters necessary for the dramatic increase in the rate of synthesis of a large set of proteins during the cessation of logarithmic growth. This conclusion was confirmed by identifying two additional E. coli promoters and one plasmid promoter, which also were induced during the transition to the stationary phase of growth. Analysis of proteins produced during the exponential and stationary phases of growth in a bolA null mutant suggest a possible role for the BolA protein in the induction of the expression of penicillin-binding protein 6 (PBP6) in the transition to the stationary phase. Supporting this hypothesis is the presence of a putative DNA-binding domain within the bolA coding sequence.

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