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J Bacteriol. 1994 Sep;176(17):5537-40.

The H-NS protein is involved in the biogenesis of flagella in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Unité de Régulation de l'Expression Génétique, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


The function of the flagellum-chemotaxis regulon requires the expression of many genes and is positively regulated by the cyclic AMP-catabolite activator protein (cAMP-CAP) complex. In this paper, we show that motile behavior was affected in Escherichia coli hns mutants. The loss of motility resulted from a complete lack of flagella. A decrease in the level of transcription of the flhD and fliA genes, which are both required for the synthesis of flagella, was observed in the presence of an hns mutation. Furthermore, the Fla- phenotype was not reversed to the wild type in the presence of a cfs mutation which renders the flagellum synthesis independent of the cAMP-CAP complex. These results suggest that the H-NS protein acts as a positive regulator of genes involved in the biogenesis of flagella by a mechanism independent of the cAMP-CAP pathway.

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