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J Mol Biol. 1996 Mar 15;256(5):829-37.

Regulatory region C of the E. coli heat shock transcription factor, sigma32, constitutes a DnaK binding site and is conserved among eubacteria.

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Zentrum fur Molekulare Biologie Heidelberg Universitat Heidelberg, FRG.


The E. coli heat shock response is regulated at the transcriptional level through stress-dependent controls of the heat shock promoter-specific sigma32 subunit of RNA polymerase. A key aspect of this regulation, the sensing of stress and transmission of this information to sigma32, involves the chaperone system formed by the DnaK, DnaJ and GrpE heat shock proteins. This system mediates stress- dependent controls of levels and activity of sigma32 which rely, at least in part, on direct association of DnaK and DnaJ with sigma32. We identified DnaK binding sites within the sigma32 sequence by probing a cellulose-bound peptide library scanning sigma32. Two sites with high affinity for DnaK, containing the motifs RKLFFNLR and LRNWRIVK, were located centrally and peripherally, respectively, to the region C of sigma32, previously implicated genetically in chaperone-dependent control of sigma32 levels. Cloning and sequencing of rpoH homologs from five Gram-negative proteobacteria revealed that region C, including the DnaK binding motif central to it, is highly conserved among sigma32 homologs but missing in the other sigma factors. We propose that binding of DnaK to region C is central to a conserved regulatory mechanism allowing the sensing of stress by the heat shock gene transcription machinery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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