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Shin M.,Center for Host Defense against Enteropathogenic Bacteria Infection | Shin M.,Chonnam National University | Shin M.,Kyoto University | Lagda A.C.,Center for Host Defense against Enteropathogenic Bacteria Infection | And 7 more authors.
Molecular Microbiology | Year: 2012

In the modern concept of gene regulation, 'DNA looping' is the most common underlying mechanism in the interaction between RNA polymerase (RNAP) and transcription factors acting at a distance. This study demonstrates an additional mechanism by which DNA-bound proteins communicate with each other, by analysing the bacterial histone-like nucleoid-structuring protein (H-NS), a general transcriptional silencer. The LEE5 promoter (LEE5p) of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli was used as a model system to investigate the mechanism of H-NS-mediated transcription repression. We found that H-NS represses LEE5p by binding to a cluster of A tracks upstream of -114, followed by spreading to a site at the promoter through the oligomerization of H-NS molecules. At the promoter, the H-NS makes a specific contact with the carboxy terminal domain of the α subunit of RNAP, which prevents the processing of RNAP-promoter complexes into initiation-competent open promoter complexes, thereby regulating LEE5p from distance. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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