Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 236, Issue 2–3, pp 171–178 | Cite as

Autoregulatory expression of the Escherichia coli hns gene encoding a nucleoid protein: H-NS functions as a repressor of its own transcription

  • Chiharu Ueguchi
  • Minoru Kakeda
  • Takeshi Mizuno


The Escherichia coli nucleoid protein, H-NS (or H1a), appears to influence the regulation of a variety of unrelated E. coli genes and operons. To gain an insight into the regulation of the has gene itself, we constructed in this study a has-lacZ transcriptional fusion gene and inserted a single copy at the attλ locus on the E. coli chromosome. Expression of hns transcription appeared to be moderately regulated in a growth phase-dependent manner. It also emerged that hns transcription is under negative autoregulation, at least in the logarithmic growth phase. The results of in vitro transcription experiments confirmed that H-NS functions as a repressor for its own transcription. Thus, H-NS was shown to exhibit relatively high affinity for the DNA sequence encompassing the hns promoter region, as compared with a non-specific sequence. These results support the view that the nucleoid protein, H-NS, can function as a transcriptional regulator.

Key words

Nucleoid protein H-NS (or H1a) Regulation of transcription Transcriptional repressor Bacterial nucleoid 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiharu Ueguchi
    • 1
  • Minoru Kakeda
    • 1
  • Takeshi Mizuno
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Microbiology, School of AgricultureNagoya UniversityChikusa-ku, NagoyaJapan

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