Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 189, Issue 3, pp 400–404 | Cite as

Characterisation of the promoter for the LexA regulated sulA gene of Escherichia coli

  • Stewart T. Cole


The sulA gene of Escherichia coli, which encodes an inducible inhibitor of cell division, plays a role in the SOS response. Its expression, like that of other SOS genes, is repressed by the LexA protein. This paper reports the identification and characterisation of the promoter for the cloned sulA gene. The promoter bears good resemblance to the consensus promoter sequence and directs the synthesis of two major RNA species both in vitro and in vivo. Comparison of the sequence around the sulA promoter with the operator sequences of other SOS genes revealed the presence of an SOS box, the LexA protein binding site. This overlaps the-10 region of the promoter and covers the transcriptional initiation sites. LexA protein bound to this SOS box, would, therefore, effectively block transcription.


Escherichia Coli Cell Division Promoter Sequence Initiation Site Protein Binding Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beck E, Bremer E (1980) Nucleotide sequence of the gene ompA coding the outer membrane protein II* of Escherichia coli K12. Nucleic Acid Res 8:3011–3024Google Scholar
  2. Berk AJ, Sharp PA (1978) Spliced early mRNAs of simian virus 40. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 75:1274–1278Google Scholar
  3. Berman M, Landy A (1979) Promoter mutations in the transfer RNA gene tyrT of Escherichia coli. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 76:4303–4307Google Scholar
  4. Braun G, Cole ST (1982) The nucleotide sequence coding for major outer membrane protein OmpA of Shigella dysenteriae. Nucl Acid Res 10:2367–2378Google Scholar
  5. Bremer E, Beck E, Hindennach I, Sonntag I, Henning U (1980) Cloned structural gene (ompA) for an integral outer membrane protein of Escherichia coli K-12. Mol Gen Genet 179:13–20Google Scholar
  6. Brent R, Ptashne M (1980) The lexA gene product represses its own promoter. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 77:1932–1936Google Scholar
  7. Brent R, Ptashne M (1981) Mechanism of action of the lexA gene product. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 78:4204–4208Google Scholar
  8. Cole ST, Sonntag I, Henning U (1982) Cloning and expression in Escherichia coli K-12 of the genes for major outer membrane protein OmpA from Shigella dysenteriae, Enterobacter aerogenes and Serratia marcescens. J Bacteriol 149:145–150Google Scholar
  9. Ebina Y, Kishi F, Miki T, Kagamiyama H, Nakazawa T, Nakazawa A (1981) The nucleotide sequence surrounding the promoter region of colicin E1 gene. Gene 15:119–126Google Scholar
  10. van den Elzen PIM, Maat J, Walters HHB, Veltkamp E, Nijkamp HJJ (1982) The nucleotide sequence of the bacteriocin promoters of plasmids CloDF13 and ColE1: role of LexA repressor and cAMP in the regulation of promoter activity. Nucl Acid Res 10:1913–1928Google Scholar
  11. Galas DJ, Schmitz A (1978) DNAse footprinting: a simple method for the detection of protein-DNA binding specificity. Nucleic Acid Res 5:3157–3170Google Scholar
  12. George J, Castellazi M, Buttin G (1975) Prophage induction and cell division in E. coli. III. Mutations sfiA and sfiB restore division in tif and lon strains and permit expression of mutator properties of tif. Mol Gen Genet 140: 309–332Google Scholar
  13. Gottesman S (1981) Genetic control of the SOS system in E. coli. Cell 23: 1–2Google Scholar
  14. Gottesman S, Halpern E, Trisler P (1981) Role of sulA and sulB in filamentation by Lon mutants of Escherichia coli K-12. J Bacteriol 148: 265–273Google Scholar
  15. Horii T, Ogawa T, Nakatani T, Hase T, Matsubara H, Ogawa H (1981a) Regulation of SOS functions: purification of E. coli LexA protein and determination of its specific site cleaved by the RecA protein. Cell 27: 515–522Google Scholar
  16. Horii T, Ogawa T, Ogawa H (1981b) Nucleotide sequence of the lexA gene of E. coli. Cell 23: 689–697Google Scholar
  17. Huisman O, D'Ari R, George J (1980) Inducible sfi dependent division inhibition in Escherichia coli. Mol Gen Genet 177: 629–636Google Scholar
  18. Huisman O, D'Ari R (1981) An inducible DNA replication-cell division coupling mechanism in E. coli. Nature 290: 797–799Google Scholar
  19. Jaurin B, Grundström T, Edlund T, Normark S (1981) The E. coli β-lactamase attenuator mediates growth rate-dependent regulation. Nature 290: 221–225Google Scholar
  20. Johnson BF (1977) Fine structure mapping and properties of mutations suppressing the lon mutation in Escherichia coli K-12 and B strains. Genet Res 30: 273–286Google Scholar
  21. Little JW, Edmiston SH, Pacelli LZ, Mount DW (1980) Cleavage of the Escherichia coli LexA protein by the RecA protease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 77: 3225–3229Google Scholar
  22. Little JW, Mount DW, Yanisch-Perron CR (1981) Purified LexA protein is a repressor of the recA and lexA genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 78: 4199–4203Google Scholar
  23. Little JW, Mount DW (1982) The SOS regulatory system of Escherichia coli. Cell 29: 11–22Google Scholar
  24. Mandecki W, Reznikoff WS (1982) A lac promoter with a changed distance between-10 and-35 regions. Nucl Acid Res 10: 903–912Google Scholar
  25. Maxam AM, Gilbert W (1980) Sequencing end-labelled DNA with base-specific chemical cleavages. In: Colowick S-P, Kaplan NO (eds) Methods in enzymology, vol 65. Academic Press, New York, p 497–560Google Scholar
  26. Miki T, Ebina Y, Kishi F, Nakazawa A (1981) Organization of the lexA gene of Escherichia coli and nucleotide sequence of the regulatory region. Nucleic Acid Res 9: 529–543Google Scholar
  27. Minkley EG, Pribnow D (1973) Transcription of the early region of bacteriophage T7-Selective initiation with dinucleotides. J Mol Biol 77: 255–277Google Scholar
  28. Mizusawa S, Gottesman S (1983) Protein degradation in E. coli: The lon gene controls the stability of sulA protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 80: 358–362Google Scholar
  29. Morita M, Oka A (1979) The structure of a transcriptional unit on colicin E1 plasmid. Eur J Biochem 97: 435–443Google Scholar
  30. Rosenberg M, Court D (1979) Regulatory sequences involved in the promotion and termination of RNA transcription. Annu Rev Genet 13: 319–353Google Scholar
  31. Sancar GB, Sancar A, Little JW, Rupp WD (1982) The uvrB gene of Escherichia coli has both LexA-repressed and LexA-independent promoters. Cell 28: 523–530Google Scholar
  32. Sancar A, Sancar GB, Rupp WD, Little JW, Mount DW (1982) LexA protein inhibits transcription of the E. coli uvrA gene in vitro. Nature 298: 96–98Google Scholar
  33. Seeburg PH, Schaller H (1975) Mapping and characterzation of promoters in bacteriophages fd, f1 and M13. J Mol Biol 92: 261–277Google Scholar
  34. Siebenlist U, Simpson RB, Gilbert W (1980) E. coli RNA polymerase interacts homologously with two different promoters. Cell 20: 269–281Google Scholar
  35. Sollner-Webb B, Reeder BH (1979) The nucleotide sequence of the initiation and termination sites for ribosomal RNA transcription in Xenopus laevis. Cell 18: 485–499Google Scholar
  36. Talkington C, Pero J (1979) Distinctive nucleotide sequences of promoters recognised by RNA polymerase containing a phagecoded “σ-like” protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 76: 5465–5469Google Scholar
  37. Witkin EM (1976) Ultraviolet mutagenesis and inducible DNA repair in Escherichia coli. Microbiol Rev 40: 869–907Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stewart T. Cole
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für BiologieTübingenFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations