Functional and structural homology among regulatory cistrons of pili-adhesin determinants in Escherichia coli
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- Göransson, M., Forsman, K. & Uhlin, B.E. Mol Gen Genet (1988) 212: 412. doi:10.1007/BF00330844
Expression of the digalactoside-binding Pap pili involves two trans-acting regulatory genes, papB and papI. Using pap-lac operon fusions and DNA hybridization probes derived from pap DNA we tested whether or not other pili-adhesin determinants from different Escherichia coli strains encode homologs to the pap regulatory genes. Digalactoside-specific clones of serotypes F72 and F11 complemented papB and papI mutants of the Pap (serotype F13) clone and DNA hybridization analysis showed that the clones are homologous in the DNA sequences encoding the two regulatory genes. Similar results were obtained with an S-pili determinant which mediates binding to sialic acid-containing receptors and the findings suggest that the regulatory regions may be more conserved than other genes in different pili-adhesin gene clusters. Determinants for type 1-pili (mannose-specific binding) and for pili associated with enterotoxigenic E. coli (K88, K99, CFAI, CFAII) did not appear to contain DNA sequences homologous to papB or papI. E. coli strain J96, which was the origin of the pap DNA, was found to carry two additional copies of papB-papI homologous sequences in the chromosome. In strains expressing more than one kind of pili the trans-active gene products thereby may allow for regulatory interaction between separate pili-adhesin gene systems.
Key wordsGene regulation trans-active genes Complementation Transcription DNA-DNA hybridization
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