Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 207, Issue 2–3, pp 349–354 | Cite as

The xylS gene positive regulator of TOL plasmid pWWO: Identification, sequence analysis and overproduction leading to constitutive expression of meta cleavage operon

  • Nicolas Mermod
  • Juan L. Ramos
  • Amos Bairoch
  • Kenneth N. Timmis


The Pseudomonas putida TOL plasmid pWWO carries an operon that specifies a meta-cleavage pathway for the catabolism of benzoate and toluates whose transcription is positively regulated by the xylS gene product. Stimulation of transcription of the operon is thought to result from activation of this protein by pathway substrates/effectors. In the present study, overexpression of the xylS gene has led to identification of the regulator as a 33 kDa protein. Overexpression of xylS also resulted in partially constitutive, i.e. effector-independent expression of the meta-cleavage operon. Determination of the polynucleotide sequence of the xylS gene revealed amino acid sequence homology with several DNA binding proteins, particularly with the araC products of Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium and with the nifA and ntrC products of Klebsiella pneumoniae. Homologous sequences were mainly located in an α-helix-turn-α-helix domain of the polypeptide. Interestingly, amino acid sequence homology was also found with sigma factors of E. coli (ntrA and htpR products) and Bacillus subtilis (spoIIG and phage SPOI Gp34 products) and other RNA polymerase core-interacting proteins, such as the E. coli nusA product.

Key words

Pseudomonas TOL plasmid Positive regulation DNA binding proteins Sigma factors 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Mermod
    • 1
  • Juan L. Ramos
    • 1
  • Amos Bairoch
    • 1
  • Kenneth N. Timmis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical BiochemistryUniversity of GenevaGenève 4Switzerland

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