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Title

Transcription activation by NtcA in the absence of consensus NtcA-binding sites in an anabaena heterocyst differentiation gene promoter.

AuthorsCamargo, Sergio ; Valladares, Ana ; Flores, Enrique ; Herrero, Antonia
Issue Date2012
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationJournal of Bacteriology 194: 2939- 2948 (2012)
AbstractHeterocyst differentiation is orchestrated by the N control transcriptional regulator NtcA and the differentiation-specific factor HetR. In Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120, the devBCA operon is expressed from two different promoters activated upon N step- down. The distal devB promoter (transcription start point [TSP] located at position 704) represents a canonical class II NtcA- activated promoter, including a consensus NtcA-binding site centered 39.5 nucleotides upstream from the TSP. Transcription activation from a second TSP ( 454) requires NtcA and is impaired in hetR mutants. In a wild-type background, three different DNA fragments, including both or each individual promoter, directed gfp expression localized mainly to proheterocysts and heterocysts. Expression was undetectable in an ntcA background and, for the fragment including the proximal promoter alone, also in a hetR background. In spite of the absence of consensus NtcA-binding sequences between the two TSPs, NtcA was shown to interact with this DNA region, and NtcA and its effector, 2-oxoglutarate, were necessary and sufficient for in vitro transcrip- tion from the 454 TSP. No HetR binding to the DNA or in vitro transcription from the proximal devB TSP promoted by HetR alone were detected. However, a moderate positive effect of HetR on NtcA binding to the DNA between the two devB TSPs was observed. The proximal devB promoter appears to represent a suboptimal NtcA-activated promoter for which HetR may act as a coactivator, with the physiological effect of restricting gene activation to conditions of prevalence of high NtcA and HetR levels, such as those taking place during heterocyst differentiation.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1128/JB.05994-11
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/98222
DOI10.1128/JB.05994-11.
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