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The hetC gene is a direct target of the NtcA transcriptional regulator in cyanobacterial heterocyst development

AuthorsMuro-Pastor, Alicia M. ; Valladares, Ana ; Flores, Enrique ; Herrero, Antonia
Issue Date1999
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
CitationJournal of Bacteriology 181: 6664- 6669 (1999)
AbstractThe heterocyst is the site of nitrogen fixation in aerobically grown cultures of some filamentous cyanobacteria. Heterocyst development in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 is dependent on the global nitrogen regulator NtcA and requires, among others, the products of the herr and hetC genes. Expression of hetC, tested by RNA-DNA hybridization, was impaired in an ntcA mutant. A nitrogen-regulated, NtcA-dependent putative transcription start point was localized at nucleotide -571 with respect to the hetC translational start. Sequences upstream from this transcription start point exhibit the structure of the canonical cyanobacterial promoter activated by NtcA, and purified NtcA protein specifically bound to a DNA fragment containing this promoter. Activation of expression of hetC during heterocyst development appears thus to be directly operated by NtcA. NtcA-mediated activation of herr expression was not impaired in a hetC mutant, indicating that HetC is not an NtcA-dependent element required for herr induction.
Identifiersissn: 0021-9193
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