General nitrogen regulation of nitrate assimilation regulatory gene nasR expression in Klebsiella oxytoca M5al.
ABSTRACT: Klebsiella oxytoca can assimilate nitrate and nitrite by using enzymes encoded by the nasFEDCBA operon. Expression of the nasF operon is controlled by general nitrogen regulation (Ntr) via the NtrC transcription activator and by pathway-specific nitrate and nitrite induction via the NasR transcription antiterminator. This paper reports our analysis of nasR gene expression. We constructed strains bearing single-copy Phi(nasR-lacZ) operon fusions within the chromosomal rhaBAD-rhaSR locus. The expression of DeltarhaBS::[Phi(nasR-lacZ)] operon fusions was induced about 10-fold during nitrogen-limited growth. Induction was reduced in both ntrC and rpoN null mutants, indicating that Ntr control of nasR gene expression requires the NtrC and sigma(N) (sigma(54)) proteins. Sequence inspection of the nasR control region reveals an apparent sigma(N)-dependent promoter but no apparent NtrC protein binding sites. Analysis of site-specific mutations coupled with primer extension analysis authenticated the sigma(N)-dependent nasR promoter. Fusion constructs with only about 70 nucleotides (nt) upstream of the transcription initiation site exhibited patterns of beta-galactosidase expression indistinguishable from Phi(nasR-lacZ) constructs with about 470 nt upstream. Expression was independent of the Nac protein, implying that NtrC is a direct activator of nasR transcription. Together, these results indicate that nasR gene expression does not require specific upstream NtrC-binding sequences, as previously noted for argT gene expression in Salmonella typhimurium (G. Schmitz, K. Nikaido, and G. F.-L. Ames, Mol. Gen. Genet. 215:107-117, 1988).
Project description:Pseudomonas sp. strain ADP is the model strain for studying bacterial degradation of the s-triazine herbicide atrazine. In this work, we focused on the expression of the atzDEF operon, involved in mineralization of the central intermediate of the pathway, cyanuric acid. Expression analysis of atzD-lacZ fusions in Pseudomonas sp. strain ADP and Pseudomonas putida showed that atzDEF is subjected to dual regulation in response to nitrogen limitation and cyanuric acid. The gene adjacent to atzD, orf99 (renamed here atzR), encoding a LysR-like regulator, was found to be required for both responses. Expression of atzR-lacZ was induced by nitrogen limitation and repressed by AtzR. Nitrogen regulation of atzD-lacZ and atzR-lacZ expression was dependent on the alternative sigma factor sigmaN and NtrC, suggesting that the cyanuric acid degradation operon may be subject to general nitrogen control. However, while atzR is transcribed from a sigmaN-dependent promoter, atzDEF transcription appears to be driven from a sigma70-type promoter. Expression of atzR from a heterologous promoter revealed that although NtrC regulation of atzD-lacZ requires the AtzR protein, it is not the indirect result of NtrC-activated AtzR synthesis. We propose that expression of the cyanuric acid degradation operon atzDEF is controlled by means of a complex regulatory circuit in which AtzR is the main activator. AtzR activity is in turn modulated by the presence of cyanuric acid and by a nitrogen limitation signal transduced by the Ntr system.
Project description:Klebsiella pneumoniae can use nitrate and nitrite as sole nitrogen sources through the nitrate assimilatory pathway. The structural genes for assimilatory nitrate and nitrite reductases together with genes necessary for nitrate transport form an operon, nasFEDCBA. Expression of the nasF operon is regulated both by general nitrogen control and also by nitrate or nitrite induction. We have identified a gene, nasR, that is necessary for nitrate and nitrite induction. The nasR gene, located immediately upstream of the nasFEDCBA operon, encodes a 44-kDa protein. The NasR protein shares carboxyl-terminal sequence similarity with the AmiR protein of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the positive regulator of amiE (aliphatic amidase) gene expression. In addition, we present evidence that the nasF operon is not autogenously regulated.
Project description:In Salmonella typhimurium, transcription of the glnA gene (encoding glutamine synthetase) is under the control of the nitrogen-regulatory (ntr) system comprising the alternate sigma factor sigma54 (NtrA) and the two-component sensor-transcriptional activator pair NtrB and NtrC. The glnA, ntrB, and ntrC genes form an operon. We measured the virulence of S. typhimurium strains with nitrogen-regulatory mutations after intraperitoneal (i.p.) or oral inoculations of BALB/c mice. Strains with single mutations in glnA, ntrA, ntrB, or ntrC had i.p. 50% lethal doses (LD50s) of <10 bacteria, similar to the wild-type strain. However, a strain with a delta(glnA-ntrC) operon deletion had an i.p. LD50 of >10(5) bacteria, as did delta glnA ntrA and delta glnA ntrC strains, suggesting that glnA strains require an ntr-transcribed gene for full virulence. High-level transcription of the glutamine transport operon (glnHPQ) is dependent upon both ntrA and ntrC, as determined by glnHp-lacZ fusion measurements. Moreover, delta glnA glnH and delta glnA glnQ strains are attenuated, similar to delta glnA ntrA and delta glnA ntrC strains. These results reveal that access of S. typhimurium to host glutamine depends on the ntr system, which apparently is required for the transcription of the glutamine transport genes. The delta(glnA-ntrC) strain exhibited a reduced ability to survive within the macrophage cell line J774, identifying a potential host environment with low levels of glutamine. Finally, the delta(glnA-ntrC) strain, when inoculated at doses as low as 10 organisms, provided mice with protective immunity against challenge by the wild-type strain, demonstrating its potential use as a live vaccine.
Project description:Azotobacter vinelandii is a well-studied model system for nitrogen fixation in bacteria. Regulation of nitrogen fixation in A. vinelandii is independent of NtrB/NtrC, a conserved nitrogen regulatory system in proteobacteria. Previous work showed that an ntrC mutation in A. vinelandii resulted in a loss of induction of assimilatory nitrate and nitrite reductases encoded by the nasAB operon. In addition to NtrC, several other proteins, including NasT, a protein containing a potential RNA-binding domain ANTAR (AmiR and NasR transcription antitermination regulators), have been implicated in nasAB regulation. In this work, we characterize the sequence upstream of nasA and identify several DNA sequence elements, including two potential NtrC binding sites and a putative intrinsic transcriptional terminator upstream of nasA that are potentially involved in nasAB regulation. Our analyses confirm that the nasAB promoter, P(nasA), is under NtrC control. However, unlike NtrC-regulated promoters in enteric bacteria, P(nasA) shows high activity in the presence of ammonium; in addition, the P(nasA) activity is altered in the nifA gene mutation background. We discuss the implication of these results on NtrC-mediated regulation in A. vinelandii. Our study provides direct evidence that induction of nasAB is regulated by NasT-mediated antitermination, which occurs within the leader region of the operon. The results also support the hypothesis that NasT binds the promoter proximal hairpin of nasAB for its regulatory function, which contributes to the understanding of the regulatory mechanism of ANTAR-containing antiterminators.
Project description:The Klebsiella aerogenes nac gene, whose product is necessary for nitrogen regulation of a number of operons, was identified and its DNA sequence determined. The nac sequence predicted a protein a 305 amino acids with a strong similarity to members of the LysR family of regulatory proteins, especially OxyR from Escherichia coli. Analysis of proteins expressed in minicells showed that nac is a single-gene operon whose product has an apparent molecular weight of about 32 kDa as measured in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Immediately downstream from nac is a two-gene operon, the first gene of which encodes another member of the LysR family. Upstream from nac is a tRNAAsn gene transcribed divergently from nac. About 60 bp upstream from the nac open reading frame lies a sequence nearly identical to the consensus for sigma 54-dependent promoters, with the conserved GG and GC nucleotides at -26 and -14 relative to the start of transcription. About 130 bp farther upstream (at -153 relative to the start of transcription) is a sequence nearly identical to the transcriptional activator NTRC-responsive enhancer consensus. Another weaker NTRC-binding site is located adjacent to this site (at -133 relative to the start of transcription). Thus, we propose that nac is transcribed by RNA polymerase carrying sigma 54 in response to the nitrogen regulatory (NTR) system. A transposon located between the promoter and the nac ORF prevented NTR-mediated expression of nac, supporting this identification of the promoter sequence. The insertion of over 5 kb of transposon DNA between the enhancer and its target promoter had only a weak effect on enhancer-mediated regulation, suggesting that enhancers may be able to act at a considerable distance on the bacterial chromosome.
Project description:The areCBA genes in Acinetobacter sp. strain ADP1, determining growth on benzyl alkanoates, are shown to be transcribed as a single operon and regulated by areR, which encodes a regulatory protein of the NtrC/XylR family. Assays of the Are enzymes and of two insertions of lacZ as a reporter gene have shown that the operon is induced by benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, and benzaldehyde, as well as 2- and 4-hydroxybenzyl acetates and benzyl propionate and butyrate. Two adjacent sites of transcriptional initiation were 97 and 96 bp upstream of the start codon for areC, near a sigma(54)-dependent -12, -24 promoter. Inactivation of areR and rpoN (for RNA polymerase sigma(54)) drastically reduced growth rates on the Are substrates and induction of the operon.
Project description:Bacillus subtilis can use ammonium and various amino acids as sole nitrogen sources. The utilization of arginine or ornithine is abolished in a sigma L-deficient strain of B. subtilis, indicating that one or several genes involved in this pathway are transcribed by a sigma L-RNA polymerase holoenzyme. Three B. subtilis genes, called rocA, rocB, and rocC, which seem to form an operon, were found near the sacTPA locus (P. Glaser, F. Kunst, M. Arnaud, M.-P. Coudart, W. Gonzales, M.-F. Hullo, M. Ionescu, B. Lubochinsky, L. Marcelino, I. Moszer, E. Presecan, M. Santana, E. Schneider, J. Schweizer, A. Vertes, G. Rapport, and A. Danchin, Mol. Microbiol. 10:371-384, 1993). The expression of this putative operon is induced by arginine and is sigma L dependent. Mutants impaired in the transcription of rocA were obtained. One of these mutants was used as recipient to clone and sequence a new regulatory gene, called rocR. This gene encodes a polypeptide of 52 kDa which belongs to the NtrC/NifA family of transcriptional activators. Upstream activating sequences highly similar to those of NtrC in Escherichia coli were also identified upstream from the rocABC genes. A B. subtilis strain containing a rocR null mutation is unable to use arginine as the sole nitrogen source, indicating that RocR is a positive regulator of arginine catabolism. After LevR, RocR is the second example of an activator stimulating sigma 54-dependent promoters in gram-positive bacteria.
Project description:Transcription of the major Bacillus subtilis autolysin gene (cwlB) was investigated. Deletion of the region upstream of the gene cluster lppX-cwbA-cwlB led to a loss of promoter activity. Primer extension analysis suggested that the cwlB operon is transcribed by E sigma D and E sigma A, the former transcripts being predominants at the exponential growth phase. Expression of the lppX-lacZ fusion gene was reduced by about 90% in a sigD-null mutant. A sin (flaD1) mutation caused a severe defect in transcription of the lppX-cwbA-cwlB operon. The sin (flaD1) mutation also reduced expression of a sigD-lacZ fusion gene constructed in the B. subtilis chromosome. Since the sigD-null mutant exhibits motility and autolysin deficiencies and filamentation, similar phenotypes in the sin (flaD1) mutant may be caused by reduction in expression of the sigma D protein.
Project description:The periodic transcription of flagellar genes in the Caulobacter crescentus cell cycle is controlled, in part, by their organization in a regulatory hierarchy. The flbG (hook operon), flaN, and flagellin gene operons, which are at the lowest levels of the hierarchy and expressed late in the cell cycle, contain Ntr-like promoters. We report that flbD, one of the early genes required in trans for expression of these operons, codes for a 52-kDa protein homologous to the transcriptional activators NtrC (NRI), NifA, DctD, HydG, and XylR. Our results show that in Escherichia coli flbD partially complements glnG (ntrC) mutations and stimulates transcription of the C. crescentus sigma 54 RNA polymerase-dependent flbG gene. Additionally, the sequence predicts that FlbD protein, along with NtrC, DctD, and HydG proteins, is structurally related at the amino-terminal domain to a larger family of response regulators that mediate cellular responses to environmental stimuli. FlbD may be a singular member of this large protein family in that its function is tied to an internal cell-cycle signal. FlbD is also unusual in that its amino-terminal domain contains only one of the three residues conserved in previously described members of this family of response regulators.
Project description:In enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), sigma factor N (σ(N)) regulates glutamate-dependent acid resistance (GDAR) and the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE); discrete genetic systems that are required for transmission and virulence of this intestinal pathogen. Regulation of these systems requires nitrogen regulatory protein C, NtrC, and is a consequence of NtrC-σ(N) -dependent reduction in the activity of sigma factor S (σ(S)). This study elucidates pathway components and stimuli for σ(N)-directed regulation of GDAR and the LEE in EHEC. Deletion of fliZ, the product of which reduces σ(S) activity, phenocopied rpoN (σ(N)) and ntrC null strains for GDAR and LEE control, acid resistance, and adherence. Upregulation of fliZ by NtrC-σ(N) was shown to be indirect and required an intact flagellar regulator flhDC. Activation of flhDC by NtrC-σ(N) and FlhDC-dependent regulation of GDAR and the LEE was dependent on σ(N)-promoter flhDP 2 , and a newly described NtrC upstream activator sequence. Addition of ammonium chloride significantly altered expression of GDAR and LEE, acid resistance, and adherence, independently of rpoN, ntrC, and the NtrC sensor kinase, ntrB. Altering the availability of NtrC phosphodonor acetyl phosphate by growth without glucose, with acetate addition, or by deletion of acetate kinase ackA, abrogated NtrC-σ(N)-dependent control of flhDC, fliZ, GDAR, and the LEE.