The Journal of Bacteriology, 2002, Vol. 184(16), p.4520
During quorum sensing in Vibrio fischeri, the luminescence, or lux, operon is regulated in a cell density-dependent manner by the activator LuxR in the presence of an acylated homoserine lactone autoinducer molecule [N-(3- oxohexanoyl) homoserine lactone]. LuxR, which binds to the lux operon promoter at a position centered at -42.5 relative to the transcription initiation site, is thought to function as an ambidextrous activator making multiple contacts with RNA polymerase (RNAP). The specific role of the alpha - subunit C-terminal domain ( alpha CTD) of RNAP in LuxR-dependent transcriptional activation of the lux operon promoter has been investigated. The effects of 70 alanine substitution variants of the alpha subunit were determined in vivo by measuring the rate of transcription of the lux operon via luciferase assays in recombinant Escherichia coli. The mutant RNAPs from strains exhibiting at least twofold-increased or -decreased activity in comparison to the wild type were further examined by in vitro assays. Since full-length LuxR has not been purified, an autoinducer-independent N-terminally truncated form of LuxR, LuxR[Delta]N, was used for in vitro studies. Single-round transcription assays were performed using reconstituted mutant RNAPs in the presence of LuxR[Delta]N, and 14 alanine substitutions in the alpha CTD were identified as having negative effects on the rate of transcription from the lux operon promoter. Five of these 14 alpha variants were also involved in the mechanisms of both LuxR- and LuxR[Delta]N-dependent activation in vivo. The positions of these residues lie roughly within the 265 and 287 determinants in alpha that have been identified through studies of the cyclic AMP receptor protein and its interactions with RNAP. This suggests a model where residues 262, 265, and 296 in alpha play roles in DNA recognition and residues 290 and 314 play roles in alpha -LuxR interactions at the lux operon promoter during quorum sensing.
RNA Polymerases ; RNA and Ribosomes ; Luxr Protein ; N-(3-Oxohexanoyl) Homoserine Lactone ; N-(3-Oxohexanoyl) Homoserine Lactone ; Quorum Sensing;
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