SlyA Protein Activates fimB Gene Expression and Type 1 Fimbriation in Escherichia coli K-12

McVicker, Gareth and Sun, Lei and Sohanpal, Baljinder K. and Gashi, Krishna and Williamson, Richard A. and Plumbridge, Jacqueline A. and Blomfield, Ian C. (2011) SlyA Protein Activates fimB Gene Expression and Type 1 Fimbriation in Escherichia coli K-12. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286 (37). pp. 32026-32035. ISSN 0021-9258. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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We have demonstrated that SlyA activates fimB expression and hence type 1 fimbriation, a virulence factor in Escherichia coli. SlyA is shown to bind to two operator sites (OSA1 and OSA2), situated between 194 and 167 base pairs upstream of the fimB transcriptional start site. fimB expression is derepressed in an hns mutant and diminished by a slyA mutation in the presence of H-NS only. H-NS binds to multiple sites in the promoter region, including two sites (H-NS2 and H-NS3) that overlap OSA1 and OSA2, respectively. Mutations that disrupt either OSA1 or OSA2 eliminate or reduce the activating effect of SlyA but have different effects on the level of expression. We interpret these results as reflecting the relative competition between SlyA and H-NS binding. Moreover we show that SlyA is capable of displacing H-NS from its binding sites in vitro. We suggest SlyA binding prevents H-NS binding to H-NS2 and H-NS3 and the subsequent oligomerization of H-NS necessary for full inhibition of fimB expression. In addition, we show that SlyA activates fimB expression independently of two other known regulators of fimB expression, NanR and NagC. It is demonstrated that the rarely used UUG initiation codon limits slyA expression and that low SlyA levels limit fimB expression. Furthermore, Western blot analysis shows that cells grown in rich-defined medium contain ∼1000 SlyA dimers per cell whereas those grown in minimal medium contain >20% more SlyA. This study extends our understanding of the role that SlyA plays in the host-bacterial relationship.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Bacterial Adhesion; Bacterial Genetics; Bacterial Pathogenesis; Bacterial Transcription; DNA Recombination; Escherichia coli; Gene Expression; Virulence Factors; Fimbriae; Phase Variation
Subjects: Q Science
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Biosciences
Depositing User: Sue Davies
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2012 10:44
Last Modified: 12 May 2014 10:54
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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