Article

RNA sequence requirements for NasR-mediated, nitrate-responsive transcription antitermination of the Klebsiella oxytoca M5al nasF operon leader

Section of Microbiology Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-8101, USA; Section of Microbiology University of California, Davis CA, 95616-8665, USA
Journal of Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 3.91). 10/1999; DOI: 10.1006/jmbi.1999.3084

ABSTRACT In Klebsiella oxytoca, enzymes required for nitrate assimilation are encoded by thenasFEDCBA operon. Nitrate and nitrite induction of nasF operon expression is determined by a transcriptional antitermination mechanism, in which the nasR gene product responds to nitrate or nitrite and overcomes transcription termination at the factor-independent terminator site located in the nasF upstream leader region. Previous studies led to the hypothesis that the NasR protein mediates transcription antitermination through interaction with nasF leader RNA. Here, we report a DNA sequence comparison that reveals conserved 1:2 and 3:4 RNA secondary structures in the nasF leader RNAs from two Klebsiella species. Additionally, we found that specific binding of the NasR protein to nasF leader RNA was stimulated by nitrate and nitrite. We combined mutational analysis, in vivo and in vitro antitermination assays, and an RNA electrophoretic mobility shift assay to define regions in the nasF leader that are essential for antitermination and for NasR-RNA interaction. Formation of the 1:2 stem structure and the specific sequence of the 1:2 hexanucleotide loop were required for both nitrate induction and for NasR-RNA interaction. Mutations in the 1:2 stem-loop region that abolished nitrate induction also interfered with NasR-leader RNA interaction. Finally, nucleotide alterations or additions in the linker region between the 1:2 and 3:4 stem-loops were deleterious to nasF operon induction but not to NasR-leader RNA interaction. We hypothesize that NasR protein recognizes the 1:2 stem-loop structure in the nasF leader RNA to mediate transcription antitermination in response to nitrate or nitrite.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
50 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The extraordinary potential of metagenomic functional analyses to identify activities of interest present in uncultured microorganisms has been limited by reduced gene expression in surrogate hosts. We have developed vectors and specialized E. coli strains as improved metagenomic DNA heterologous expression systems, taking advantage of viral components that prevent transcription termination at metagenomic terminators. One of the systems uses the phage T7 RNA-polymerase to drive metagenomic gene expression, while the other approach uses the lambda phage transcription anti-termination protein N to limit transcription termination. A metagenomic library was constructed and functionally screened to identify genes conferring carbenicillin resistance to E. coli. The use of these enhanced expression systems resulted in a 6-fold increase in the frequency of carbenicillin resistant clones. Subcloning and sequence analysis showed that, besides β-lactamases, efflux pumps are not only able contribute to carbenicillin resistance but may in fact be sufficient by themselves to convey carbenicillin resistance.
    Scientific Reports 01/2013; 3:1107. · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ralstonia solanacearum, an economically important plant pathogen, must attach, grow, and produce virulence factors to colonize plant xylem vessels and cause disease. Little is known about the bacterial metabolism that drives these processes. Nitrate is present in both tomato xylem fluid and agricultural soils, and the bacterium's gene expression profile suggests that it assimilates nitrate during pathogenesis. A nasA mutant, which lacks the gene encoding the catalytic subunit of R. solanacearum's sole assimilatory nitrate reductase, did not grow on nitrate as a sole nitrogen source. This nasA mutant exhibited reduced virulence and delayed stem colonization following soil-soak inoculation of tomato plants. The nasA virulence defect was more severe following a period of soil survival between hosts. Unexpectedly, once bacteria reached xylem tissue, nitrate assimilation was dispensable for growth, virulence, and competitive fitness. However, nasA-dependent nitrate assimilation was required for normal production of extracellular polysaccharide (EPS), a major virulence factor. Quantitative analyses revealed that EPS production was significantly influenced by nitrate assimilation when nitrate was not required for growth. The plant colonization delay of the nasA mutant was externally complemented by co-inoculation with wild-type bacteria, but not by co-inoculation with an EPS-deficient epsB mutant. The nasA mutant and epsB mutant did not attach to tomato roots as well as wild-type strain UW551. However, adding either wild-type cells or cell-free EPS improved root attachment of these mutants. These data collectively suggest that nitrate assimilation promotes R. solanacearum virulence by enhancing root attachment, the initial stage of infection, possibly by modulating EPS production.
    Journal of bacteriology 12/2013; · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In Amycolatopsis mediterranei U32, genes responsible for nitrate assimilation formed one operon, nasACKBDEF, whose transcription is induced by the addition of nitrate. Here, we characterized GlnR as a direct transcriptional activator for the nas operon. The GlnR-protected DNA sequences in the promoter region of nas operon were characterized by DNase I footprinting assay and the previously deduced S. coelicolor 2×22-bp GlnR binding consensus sequences comprising of "a1-b1-a2-b2-sites" were identified, which were then mutated individually to test their roles in both the binding of GlnR in vitro and the GlnR-mediated transcriptional activation in vivo. The results clearly showed that only three GlnR binding sites (a1-, b1- and b2-sites) were required by GlnR for its specific binding to the nas promoter region and efficient activation of the transcription of nas operon in U32, while the a2-site seemed unnecessary.
    Journal of bacteriology 03/2013; · 3.94 Impact Factor