The yjbEFGH locus in Escherichia coli K-12 is an operon encoding proteins involved in exopolysaccharide production

L Ferrieres, S N Aslam, R M Cooper, D J Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The RcsCDB phosphorelay was originally identified as the main regulator of colanic acid biosynthesis in Escherichia coli K-12. However, recent transcriptomic analyses have identified more than 150 genes belonging to the Rcs regulon, including yjbE, yjbF, yjbG and yjbH. These genes are clustered on the genome and oriented in the same direction but their function remains unknown. In this work it is shown that yjbE, yjbF, yjbG and yjbH are transcribed as a single operon and it is confirmed that the expression of this operon is controlled by the Rcs phosphorelay, in a manner that is dependent on the auxiliary regulatory protein RcsA. Interestingly, Northern blot analysis revealed that the amount of yjbE transcripts in the cell is higher than the amount of yjbEFGH transcripts and it is proposed that this differential expression is mediated by the presence of a strong stem–loop structure in the yjbE-yjbF intergenic region. Finally, evidence is provided that the overexpression of yjbEFGH affects colony morphology and leads to the production of an extracellular polysaccharide that binds Congo red and toluidine blue-O.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1070-1080
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobiology
Volume153
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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