Repression by cyclic AMP receptor protein at a distance

David J Lee, Stephen J W Busby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In a previous study of promoters dependent on the Escherichia coli cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP), carrying tandem DNA sites for CRP, we found that the upstream-bound CRP could either enhance or repress transcription, depending on its location. Here, we have analyzed the interactions between CRP and the C-terminal domains of the RNA polymerase α subunits at some of these promoters. We report that the upstream-bound CRP interacts with these domains irrespective of whether it up- or downregulates promoter activity. Hence, disruption of this interaction can lead to either down- or upregulation, depending on its location. IMPORTANCE: Many bacterial promoters carry multiple DNA sites for transcription factors. While most factors that downregulate promoter activity bind to targets that overlap or are downstream of the transcription start and -10 element, very few cases of repression from upstream locations have been reported. Since more Escherichia coli promoters are regulated by cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) than by any other transcription factor, and since multiple DNA sites for CRP are commonplace at promoters, our results suggest that promoter downregulation by transcription factors may be more prevalent than hitherto thought, and this will have implications for the annotation of promoters from new bacterial genome sequences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e00289-12
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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