A commonly accepted paradigm of molecular biology is that transcription factors control gene expression by binding sites at the 5' end of a gene. However, there is growing evidence that transcription factor targets can occur within genes or between convergent genes. In this work, we have investigated one such target for the cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli. We show that CRP binds between two convergent genes. When bound, CRP regulates transcription of a small open reading frame, which we term aatS, embedded within one of the adjacent genes. Our work demonstrates that non-canonical sites of transcription factor binding can have hidden functionality.
- Journal Article