The bacterial universal stress protein: function and regulation

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Apr;6(2):140-5. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(03)00025-0.


The universal stress protein A (UspA) superfamily encompasses an ancient and conserved group of proteins that are found in bacteria, Archea, fungi, flies and plants. The Escherichia coli UspA is produced in response to a large number of different environmental onslaughts and UspA is one of the most abundant proteins in growth-arrested cells. Although insights into the regulation of the E. coli uspA gene have been gained, the exact roles of the Usp proteins and Usp domains remain enigmatic; they appear, in some cases, to be linked to resistance to DNA-damaging agents and to respiratory uncouplers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology*
  • Biological Factors / classification
  • Biological Factors / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / chemistry
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / physiology*
  • Models, Genetic


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Biological Factors
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • universal stress protein A, Bacteria