H-NS, the genome sentinel

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2007 Feb;5(2):157-61. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1598. Epub 2006 Dec 27.


Two recent reports have indicated that the H-NS protein in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium has a key role in selectively silencing the transcription of large numbers of horizontally acquired AT-rich genes, including those that make up its major pathogenicity islands. Broadly similar conclusions have emerged from a study of H-NS binding to DNA in Escherichia coli. How do these findings affect our view of H-NS and its ability to influence bacterial evolution?

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • AT Rich Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Binding Sites
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Gene Transfer, Horizontal
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • H-NS protein, bacteria