The Escherichia coli bolA morphogene is very important in adaptation to stationary phase and stress response mechanisms. Genes of this family are widespread in gram negative bacteria and in eukaryotes. The expression of this gene is tightly regulated at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels and its overexpression is known to induce round cellular morphology. The results presented in this report demonstrate that the H-NS protein, a pleiotropic regulator of gene expression, is a new transcriptional modulator of the bolA gene. In this work we show that and in vivo the levels of bolA are down-regulated by H-NS and in vitro this global regulator interacts directly with the bolA promoter region. Moreover, DNaseI foot-printing experiments mapped the interaction regions of H-NS and bolA and revealed that this global regulator binds not only one but both bolA promoters. We provide a new insight into the bolA regulation network demonstrating that H-NS represses the transcription of this important gene.
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