Transcription Profile of Escherichia Coli: Genomic SELEX Search for Regulatory Targets of Transcription Factors

Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Mar 18;44(5):2058-74. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw051. Epub 2016 Feb 3.


Bacterial genomes are transcribed by DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNAP), which achieves gene selectivity through interaction with sigma factors that recognize promoters, and transcription factors (TFs) that control the activity and specificity of RNAP holoenzyme. To understand the molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation, the identification of regulatory targets is needed for all these factors. We then performed genomic SELEX screenings of targets under the control of each sigma factor and each TF. Here we describe the assembly of 156 SELEX patterns of a total of 116 TFs performed in the presence and absence of effector ligands. The results reveal several novel concepts: (i) each TF regulates more targets than hitherto recognized; (ii) each promoter is regulated by more TFs than hitherto recognized; and (iii) the binding sites of some TFs are located within operons and even inside open reading frames. The binding sites of a set of global regulators, including cAMP receptor protein, LeuO and Lrp, overlap with those of the silencer H-NS, suggesting that certain global regulators play an anti-silencing role. To facilitate sharing of these accumulated SELEX datasets with the research community, we compiled a database, 'Transcription Profile of Escherichia coli' (

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Cyclic AMP Receptor Protein / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP Receptor Protein / metabolism
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Leucine-Responsive Regulatory Protein / genetics
  • Leucine-Responsive Regulatory Protein / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • SELEX Aptamer Technique
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Cyclic AMP Receptor Protein
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • LeuO protein, E coli
  • Lrp protein, E coli
  • Transcription Factors
  • Leucine-Responsive Regulatory Protein
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases