The global regulator Lrp plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism, virulence, and motility in response to environmental conditions. Lrp has previously been shown to activate or repress approximately 10% of the genes in Escherichia coli However, the full spectrum of targets, and how Lrp acts to regulate them, have stymied earlier study. We have combined matched chromatin-immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) under nine physiological conditions to comprehensively map the binding and regulatory activity of Lrp as it directs responses to nutrient abundance. In addition to identifying hundreds of novel Lrp targets, we observe two new global trends, as follows: first, that Lrp will often bind to promoters in a poised position under conditions when it has no regulatory activity to enable combinatorial interactions with other regulators, and second, that nutrient levels induce a global shift in the equilibrium between less-sequence-specific and more-sequence-specific DNA binding. The overall regulatory behavior of Lrp, which as we now show extends to 38% of E. coli genes directly or indirectly under at least one condition, thus arises from the interaction between changes in Lrp binding specificity and cooperative action with other regulators.IMPORTANCE To survive, bacteria such as E. coli must rapidly respond to changing environmental conditions, including nutrient levels. A decrease in nutrient availability causes bacteria to stop rapid replication and enter stationary phase, where they perform limited to no cell division. The E. coli global regulatory protein Lrp has been previously implicated in modulating the expression of genes particularly important at this transition from rapid to slowed growth. Here, we monitor Lrp's DNA binding locations and effect on gene expression under three different nutrient conditions across three growth stages. We find that Lrp's role is even broader than previously suspected and that it appears to interact with many other bacterial regulators to perform its function in a condition-specific manner.
Keywords: ChIP-seq; Lrp; transcription factor; transcriptional regulation.
Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.