Localization of promoters in the fim gene cluster and the effect of H-NS on the transcription of fimB and fimE

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1994 Feb 1;116(1):95-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1994.tb06681.x.


The expression of type 1 fimbriae in Escherichia coli undergoes phase variation in which individual bacteria switch between a fimbriated and non-fimbriated state. The transition from one state to the other is caused by inversion of a DNA segment containing the promoter for the fimA gene. The orientation of the invertible segment is controlled by two proteins, FimB and FimE, which mediate an on/off and off only orientation of the segment, respectively. In this study we have mapped the 5' termini of the fimB, fimE and fimA transcripts. Furthermore, we show that expression of fimB and fimE is strongly influenced by the H-NS nucleoid protein.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins*
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Integrases*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • RNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • H-NS protein, bacteria
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • fimB protein, E coli
  • fimE protein, E coli
  • Integrases