Excretion of the anti-sigma factor through a flagellar substructure couples flagellar gene expression with flagellar assembly in Salmonella typhimurium

Mol Gen Genet. 1994 Jun 15;243(6):605-12. doi: 10.1007/BF00279569.


More than 50 genes are required for flagellar formation and function in Salmonella typhimurium. According to the cascade model of the flagellar regulon, the flagellar operons are divided into three classes, 1, 2, and 3, with reference to their relative positions in the transcriptional hierarchy. This sequential transcription is coupled to the assembly process of the flagellar structure, that is, genes involved in formation of the hook-basal body complex belong to the class-2 operons, whereas those involved in formation of filament belong to the class-3 operons. The fliA gene encodes an alternative sigma factor specific for transcription of the class-3 operons. A negative regulatory gene, flgM, which is responsible for the coupling of expression of class-3 operons to flagellar assembly, encodes an anti-sigma factor that binds to FliA and prevents its association with RNA polymerase core enzyme. In the present study, we showed that the flgM gene is transcribed from two different promoters: one is its own class-3 promoter and the other is the class-2 promoter for the upstream gene, flgA. Furthermore, we showed that FlgM is excreted into culture medium from cells of the wild-type strain and of class-3 mutants that can produce complete hook-basal body structures. On the other hand, FlgM is not excreted from mutants defective in the hook-basal body genes. These results indicate that FlgM is excreted from the cells through the flagellar substructures that are formed by the function of the hook-basal body genes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Flagella / metabolism*
  • Flagella / ultrastructure
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics
  • Genes, Regulator / genetics
  • Models, Genetic
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / metabolism
  • Sigma Factor / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • FliA protein, Bacteria
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Sigma Factor
  • FlgM protein, Bacteria
  • FlaD protein, Bacteria