Main content area

Modulation of transcription antitermination in the bgl operon of Escherichia coli by the PTS

Raveh, Hadas, Lopian, Livnat, Nussbaum-Shochat, Anat, Wright, Andrew, Amster-Choder, Orna
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2009 v.106 no.32 pp. 13523-13528
Escherichia coli, carbohydrate metabolism, operon, phosphorylation, proteins, sugars, transcription (genetics)
BglG, which regulates expression of the β-glucoside utilization (bgl) operon in Escherichia coli, represents a family of RNA-binding transcriptional antiterminators that positively regulate transcription of sugar utilization genes in Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms. BglG is negatively regulated by the β-glucoside phosphotransferase, BglF, by means of phosphorylation and physical association, and it is positively regulated by the general phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase system (PTS) proteins, enzyme I (EI) and HPr. We studied the positive regulation of BglG both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we show that although EI and HPr are essential for BglG activity, this mode of activation does not require phosphorylation of BglG by HPr, as opposed to the phosphorylation-mediated activation of many BglG-like antiterminators in Gram-positive organisms. The effect of EI and HPr on BglG is not mediated by BglF. Nevertheless, the release of BglG from BglF, which is stimulated by the extracellular sugar in a sugar uptake-independent manner, is a prerequisite for BglG activation. Taken together, the results indicate that activation of BglG is a 2-stage process: a sugar-stimulated release from the membrane-bound sugar sensor followed by a phosphorylation-independent stimulatory effect exerted by the general PTS proteins.