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Conserved function and regulation ofσ 32 homologues in Gram-negative bacteria

Nakahigashi, K, Kanemori, M, Morita, M, Yanagi, H, Yura, T
Journal of biosciences 1998 v.23 no.4 pp. 407-414
Gram-negative bacteria, Proteobacteria, heat shock proteins, heat shock response, heat stress, niches, proteinases, sequence analysis, transcription (genetics)
The heat shock response inEscherichia coli and related bacteria is primarily mediated byσ ³² or its homologue (RpoH protein) specifically required for transcription of heat shock genes encoding molecular chaperones and proteases. Extensive work inE. coli revealed some of the mechanisms controlling the cellular level and activity ofσ ³² during the heat shock response. Recent isolation of a number of RpoH homologues from γ, β and α proteobacteria provided an opportunity to examine evolutionary conservation and diversity of regulatory mechanisms in these bacteria. We here summarize the present status of this aspect of the stress response not only by comparative sequence analysis but by examining the response of representative RpoH homologues of the γ subgroup to heat shock stress. Current evidence indicates that the basic strategy of enhancing RpoH level as a primary response to heat shock stress is well conserved, but the detailed mechanisms for enhancement of the heat shock σ factor level vary among different species that may reflect diverse ecological niches.