Comparative Genomics of CytR, an Unusual Member of the LacI Family of Transcription Factors

Natalia V. Sernova, Mikhail S. Gelfand

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11 Citations (Scopus)


CytR is a transcription regulator from the LacI family, present in some gamma-proteobacteria including Escherichia coli and known not only for its cellular role, control of transport and utilization of nucleosides, but for a number of unusual structural properties. The present study addressed three related problems: structure of CytR-binding sites and motifs, their evolutionary conservation, and identification of new members of the CytR regulon. While the majority of CytR-binding sites are imperfect inverted repeats situated between binding sites for another transcription factor, CRP, other architectures were observed, in particular, direct repeats. While the similarity between sites for different genes in one genome is rather low, and hence the consensus motif is weak, there is high conservation of orthologous sites in different genomes (mainly in the Enterobacteriales) arguing for the presence of specific CytR-DNA contacts. On larger evolutionary distances candidate CytR sites may migrate but the approximate distance between flanking CRP sites tends to be conserved, which demonstrates that the overall structure of the CRP-CytR-DNA complex is gene-specific. The analysis yielded candidate CytR-binding sites for orthologs of known regulon members in less studied genomes of the Enterobacteriales and Vibrionales and identified a new candidate member of the CytR regulon, encoding a transporter named NupT (YcdZ).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere44194
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


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