Intragenic promotor-like sites in the genome of Escherichia coli discovery and functional implication.

Maria N. Tutukina, Konstantin S. Shavkunov, Irina S. Masulis, Olga N. Ozoline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Mapping of putative promoters within the entire genome of Escherichia coli (E. coli) by means of pattern-recognition software PlatProm revealed several thousand of sites having high probability to perform promoter function. Along with the expected promoters located upstream of coding sequences, PlatProm identified more than a thousand potential promoters for antisense transcription and several hundred very similar signals within coding sequences having the same direction with the genes. Since recently developed ChIP-chip technology also testified the presence of intragenic RNA polymerase binding sites, such distribution of putative promoters is likely to be a general biological phenomenon reflecting yet undiscovered regulatory events. Here, we provide experimental evidences that two internal promoters are recognized by bacterial RNA polymerase. One of them is located within the hns coding sequence and may initiate synthesis of RNA from the antisense strand. Another one is found within the overlapping genes htgA/yaaW and may control the production of a shortened mRNA or an RNA-product complementary to mRNA of yaaW. Both RNA-products can form secondary structures with free energies of folding close to those of small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) of the same length. Folding propensity of known sRNAs was further compared with that of antisense RNAs (aRNAs), predicted in E. coli as well as in Salmonella typhimurium (S. typhimurium). Slightly lower stability observed for aRNAs assumes that their structural compactness may be less significant for biological function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-560
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Issue number2 B
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


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