Rewiring of growth-dependent transcription regulation by a point mutation in region 1.1 of the housekeeping σ factor

Philipp Pletnev, Danil Pupov, Lizaveta Pshanichnaya, Daria Esyunina, Ivan Petushkov, Mikhail Nesterchuk, Ilya Osterman, Maria Rubtsova, Andrey Mardanov, Nikolai Ravin, Petr Sergiev, Andrey Kulbachinskiy, Olga Dontsova

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In bacteria, rapid adaptation to changing environmental conditions depends on the interplay between housekeeping and alternative σ factors, responsible for transcription of specific regulons by RNA polymerase (RNAP). In comparison with alternative σ factors, primary σs contain poorly conserved region 1.1, whose functions in transcription are only partially understood. We found that a single mutation in region 1.1 in Escherichia coli σ70 rewires transcription regulation during cell growth resulting in profound phenotypic changes. Despite its destabilizing effect on promoter complexes, this mutation increases the activity of rRNA promoters and also decreases RNAP sensitivity to the major regulator of stringent response DksA. Using total RNA sequencing combined with single-cell analysis of gene expression we showed that changes in region 1.1 disrupt the balance between the "greed" and "fear" strategies thus making the cells more susceptible to environmental threats and antibiotics. Our results reveal an unexpected role of σ region 1.1 in growth-dependent transcription regulation and suggest that changes in this region may facilitate rapid switching of RNAP properties in evolving bacterial populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10802-10819
Number of pages18
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Volume48
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2020

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