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Natural competence for DNA uptake is common among bacteria but its evolutionary function is controversial. Resolving the dispute requires a detailed understanding of both how cells decide to take up DNA and how the DNA is processed during and after uptake. We have used whole-genome microarrays to follow changes in gene expression during competence(More)
Escherichia coli's cAMP receptor protein (CRP), the archetypal bacterial transcription factor, regulates over a hundred promoters by binding 22 bp symmetrical sites with the consensus core half-site TGTGA. However, Haemophilus influenzae has two types of CRP sites, one like E.coli's and one with the core sequence TGCGA that regulates genes required for DNA(More)
In Haemophilus influenzae, as in Escherichia coli, the cAMP receptor protein (CRP) activates transcription from hundreds of promoters by binding symmetrical DNA sites with the consensus half-site 5'-A(1)A(2)A(3)T(4)G(5)T(6)G(7)A(8)T(9)C(10)T(11). We have previously identified 13 H. influenzae CRP sites that differ from canonical (CRP-N) sites in the(More)
The sxy (tfoX) gene product is the central regulator of DNA uptake by naturally competent gamma-proteobacteria such as Haemophilus influenzae, Vibrio cholerae and probably Escherichia coli. However, the mechanisms regulating sxy gene expression are not understood despite being key to understanding the physiological role of DNA uptake. We have isolated(More)
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is arguably the world's best-understood bacterial pathogen. However, crucial details about the genetic programs used by the bacterium to survive and replicate in macrophages have remained obscure because of the challenge of studying gene expression of intracellular pathogens during infection. Here, we report the use(More)
Escherichia coli is not considered naturally competent, yet it has homologues of the genes that most competent bacteria use for DNA uptake and processing. In Haemophilus influenzae and Vibrio cholerae, these genes are regulated by the Sxy and cyclic AMP receptor (CRP) proteins. We used microarrays to find out whether similar regulation occurs in E. coli.(More)
DNA topology has fundamental control over the ability of transcription factors to access their target DNA sites at gene promoters. However, the influence of DNA topology on protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions is poorly understood. For example, relaxation of DNA supercoiling strongly induces the well-studied pathogenicity gene ssrA (also called(More)
The evolution of new gene networks is a primary source of genetic innovation that allows bacteria to explore and exploit new niches, including pathogenic interactions with host organisms. For example, the archetypal DNA binding protein, OmpR, is identical between Salmonella Typhimurium serovar Typhimurium and Escherichia coli, but regulatory specialization(More)
The bacterial nucleoid-associated protein H-NS, which preferentially targets and silences A+T-rich genes, binds the ubiquitous reporter gene gfp and dramatically reduces local transcription. We have redesigned gfp to reduce H-NS-mediated transcription silencing and simultaneously improve translation in vivo without altering the amino acid sequence of the(More)
The nucleoid-associated protein FIS is a global regulator of gene expression and chromosome structure in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. Despite the importance of FIS for infection and intracellular invasion, very little is known about the regulation of S. enterica fis expression. Under standard laboratory growth conditions, fis is highly(More)