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Accession IconGSE15500

Analysis of differences in gene expression due to small adaptive mutations in RNA polymerase B' subunit (rpoC)

Organism Icon Escherichia coli
Sample Icon 12 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix E. coli Genome 2.0 Array (ecoli2)

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Studies of the RNA polymerase-binding molecule ppGpp in bacteria and plants have shown that changes to the kinetics of the RNA polymerase can have dramatic biological effects in the short-term as a stress response. Here we describe the reprogramming of the kinetic parameters of the RNAP through mutations arising during laboratory adaptive evolution of Escherichia coli in minimal media. The mutations cause a 10- to 30-fold decrease in open complex stability at a ribosomal promoter and approximately a 10-fold decrease in transcriptional pausing in the his operon. The kinetic changes coincide with large scale transcriptional changes, including strong downregulation of motility, acid-resistance, fimbria, and curlin genes which are observed in site-directed mutants containing the RNA polymerase mutations as well as the evolved strains harboring the mutations. Site-directed mutants also grow 60% faster than the parent strain and convert the carbon-source 15% to 35% more efficiently to biomass. The results show that long-term adjustment of the kinetic parameters of RNA polymerase through mutation can be important for adaptation to a condition.
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