The Switch Regulating Transcription of the Escherichia coli Biotin Operon Does Not Require Extensive Protein-Protein Interactions


SummaryTranscription of the Escherichia coli biotin (bio) operon is regulated by BirA, a protein that is not only the repressor that regulates bio operon expression by DNA binding but also the enzyme that covalently attaches biotin to its cognate acceptor proteins. Binding of BirA to the bio operator requires dimerization of the protein that is triggered by BirA-catalyzed synthesis of biotinoyl-adenylate (bio-AMP), the obligatory intermediate of the attachment reaction. The current model postulates that the unmodified acceptor protein binds the monomeric BirA:bio-AMP complex and thereby blocks assembly (dimerization) of the form of BirA that binds DNA. We report that expression of fusion proteins that carry synthetic biotin-accepting peptide sequences was as effective as the natural acceptor protein in derepression of bio operon transcription. These peptide sequences have sequences that are remarkably dissimilar to that of the natural acceptor protein, and our data thus argue that the regulatory switch does not require the extensive protein-protein interactions postulated in the current model

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Last time updated on 6/5/2019

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