The Salmonella typhimurium pepT gene is induced nearly 30-fold in response to anaerobiosis. Anaerobic expression is dependent on the transcriptional regulator encoded by fnr (previously oxrA). Primer extension analysis and site-directed mutagenesis experiments show that pepT is transcribed from two sigma 70 promoters. One promoter (P1) is FNR dependent and anaerobically induced, while the other (P2) appears to be constitutive. The potABCD operon is divergently transcribed from a promoter near pepT P2. Sequence analysis of pepT promoter mutations which either elevate anaerobic expression or confer constitutive expression revealed that these mutations affect the -10 region of the P1 or P2 promoter, respectively. The pepT200 mutation, which changes the -10 region of the FNR-dependent P1 promoter to the consensus, has the surprising effect of allowing five- to sevenfold anaerobic induction in the absence of FNR. We have shown that the anaerobic induction of pepT-lacZ in a pepT200 fnr strain is dependent on wild-type alleles of both crp and cya. In a pepT200 pepT-lacZ strain, beta-galactosidase activity was elevated aerobically in the presence of exogenous cyclic AMP (cAMP) and was elevated also in succinate minimal medium relative to its level in glucose minimal medium. Primer extension analysis confirmed that P1 is the cAMP receptor protein (CRP)-dependent promoter. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments indicated that a hybrid CRP-FNR binding site positioned at -41 of the P1 promoter is utilized by both FNR and CRP. CRP-cAMP also appeared to repress FNR-dependent transcription of pepT under anaerobic conditions in both the pepT+ and pepT200 backgrounds. Although both CRP and FNR are capable of binding the hybrid site and activating transcription of pepT, CRP requires the consensus -10 sequence for efficient activation
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