Expression of the cea gene, which is carried by the ColE1 plasmid and which encodes colicin E1, was found to be greatly increased when the cells were grown anaerobically. By using cea-lacZ fusions to quantitate expression, aerobic levels were found to be only a few percent of the anaerobic levels. The anaerobic increase in expression was observed both in protein and in operon fusions, indicating that its regulation occurred at the level of transcription. It was also found to require a functional fnr gene and to occur when the cea-lacZ fusion was present as a single copy in the bacterial chromosome instead of in the multicopy ColE1 plasmid. Anaerobic expression was regulated by the SOS response and catabolite repression as is aerobic expression. The start site of the mRNA produced under anaerobic conditions was mapped by primer extension and found to be the same as the start for mRNA produced under aerobic conditions. These observations show that the cea gene is anaerobically regulated and that the Fnr protein is a positive regulator of transcription of this gene.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology