Oldfield LM, Hatfull GF

Mutational analysis of the mycobacteriophage BPs promoter PR reveals context-dependent sequences for mycobacterial gene expression.

Journal of bacteriology. 2014-10-01; 196.20: 3589-97.

The PR promoter of mycobacteriophage BPs directs early lytic gene expression and is under the control of the BPs repressor, gp33. Reporter gene fusions showed that PR has modest activity in an extrachromosomal context but has activity that is barely detectable in an integrated context, even in the absence of its repressor. Mutational dissection of PR showed that it uses a canonical -10 hexamer recognized by SigA, and mutants with mutations to the sequence 5'-TATAMT had the greatest activities. It does not contain a 5'-TGN-extended -10 sequence, although mutants with mutations creating an extended -10 sequence had substantially increased promoter activity. Mutations in the -35 hexamer also influenced promoter activity but were strongly context dependent, and similar substitutions in the -35 hexamer differentially affected promoter activity, depending on the -10 and extended -10 motifs. This warrants caution in the construction of synthetic promoters or the bioinformatic prediction of promoter activity. Combinations of mutations throughout PR generated a calibrated series of promoters for expression of stably integrated recombinant genes in both Mycobacterium smegmatis and M. tuberculosis, with maximal promoter activity being more than 2-fold that of the strong hsp60 promoter.

PMID: 25092027

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