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Journal of Bacteriology


In uropathogenic Escherichia coli, P pili (Pap) facilitate binding to host epithelial cells and subsequent colonization. Whereas P pili can be produced at 37°C, the expression of these fimbriae is suppressed at 23°C. Previously, insertion mutations in rimJ, a gene encoding the N-terminal acetyltransferase of ribosomal protein S5, were shown to disrupt this thermoregulatory response, allowing papBA transcription at low temperature. In this study, we created an in-frame deletion of rimJ. This deletion relieved the repressive effects not only of low temperature but also of rich (Luria-Bertani [LB]) medium and glucose on papBA transcription, indicating that RimJ modulates papBA transcription in response to multiple environmental stimuli. papI transcription was also shown to be regulated by RimJ. papBA transcription is also controlled by a phase variation mecha- nism. We demonstrated that the regulators necessary to establish a phase ON state—PapI, PapB, Dam, Lrp, and cyclic AMP-CAP–are still required for papBA transcription in a rimJ mutant strain. rimJ mutations increase the rate at which bacteria transition into the phase ON state, indicating that RimJ inhibits the phase OFF3ON transition. A rimJ hns651 mutant is viable on LB medium but not on minimal medium. This synthetic lethality, along with transcriptional analyses, indicates that RimJ and H-NS work through separate pathways to control papBA transcription. Mutations in rimJ do not greatly influence the transcription of the fan, daa, or fim operon, suggesting that RimJ may be a pap-specific regulator. Overexpression of rimJ under conditions repressive for papBA transcription complements the rimJ mutation but has little effect on tran- scription under activating conditions, indicating that the ability of RimJ to regulate transcription is environ- mentally controlled.





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Copyright © 2002, American Society for Microbiology.


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