OmpR mutants specifically defective for transcriptional activation

Leslie A. Pratt, Thomas J. Silhavy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


In Escherichia coli. OmpR and EnvZ comprise a two component regulatory system that controls the relative expression of the outer membrane porin proteins. OmpF and OmpC. In this system, OmpR fnctions as a transcriptional regulator, serving as an activator of ompC, and as both an activator and a repressor of ompF. Previous evidence suggests that OmpR-mediated transcriptional activation involves direct interaction between OmpR and the C-terminal domain of the α subunit of RNA polymerase. However, it has remained unclear what region(s) of OmpR is directly involved in this proposed interaction. Moreover, little else is known about how OmpR activates transcription. To identify residues important for transcriptional activation, we screened for mutations in ompR that render the protein specifically defective in its ability to activate transcription. The isolated ompR alleles were characterized through haploid and diploid analyses at both the ompF and ompC promoters, and through an in vivo DNA binding assay. Through this approach, we have identified five amino acid residues in OmpR that are specifically required for transcriptional activation; R42, P179, E193, A196 and E197. We propose that these mutations define a region(s) in OmpR that may contact the C-terminal domain of α to mediate transcriptional activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-594
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 4 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology


  • RNA polymerase
  • alpha subunit
  • osmoregulation
  • response regulator
  • signal transduction


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