DegP is a heat-shock inducible periplasmic protease in Escherichia coli. Unlike the cytoplasmic heat shock proteins, DegP is not transcriptionally regulated by the classical heat shock regulon coordinated by σ32. Rather, the degP gene is transcriptionally regulated by an alternate heat shock σ factor, σ(E). Previous studies have demonstrated a signal transduction pathway that monitors the amount of outer-membrane proteins in the bacterial envelope and modulates degP levels in response to this extracytoplasmic parameter. To analyze the transcriptional regulation of degP, we examined mutations that altered transcription of a degP-lacZ operon fusion. Gain-of- function mutations in cpxA, which specifies a two-component sensor protein, stimulate transcription from degP. Defined null mutations in cpxA or the gene encoding its cognate response regulator, cpxR, decrease transcription from degP. These null mutations also prevent transcriptional induction of degP in response to overexpression of a gene specifying an envelope lipoprotein. Cpx- mediated transcription of degP is partially dependent on the activity of Eσ(E), suggesting that the Cpx pathway functions in concert with Eσ(E) and perhaps other RNA polymerases to drive transcription of degP.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Heat shock
- receptor kinase
- response regulator