Definition of a Consensus DNA-binding Site for PecS, a Global Regulator of Virulence Gene Expression inErwinia chrysanthemiand Identification of New Members of the PecS Regulon
Journal of Biological Chemistry
In Erwinia chrysanthemi, production of pectic enzymes is modulated by a complex network involving several regulators. One of them, PecS, which belongs to the MarR family, also controls the synthesis of various other virulence factors, such as cellulases and indigoidine. Here, the PecS consensus-binding site is defined by combining a systematic evolution of ligands by an exponential enrichment approach and mutational analyses. The consensus consists of a 23-base pair palindromic-like sequence
... periments revealed that (i) the palindromic organization is required for the binding of PecS, (ii) the very conserved part of the consensus (؊6 to 6) allows for a specific interaction with PecS, but the presence of the relatively degenerated bases located apart significantly increases PecS affinity, (iii) the four bases G ؊4 , A ؊2 , T 2 , and C 4 are required for efficient binding of PecS, and (iv) the presence of several binding sites on the same promoter increases the affinity of PecS. This consensus is detected in the regions involved in PecS binding on the previously characterized target genes. This variable consensus is in agreement with the observation that the members of the MarR family are able to bind various DNA targets as dimers by means of a winged helix DN-A-binding motif. Binding of PecS on a promoter region containing the defined consensus results in a repression of gene transcription in vitro. Preliminary scanning of the E. chrysanthemi genome sequence with the consensus revealed the presence of strong PecS-binding sites in the intergenic region between fliE and fliFGHI-JKLMNOPQR which encode proteins involved in the biogenesis of flagellum. Accordingly, PecS directly represses fliE expression. Thus, PecS seems to control the synthesis of virulence factors required for the key steps of plant infection.