Differential transcriptional regulation of orthologous dps genes from two closely related heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria.

Li X, Sandh G, Nenninger A, Muro-Pastor AM, Stensjö K

FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 362 (6) - [2015-03-00; online 2015-02-05]

In cyanobacteria, DNA-binding proteins from starved cells (Dps) play an important role in the cellular response to oxidative and nutritional stresses. In this study, we have characterized the cell-type specificity and the promoter regions of two orthologous dps genes, Npun_R5799 in Nostoc punctiforme and alr3808 in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. A transcriptional start site (TSS), identical in location to the previously identified proximal TSS of alr3808, was identified for Npun_R5799 under both combined nitrogen supplemented and N2-fixing growth conditions. However, only alr3808 was also transcribed from a second distal TSS. Sequence homologies suggest that the promoter region containing the distal TSS is not conserved upstream of orthologous genes among heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria. The analysis of promoter GFP-reporter strains showed a different role in governing cell-type specificity between the proximal and distal promoter of alr3808. We here confirmed the heterocyst specificity of the distal promoter of alr3808 and described a very early induction of its expression during proheterocyst differentiation. In contrast, the complete promoters of both genes were active in all cells. Even though Npun_R5799 and alr3808 are orthologs, the regulation of their respective expression differs, indicating distinctions in the function of these cyanobacterial Dps proteins depending on the strain and cell type.

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PubMed 25663155

DOI 10.1093/femsle/fnv017

Crossref 10.1093/femsle/fnv017

pii: fnv017