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.

Affiliated researcher

PubMed 25663155

DOI 10.1093/femsle/fnv017

Crossref 10.1093/femsle/fnv017

pii: fnv017

Publications 9.5.0