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Title: The highly conserved MraZ protein is a transcriptional regulator in Escherichia coli

The mraZ and mraW genes are highly conserved in bacteria, both in sequence and location at the head of the division and cell wall (dcw) gene cluster. Although MraZ has structural similarity to the AbrB transition state regulator and the MazE antitoxin, and MraW is known to methylate ribosomal RNA, mraZ and mraW null mutants have no detectable growth phenotype in any species tested to date, hampering progress in understanding their physiological role. Here we show that overproduction of Escherichia coli MraZ perturbs cell division and the cell envelope, is more lethal at high levels or in minimal growth medium, and that MraW antagonizes these effects. MraZGFP localizes to the nucleoid, suggesting that it binds DNA. Indeed, purified MraZ directly binds a region upstream from its own promoter containing three direct repeats to regulate its own expression and that of downstream cell division and cell wall genes. MraZ-LacZ fusions are repressed by excess MraZ but not when DNA binding by MraZ is inhibited. RNAseq analysis indicates that MraZ is a global transcriptional regulator with numerous targets in addition to dcw genes. One of these targets, mioC, is directly bound by MraZ in a region with three direct repeats.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47722; KP1704020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Bacteriology, 196(11):2053-2066
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
PROTEINS; ESCHERICHIA COLI; GENES; ANTITOXINS; MraZ; protein; Escherichia coli; gene; sequence; cell; antitoxin; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory