In Escherichia coli expression of the genes of fatty acid degradation (fad) is negatively regulated at the transcriptional level by FadR protein. In contrast the unsaturated fatty acid biosynthetic gene, fabA, is positively regulated by FadR. We report that fabB, a second unsaturated fatty acid biosynthetic gene, is also positively regulated by FadR. Genomic array studies that compared global transcriptional differences between wild-type and fadR-null mutant strains, as wall as in cultures of each strain grown in the presence of exogenous oleic acid, indicated that expression of fabB was regulated in a manner very similar to that of fabA expression. A series of genetic and biochemical tests confirmed these observation. Strains containing both fabB and fadR mutant alleles were constructed and shown to exhibit synthetic lethal phenotypes, similar to those observed in fabA fadR mutants. A fadR strain was hypersensitive to cerulenin, an antibiotic that at low concentrations specifically targets the FabB proton. A transcriptional fusion of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) to the fabB promoter produces lower levels of CAT protein in a strain lacking functional FadR. The ability of a putative FadR binding site within the fabB promoter to form a comdex with purified FadR protein was determined by a gel mobility shift assay. These experiments demonstrate that expression of fabB is positively regulated by FadR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology