Excretion of the anti-sigma factor through a flagellar substructure couples flagellar gene expression with flagellar assembly in Salmonella typhimurium

Kazuhiro Kutsukake

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140 Citations (Scopus)


More than 50 genes are required for flagellar formation and function in Salmonella typhimurium. According to the cascade model of the flagellar regulon, the flagellar operons are divided into three classes, 1, 2, and 3, with reference to their relative positions in the transcriptional hierarchy. This sequential transcription is coupled to the assembly process of the flagellar structure, that is, genes involved in formation of the hook-basal body complex belong to the class-2 operons, whereas those involved in formation of filament belong to the class-3 operons. The fliA gene encodes an alternative sigma factor specific for transcription of the class-3 operons. A negative regulatory gene, flgM, which is responsible for the coupling of expression of class-3 operons to flagellar assembly, encodes an anti-sigma factor that binds to FHA and prevents its association with RNA polymerase core enzyme. In the present study, we showed that the flgM gene is transcribed from two different promoters: one is its own class-3 promoter and the other is the class-2 promoter for the upstream gene, flgA. Furthermore, we showed that FlgM is excreted into culture medium from cells of the wild-type strain and of class-3 mutants that can produce complete hook-basal body structures. On the other hand, FlgM is not excreted from mutants defective in the hook-basal body genes. These results indicate that FIgM is excreted from the cells through the flagellar substructures that are formed by the function of the hook-basal body genes. We believe that this is the mechanism by which FlgM can monitor the assembly state of flagellar structure and couple flagellar gene expression to flagellar assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-612
Number of pages8
JournalMGG Molecular & General Genetics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes



  • Anti-sigma factor
  • Flagellar assembly
  • Flagellar regulon
  • Protein export
  • Regulation of transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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