The Salmonella flagellar operons are divided into three classes with reference to their relative positions in the transcriptional hierarchy. Expression of the class 2 operons requires the class 1 gene products, FlhD and FlhC, and is enhanced by an unknown mechanism in the presence of the class 3-specific sigma factor, FliA, and in the absence of its cognate anti- sigma factor, FlgM. In this study, the transcriptional start site mapping was performed by primer extension analysis for five class 2 operons, flgA, flgB, flhB, fliE and fliL. In all cases, one or a few major transcriptional start sites were identified. These start signals disappeared in the flhDC-mutant background, and their intensity decreased and increased in the fliA-mutant and flgM-mutant backgrounds, respectively. Therefore, we conclude that the FlhD/FlhC-dependent transcription is responsible for the FliA-dependent enhancement. Sequence comparison revealed that an imperfect inverted repetitious sequence is conserved upstream of the class 2 operons. Truncation of this sequence from the flgB promoter reduced its transcriptional activity to the background level, indicating that this is an essential cis-acting element for transcription of the class 2 operons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology