Volume 63 (2017) Issue 6 Pages 311-324
The model organism, Escherichia coli, contains a total of more than 4,500 genes, but the total number of RNA polymerase (RNAP) core enzyme or the transcriptase is only about 2,000 molecules per genome. The regulatory targets of RNAP are, however, modulated by changing its promoter selectivity through two-steps of protein-protein interplay with 7 species of the sigma factor in the first step, and then 300 species of the transcription factor (TF) in the second step. Scientists working in the field of prokaryotic transcription in Japan have made considerable contributions to the elucidation of genetic frameworks and regulatory modes of the genome transcription in E. coli K-12. This review summarizes the findings by this group, first focusing on three sigma factors, the stationary-phase sigma RpoS, the heat-shock sigma RpoH, and the flagellar-chemotaxis sigma RpoF, as examples. It also presents an overview of the current state of the systematic research being carried out to identify the regulatory functions of all TFs from a single and the same bacterium E. coli K-12, using the genomic SELEX and PS-TF screening systems. All these studies have been undertaken with the aim of understanding the genome regulation in E. coli K-12 as a whole.