After determination of the whole genome sequence, the research frontier of bacterial molecular genetics has shifted to reveal the genome regulation under stressful conditions in nature. The gene selectivity of RNA polymerase is modulated after interaction with two groups of regulatory proteins, 7 sigma factors and 300 transcription factors. For identification of regulation targets of transcription factors in Escherichia coli, we have developed Genomic SELEX system and subjected to screening the binding sites of these factors on the genome. The number of regulation targets by a single transcription factor was more than those hitherto recognized, ranging up to hundreds of promoters. The number of transcription factors involved in regulation of a single promoter also increased to as many as 30 regulators. The multi-target transcription factors and the multi-factor promoters were assembled into complex networks of transcription regulation. The most complex network was identified in the regulation cascades of transcription of two master regulators for planktonic growth and biofilm formation.
(Communicated by Tasuku HONJO, M.J.A.)
2012 The Japan Academy