A regulator from Chlamydia trachomatis modulates the activity of RNA polymerase through direct interaction with the β subunit and the primary σ subunit

Xiancai Rao, Padraig Deighan, Ziyu Hua, Xiaomei Hu, Jin Wang, Miao Luo, Jie Wang, Yanmei Liang, Guangming Zhong, Ann Hochschild, Li Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The obligate intracellular human pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis undergoes a complex developmental program involving transition between two forms: the infectious elementary body (EB), and the rapidly dividing reticulate body (RB). However, the regulators controlling this development have not been identified. To uncover potential regulators of transcription in C. trachomatis, we screened a C. trachomatis genomic library for sequences encoding proteins that interact with RNA polymerase (RNAP). We report the identification of one such protein, CT663, which interacts with the β and σ subunits of RNAP. Specifically, we show that CT663 interacts with the flap domain of the β subunit (β-flap) and conserved region 4 of the primary σ subunit (σ66 in C. trachomatis). We find that CT663 inhibits σ66-dependent (but not σ28-dependent) transcription in vitro, and we present evidence that CT663 exerts this effect as a component of the RNAP holoenzyme. The analysis of C. trachomatis-infected cells reveals that CT663 begins to accumulate at the commencement of the RB-to-EB transition. Our findings suggest that CT663 functions as a negative regulator of σ66-dependent transcription, facilitating a global change in gene expression. The strategy used here is generally applicable in cases where genetic tools are unavailable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1818-1829
Number of pages12
JournalGenes and Development
Volume23
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009

Keywords

  • Anti-σ factors
  • CT663
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • RNA polymerase
  • β subunit
  • σ factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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