Indexed on: 02 May '09Published on: 02 May '09Published in: Microbiology (Reading, England)
The DNA static curvature has been described to play a key role as a regulatory element in the transcription process of several bacterial genes. Here, the role of DNA curvature in the expression of the ompS1 porin gene in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi is described. The web server mutacurve was used to predict mutations that diminished or restored the extent of DNA curvature in the 5' regulatory region of ompS1. Using these predictions, curvature was diminished by site-directed mutagenesis of only two residues, and curvature was restored by further mutagenesis of the same two residues. Lowering the extent of DNA curvature resulted in an increase in ompS1 expression and in the diminution of the affinity of the silencer proteins H-NS and StpA for the ompS1 5' regulatory region. These mutations were in a region shown not to contain the H-NS nucleation site, consistent with the notion that the effect on expression was due to changes in DNA structural topology.