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Articles by G. Hong
Total Records ( 4 ) for G. Hong
  Y Zhang and G. Hong

In this study, we observed a novel property of Escherichia coli Hfq protein: it possibly influenced extracellular indole levels. The extracellular indole concentrations were increased in Hfq mutant cells and decreased in Hfq overexpression cells in a cell density-dependent manner. The decreased extracellular indole levels in Hfq overexpression cells caused the postponement of entering into stationary phase. Indole was produced by tryptophanase, the gene product of tnaA, which catalyzed tryptophan into indole, ammonia and pyruvate. Further studies showed that at cell density of 0.8 but not at 0.4, tryptophanase activities of total cell extracts were affected by Hfq mutation or overexpression. Protein pull-down assay and co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that Hfq associated with tryptophanase under relatively higher extracellular indole levels, suggesting this was a feedback control of indole production. The association of Hfq and tryptophanase might be indirect because purified Hfq could not affect the values of Km and Vmax of purified tryptophanase.

  Y Zhang and G. Hong

NifA is the general transcriptional activator of nitrogen fixation genes in diazotrophic bacteria. In Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae strain 8401/pRL1JI, the NifA gene is part of a gene cluster (fixABCXNifAB). In this study, results showed that in R. leguminosarum bv. viciae 8401/pRL1JI, host factor required (Hfq), and RNase E were involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of NifA expression. It was found that Hfq-dependent RNase E cleavage of NifA mRNA was essential for NifA translation. The cleavage site is located at 32 nucleotides upstream of the NifA translational start codon. A possible explanation based on predicted RNA secondary structure of the NifA 5'-untranslated region was that the cleavage made ribosome-binding sites accessible for translation.

  B Hou , F Li , X Yang and G. Hong

In Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae, NodD, as a member of the LysR-type transcriptional regulators (LTTRs), exerts auto-regulation and activates transcription of other nod genes in the presence of naringenin. LTTRs were typically composed of N-terminal DNA-binding domain and C-terminal regulatory domain. In this study, by systematic insertion mutation, a region of 12 amino acids in length of NodD was identified as functional domain. Insertion mutants in this region appeared to acquire the ability of constitutively activating nodA gene and retained their auto-regulation properties. This identified region was shown to be a hinge of NodD as revealed through the model built using Swiss-PDB Viewer software. It is the first time to report that as a member of LysR family, NodD has been shown to contain a short intramolecular domain that influences its performance.

  B Hou , F Li , X Yang and G. Hong

In Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae, NodD, a member of the LysR-type transcriptional regulators, while auto-regulating, activates transcription of other nod genes in the presence of naringenin. A hinge region of NodD was previously identified in our laboratory as a functional region independent of its N-terminal DNA-binding and C-terminal regulatory domain. Further study was carried out to see the possible effect of the length variation in the hinge region on NodD's properties. To our surprise, as many as seven classes of phenotypes were observed. Class I is deficient of activating nodA transcription and abolishes auto-regulation; class II is able to activate nodA transcription independently of naringenin and abolishes auto-regulation; class III retains auto-regulating but partial activating ability; class IV is able to activate transcription independently of naringenin and retains auto-regulation; in class V, nodA is transcribed constitutively but the transcription level is drastically down-regulated in the presence of naringenin; in class VI, nodA is transcribed constitutively with higher induction ratio; in class VII, nodA is transcribed constitutively with lower induction ratio. To learn more about the possible mechanism, circular permutation assays were done, which showed that the length variation of the hinge of NodD caused by mutation led to the change in bend angles of nod promoter. This finding should help to get an insight into how transcriptional regulation is mediated by NodD at the molecular level as well as to understand the regulatory system of this important family.

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