RpoS controls the expression and the transport of the AlgE1-7 epimerases in Azotobacter vinelandii
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Azotobacter vinelandii produces differentiated cells, called cysts, surrounded by two alginate layers, which are necessary for their desiccation resistance. This alginate contains variable proportions of guluronate residues, resulting from the activity of seven extracytoplasmic epimerases, AlgE1–7. These enzymes are exported by a system secretion encoded by the eexDEF operon; mutants lacking the AlgE1-7 epimerases, the EexDEF or the RpoS sigma factor produce alginate, but are unable to form desiccation resistant cysts. Herein, we found that RpoS was required for full transcription of the algE1-7 and eexDEF genes. We found that the AlgE1-7 protein levels were diminished in the rpoS mutant strain. In addition, the alginate produced in the absence of RpoS was more viscous in the presence of proteases, a phenotype similar to that of the eexD mutant. Primer extension analysis located two promoters for the eexDEF operon, one of them was RpoS-dependent. Thus, during encysting conditions, RpoS coordinates the expression of both the AlgE1-7 epimerases and the EexDEF protein complex responsible for their transport.