Regulation and function of the heat shock response in Escherichia coli.
AuthorDelaney, John Michael.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe heat shock response is a highly conserved genetic mechanism which is induced by a wide range of environmental stimuli. Although intensively studied in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, no regulatory mechanism has been identified by which the environmental stimuli affect expression of the heat shock genes. In addition, although many inducers of the heat shock response are known to cause DNA damage, the role of heat shock in repair of DNA damage remains unclear. Mutants of Escherichia coli defective in the recA, uvrA, and xthA genes are more sensitive to heat than wild type. However, these mutants are able to develop thermotolerance, suggesting that thermotolerance is an inducible response capable of repairing heat-induced DNA damage independent of recA, uvrA, and xthA. Thermotolerance itself is shown to depend on the dnaK gene, directly linking the E. coli heat shock response to thermotolerance. In addition, the dnaK mutant is sensitive to heat and H₂O₂, but not to UV suggesting that the DnaK protein may function to protect cells from the specific DNA damage caused by heat and H₂O₂. An E. coli grpE mutant was found to be substantially more resistant to 50°C heat treatment than wild type. However, grpE⁻ cells have the same H₂O₂ and UV sensitivity as wild type. This implies that the conditions, for which a grpE mutation is beneficial, are unique to heat exposure and are not caused by H₂O₂ or UV exposure. Furthermore, heat shock protein synthesis occurs sooner in the grpE mutant than in wild type, indicating that the grpE gene product of E. coli may act as a negative regulator of the heat shock response. An adenyl cyclase deletion mutant of E. coli (cya) failed to exhibit a heat shock response even after 30 min. at 42°C. Furthermore, a presumptive cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) binding site exists within the promoter region of the E. coli htpR gene. Together, these results suggest that the cya gene may regulate the heat shock response, through cyclic AMP, by directly affecting the level of expression of the heat shock sigma factor.
Degree ProgramMicrobiology and Immunology