Elucidation of Regulatory Modes for Five Two-Component Systems in Escherichia coli Reveals Novel Relationships

Kumari Sonal Choudhary, Julia A. Kleinmanns, Katherine Decker, Anand V. Sastry, Ye Gao, Richard Szubin, Yara Seif, Bernhard O. Palsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Escherichia coli uses two-component systems (TCSs) to respond to environmental signals. TCSs affect gene expression and are parts of E. coli’s global transcriptional regulatory network (TRN). Here, we identified the regulons of five TCSs in E. coli MG1655: BaeSR and CpxAR, which were stimulated by ethanol stress; KdpDE and PhoRB, induced by limiting potassium and phosphate, respectively; and ZraSR, stimulated by zinc. We analyzed RNA-seq data using independent component analysis (ICA). ChIP-exo data were used to validate condition-specific target gene binding sites. Based on these data, we do the following: (i) identify the target genes for each TCS; (ii) show how the target genes are transcribed in response to stimulus; and (iii) reveal novel relationships between TCSs, which indicate noncognate inducers for various response regulators, such as BaeR to iron starvation, CpxR to phosphate limitation, and PhoB and ZraR to cell envelope stress. Our understanding of the TRN in E. coli is thus notably expanded.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00980-20
Issue number6
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Two-component systems
  • E. coli
  • Independent component analysis
  • Transcriptions
  • ChIP-exo
  • Transcriptional regulatory network
  • Gene targets


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