The Escherichia coli Fur pan-regulon has few conserved but many unique regulatory targets

Ye Gao, Ina Bang, Yara Seif, Donghyuk Kim*, Bernhard O. Palsson*

*Corresponding author for this work

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While global transcription factors (TFs) have been studied extensively in Escherichia coli model strains, conservation and diversity in TF regulation between strains is still unknown. Here we use a combination of ChIP-exo–to define ferric uptake regulator (Fur) binding sites–and differential gene expression–to define the Fur regulon in nine E. coli strains. We then define a pan-regulon consisting of 469 target genes that includes all Fur target genes in all nine strains. The pan-regulon is then divided into the core regulon (target genes found in all the strains, n = 36), the accessory regulon (target found in two to eight strains, n = 158) and the unique regulon (target genes found in one strain, n = 275). Thus, there is a small set of Fur regulated genes common to all nine strains, but a large number of regulatory targets unique to a particular strain. Many of the unique regulatory targets are genes unique to that strain. This first-established pan-regulon reveals a common core of conserved regulatory targets and significant diversity in transcriptional regulation amongst E. coli strains, reflecting diverse niche specification and strain history.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)3618-3630
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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