Bacteria regulate gene expression to adapt to changing environments through transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs). Although extensively studied, no TRN is fully characterized since the identity and activity of all the transcriptional regulators comprising a TRN are not known. Here, we experimentally evaluate 40 uncharacterized proteins in Escherichia coli K-12 MG1655, which were computationally predicted to be transcription factors (TFs). First, we used a multiplexed chromatin immunoprecipitation method combined with lambda exonuclease digestion (multiplexed ChIP-exo) assay to characterize binding sites for these candidate TFs; 34 of them were found to be DNA-binding proteins. We then compared the relative location between binding sites and RNA polymerase (RNAP). We found 48% (283/588) overlap between the TFs and RNAP. Finally, we used these data to infer potential functions for 10 of the 34 TFs with validated DNA binding sites and consensus binding motifs. Taken together, this study: (i) significantly expands the number of confirmed TFs to 276, close to the estimated total of about 280 TFs; (ii) provides putative functions for the newly discovered TFs and (iii) confirms the functions of four representative TFs through mutant phenotypes.
|Journal||Nucleic Acids Research|
|Number of pages||15|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|