Alternative promoters in the pst operon of Escherichia coli

Beny Spira*, Meire Aguena, Juliana Velasco De Castro Oliveira, Ezra Yagil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pst operon of Escherichia coli is composed of five genes pstS, pstC, pstA, pstB and phoU, that encode a high-affinity phosphate transport system and a negative regulator of the PHO regulon. Transcription of pst is induced under phosphate shortage and is initiated at the promoter located upstream of the first gene of the operon, pstS. Here, we show by four different technical approaches the existence of additional internal promoters upstream of pstC, pstB and phoU. These promoters are not induced by Pi-limitation and do not possess PHO-box sequences. Plasmids carrying the pst internal genes partially complement chromosomal mutations in their corresponding genes, indicating that they are translated into functional proteins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Internal promoters
  • PHO regulon
  • Pst operon
  • Transcription start point


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