Transcriptional analysis of the pst operon of Escherichia coli

M. Aguena, E. Yagil, B. Spira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pst operon of Escherichia coli, which encodes the phosphate-specific transport system, is composed of five genes, pstS, pstC, pstA, pstB and phoU, whose transcription is induced by phosphate starvation. A phosphate-regulated promoter located upstream of the most proximal gene (pstS) controls the transcription of the entire operon. Though the full-length pst mRNA could be detected by an improved RT-PCR protocol, Northern analysis using several pst-specific probes failed to reveal this transcript. Instead, smaller but distinct pst mRNA species were evident. Primer-extension experiments localized the 5′ ends of pst mRNAs within the operon. The data suggest that the full-length mRNA is rapidly processed post-transcriptionally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-524
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Escherichia coli
  • PHO-regulon
  • pst operon


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