Regulons of global transcription factors in Corynebacterium glutamicum

Regulons of global transcription factors in Corynebacterium glutamicum

Corynebacterium glutamicum, a high GC content gram-positive soil bacterium in Actinobacteria, has been used for the industrial production of amino acids and engineered to produce various compounds, including polymer building blocks and biofuels. Since its genome sequence was first published, its versatile metabolic pathways and their genetic components and regulatory mechanisms have been extensively studied. Previous studies on transcriptional factors, including two-component systems and σ factors, in the bacterium have revealed transcriptional regulatory links among the metabolic pathways and those among the stress response systems, forming a complex transcriptional regulatory network. The regulatory links are based on knowledge of the transcription factors, such as their target genes (regulons), DNA sequence motifs for recognition, and effector molecules controlling their activities, all of which are fundamental for understanding their physiological functions. Recent advances in chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-based genome-wide analyses provide an opportunity to comprehensively identify the transcription factor regulon, composed of its direct target genes, and its precise consensus binding motif. A common feature among the regulon constituents may provide clues to identify an effector molecule targeting the factor. In this mini-review, we summarize the current knowledge of the regulons of the C. glutamicum transcription factors that have been analyzed via ChIP-based technologies. The regulons consisting of direct target genes revealed new physiological roles of the transcription factors and new regulatory interactions, contributing to refinement and expansion of the transcriptional regulatory network and the development of guidelines and genetic tools for metabolic engineering of C. glutamicum.

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