BACKGROUND: Families of paralogous oligomeric proteins are common in biology. How the specificity of assembly evolves is a fundamental question of biology. The LysR-Type Transcriptional Regulators (LTTR) form perhaps the largest family of transcriptional regulators in bacteria. Because genomes often encode many LTTR family members, it is assumed that many distinct homooligomers are formed simultaneously in the same cell without interfering with each other's activities, suggesting specificity in the interactions. However, this assumption has not been systematically tested. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A negative-dominant assay with λcI repressor fusions was used to evaluate the assembly of the LTTRs in E. coli K-12. Thioredoxin (Trx)-LTTR fusions were used to challenge the homooligomeric interactions of λcI-LTTR fusions. Eight cI-LTTR fusions were challenged with twenty-eight Trx fusions. LTTRs could be divided into three classes based on their interactions with other LTTRs. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Multimerization of LTTRs in E. coli K-12 is mostly specific. However, under the conditions of the assay, many LTTRs interact with more than one noncognate partner. The physiological significance and physical basis for these interactions are not known.
- Bacterial ProteinsCrosses, GeneticDNADimerizationEscherichia ColiEvolution, MolecularGene Expression Regulation, BacterialGenes, DominantGenome, BacterialModels, GeneticOpen Reading FramesPhenotypePhylogenyPlasmidsProtein Structure, TertiaryRecombinant Fusion ProteinsThioredoxinsTranscription FactorsTranscription, Genetic