QseE is a sensor kinase that responds to epinephrine, sulfate and phosphate. QseE constitutes a two-component signalling system together with the QseF σ64-dependent response regulator. Encoded within the same operan as gseEFis the qseG gene, which encodes a membrane protein involved in the translocation of a type III secretion effector protein of enterohaemorrhaglc Escherichia coli (EHEC) into epithelial cells. The qseEGF genes also form an operan with the glnB gene, which encodes the E coli nitrogen sensor PII protein. Here we report a transcriptome analysis comparing qseE, qseF and qseG single mutants with the wild-type strain. This study revealed that the proteins encoded by these genes play a modest but significant role In iron uptake. Although QseEFG regulate genes involved in nitrogen utilization, these proteins do not play a notable role in nitrogen metabolism. In addition, QseEFG regulate transcription of the rcsBC and phoPQ two-component systems, linking several signal transduction pathways. The similarity of the microarray profiles of these mutants also indicates that these proteins work together. These data Indicate that QseEFG are Involved in the regulation of virulence and metabolism in EHEC.
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