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Current View of The Mechanisms Controlling The Transcription of The TOL Plasmid Aromatic Degradation Pathways

Authors: Patricia Domínguez-Cuevas, Silvia Marqués,

Publish Date: 2017
Volume: , Issue:, Pages: 1-22
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The TOL plasmid-encoded pathway for the degradation of toluene and derivatives is an archetype in bacterial transcription regulation. Six promoters belonging to different classes and several chromosome- and plasmid-encoded proteins are involved in maintaining optimal expression levels and synchronization with the global cell metabolism. The TOL-encoded regulators are the enhancer-binding protein XylR, which controls the σ54-dependent promoters of the upper pathway Pu and of xylS gene PS1, and the AraC family regulator XylS, which controls the σ32-σ38-dependent meta-cleavage pathway promoter Pm. Both regulators respond to the presence of a specific effector and activate transcription through different mechanisms. Much effort has been devoted to the elucidation of these processes. In this review, recent results are described and discussed in the light of the latest findings and models for homologous family proteins and their interrelationships with the cell metabolism.(a) The pWW0 TOL plasmid aromatic degradation pathway is organized in two operons and two regulatory genes included in two transposable elements inserting one within another. (b) Schematic presentation of XylR modular organization into three functional domains: a sensor domain (A), connected by a linker (B) to the central or AAA+ domain (C), and a DNA-binding domain (D). (c) Schematic presentation of the XylS protein functional domains: effector binding and dimerization domain and DNA-binding domain containing two HTH motives. The residue numbers delimiting each domain are indicated in each case



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