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Journal of Bacteriology


The Vibrio cholerae BreR protein is a transcriptional repressor of the breAB efflux system operon, which encodes proteins involved in bile resistance. In a previous study (F. A. Cerda-Maira, C. S. Ringelberg, and R. K. Taylor, J. Bacteriol. 190:7441-7452, 2008), we used gel mobility shift assays to determine that BreR binds at two independent binding sites at the breAB promoter and a single site at its own promoter. Here it is shown, by DNase I footprinting and site-directed mutagenesis, that BreR is able to bind at a distal and a proximal site in the breAB promoter. However, only one of these sites, the proximal 29-bp site, is necessary for BreR-mediated transcriptional repression of breAB expression. In addition, it was determined that BreR represses its own expression by recognizing a 28-bp site at the breR promoter. These sites comprise regions of dyad symmetry within which residues critical for BreR function could be identified. The BreR consensus sequence AANGTANAC-N(6)-GTNTACNTT overlaps the -35 region at both promoters, implying that the repression of gene expression is achieved by interfering with RNA polymerase binding at these promoters.