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BMC Genomics

, 5:48

First Online: 20 July 2004Received: 30 March 2004Accepted: 20 July 2004


BackgroundThe tetranucleotide GATC is methylated in Escherichia. coli by the DNA methyltransferase Dam and is known to be implicated in numerous cellular processes. Mutants lacking Dam are characterized by a pleiotropic phenotype. The existence of a GATC regulated network, thought to be involved in cold and oxygen shift, had been proposed and its existence has recently been confirmed. The aim of this article is to describe the components of the GATC regulated network of E. coli in detail and propose a role of this network in the light of an evolutionary advantage for the organism.

ResultsWe have classified the genes of the GATC network according to the EcoCyc functional classes. Comparisons with all of E. coli-s genes and the genes involved in the SOS and stress response show that the GATC network forms a group apart. The functional classes that characterize the network are the Energy metabolism in particular respiration, Fatty acid- Phospholipid metabolism and Nucleotide metabolism.

ConclusionsThe network is thought to come into play when the cell undergoes coldshock and is likely to enter stationary phase.

The respiration is almost completely under GATC control and according to our hypothesis it will be blocked at the moment of coldshock; this might give the cell a selective advantage as it increases its chances for survival when entering stationary phase under coldshock. We predict the accumulation of formate and possibly succinate, which might increase the cell-s resistance, in this case to antimicrobial agents, when entering stationary phase.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2164-5-48 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Alessandra Riva - Marie-Odile Delorme - Tony Chevalier - Nicolas Guilhot - Corinne Hénaut - Alain Hénaut


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