Metabolite gene regulation of the L-arabinose operon in Escherichia coli with indoleacetic acid and other indole derivatives. Academic Article uri icon


  • The ability of indole derivatives to facilitate RNA polymerase transcription of the L-arabinose operon in Escherichia coli was shown to require the catabolite activator protein (CAP) as well as the araC gene product. Adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) was not obligatory for araBAD transcription when the cells were grown in the presence of 1 mM indole-3-acetic acid or in the presence of indole-3-acetamide, indole-3-propionic acid, indole-3-butyric acid, or 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid. However, these indole derivatives were unable to circumvent the cAMP requirement for the induction of the lactose and the maltose operons. Catabolic repression occurred when glucose was added to cells grown in the presence of L-arabinose and 1 mM indoleacetic acid or 1 mM cAMP. This effect was reversed at higher concentrations of indoleacetic acid or cAMP. The induction and the catabolite repression phenomena were quantitated by measuring the differential rate of synthesis of L-arabinose isomerase (the araA gene product). These results indicated that indole metabolites from various living systems may regulate gene expression and may be involved in "metabolite gene regulation."

published proceedings

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

author list (cited authors)

  • Kline, E. L., Brown, C. S., Bankaitis, V., Montefiori, D. C., & Craig, K.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Kline, EL||Brown, CS||Bankaitis, V||Montefiori, DC||Craig, K

publication date

  • April 1980