The trp operon of Chlamydia trachomatis is organized differently from other model bacteria. It contains trpR, an intergenic region (IGR), and the biosynthetic trpB and trpA open-reading frames. TrpR is a tryptophan-dependent repressor that regulates the major promoter (PtrpR), while the IGR harbors an alternative promoter (PtrpBA) and an operator sequence for the iron-dependent repressor YtgR to regulate trpBA expression. Here, we report that YtgR repression at PtrpBA is also dependent on tryptophan by regulating YtgR levels through a rare triple-tryptophan motif (WWW) in the YtgCR precursor. Inhibiting translation during tryptophan limitation at the WWW motif subsequently promotes Rho-independent transcription termination of ytgR, thereby de-repressing PtrpBA. Thus, YtgR represents an alternative strategy to attenuate trpBA expression, expanding the repertoire for trp operon attenuation beyond TrpL- and TRAP-mediated mechanisms described in other bacteria. Furthermore, repurposing the iron-dependent repressor YtgR underscores the fundamental importance of maintaining tryptophan-dependent attenuation of the trpRBA operon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)