Data from: Plasticity of promoter-core sequences allows bacteria to compensate for the loss of a key global regulatory gene
Lamrabet, Otmane et al. (2019), Data from: Plasticity of promoter-core sequences allows bacteria to compensate for the loss of a key global regulatory gene, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.d02sc44
Transcription regulatory networks (TRNs) are of central importance for both short-term phenotypic adaptation in response to environmental fluctuations and long-term evolutionary adaptation, with global regulatory genes often being targets of natural selection in laboratory experiments. Here, we combined evolution experiments, whole-genome resequencing, and molecular genetics to investigate the driving forces, genetic constraints, and molecular mechanisms that dictate how bacteria can cope with a drastic perturbation of their TRNs. The crp gene, encoding a major global regulator in Escherichia coli, was deleted in four different genetic backgrounds, all derived from the Long-Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE) but with different TRN architectures. We confirmed that crp deletion had a more deleterious effect on growth rate in the LTEE-adapted genotypes; and we showed that the ptsG gene, which encodes the major glucose-PTS transporter, gained CRP dependence over time in the LTEE. We then further evolved the four crp-deleted genotypes in glucose minimal medium, and we found that they all quickly recovered from their growth defects by increasing glucose uptake. We showed that this recovery was specific to the selective environment and consistently relied on mutations in the cis regulatory region of ptsG, regardless of the initial genotype. These mutations affected the interplay of transcription factors acting at the promoters, changed the intrinsic properties of the existing promoters, or produced new transcription initiation sites. Therefore, the plasticity of even a single promoter region can compensate by three different mechanisms for the loss of a key regulatory hub in the E. coli TRN.