Transcription activation in Escherichia coli and Salmonella

Stephen J. W. Busby*, Douglas F. Browning

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Promoter-specific activation of transcript initiation provides an important regulatory device in Escherichia coli and Salmonella. Here, we describe the different mechanisms that operate, focusing on how they have evolved to manage the "housekeeping" bacterial transcription machinery. Some mechanisms involve assisting the bacterial DNA-dependent RNA polymerase or replacing or remodeling one of its subunits. Others are directed to chromosomal DNA, improving promoter function, or relieving repression. We discuss how different activators work together at promoters and how the present complex network of transcription factors evolved.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalEcoSal Plus
Early online date12 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024, American Society for Microbiology. This is an accepted manuscript of an article published in EcoSal Plus. The published version is available at: []. This accepted manuscript version is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY [], which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The images and figures are not included in the manuscript's Creative Commons licence. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.


  • Bacteria
  • Escherichi coli
  • promoters
  • transcription
  • initiation
  • RNA polymerase
  • transcription factors
  • sigma factors
  • stress adaptation
  • evolution


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