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σE activity is required to diminish general stress in the envelope of Escherichia coli and to ensure proper insertion of outer membrane porins (OMP) into the outer membrane. Accumulation of unassembled OMP monomers in the periplasm generates a signal that is communicated through the inner membrane to the cytoplasm, where it activates the transcription factor, σE. The signal is conveyed by proteolytic cascade that carries out regulated proteolysis of RseA, a membrane-spanning anti-sigma factor whose cytoplasmic domain inhibits σE - dependent transcription. Upon binding to OMP C-termini, the membrane localized DegS protease is activated to cleave RseA in its periplasmic domain. The memb...