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The HrcA protein is known to bind the cis-element CIRCE and repress expression of hsp60 in certain bacteria. However, recent data from cyanobacteria have seriously questioned the HrcA/CIRCE interaction paradigm. A hrcA null mutant showed constitutive expression of Hsp60 proteins [GroEL/Cpn60(GroEL2)], and an unexpected further increase in GroEL during temperature upshift, suggesting involvement of regulatory mechanisms other than HrcA in groESL expression in Anabaena. The negative regulation of both hsp60 genes [groEL and cpn60 (groEL2)] at CIRCE element was established by: (1) constitutive expression of Green Fluorescent Protein gene, tagged to Anabaenahsp60 promoters, in E. coli, and its repression upon co-expression of Anabaena HrcA and (2) specific binding of Anabaena HrcA to the CIRCE element. Deletion analysis of other cis-elements further distinguished (a) a photo-regulation by the K-box and (b) thermoregulation from a novel H-box, over and above the negative regulation by HrcA at CIRCE.