Identification of a Dichelobacter nodosus ferric uptake regulator and determination of its regulatory targets

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Bacteriology, 2005, 187 (1), pp. 366 - 375
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The expression of iron regulated genes in bacteria is typically controlled by the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) protein, a global transcriptional repressor that regulates functions as diverse as iron acquisition, oxidative stress, and virulence. We have identified afur homologue in Dichelobacter nodosus, the causative agent of ovine footrot, and shown that it complements an Escherichia colifur mutant. Homology modeling of the D. nodosus Fur protein with the recently solved crystal structure of Fur from Pseudomonas aeruginosa indicated extensive structural conservation. As Southern hybridization analysis of different clinical isolates of D. nodosus indicated that the fur gene was present in all of these strains, the fur gene was insertionally inactivated to determine its functional role. Analysis of these mutants by various techniques did not indicate any significant differences in the expression of known virulence genes or in iron-dependent growth. However, we determined several Fur regulatory targets by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry. Analysis of proteins from cytoplasmic, membrane, and extracellular fractions revealed numerous differentially expressed proteins. The transcriptional basis of these differences was analyzed by using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. Proteins with increased expression in the fur mutant were homologues of the periplasmic iron binding protein YfeA and a cobalt chelatase, CbiK. Down-regulated proteins included a putative manganese superoxide dismutase and ornithine decarboxylase. Based on these data, it is suggested that in D. nodosus the Fur protein functions as a regulator of iron and oxidative metabolism.
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