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Detailed analysis of Helicobacter pylori Fur-regulated promoters reveals a Fur box core sequence and novel Fur-regulated genes.
ABSTRACT: In Helicobacter pylori, iron balance is controlled by the Ferric uptake regulator (Fur), an iron-sensing repressor protein that typically regulates expression of genes implicated in iron transport and storage. Herein, we carried out extensive analysis of Fur-regulated promoters and identified a 7-1-7 motif with dyad symmetry (5'-TAATAATnATTATTA-3'), which functions as the Fur box core sequence of H. pylori. Addition of this sequence to the promoter region of a typically non-Fur regulated gene was sufficient to impose Fur-dependent regulation in vivo. Moreover, mutation of this sequence within Fur-controlled promoters negated regulation. Analysis of the H. pylori chromosome for the occurrence of the Fur box established the existence of well-conserved Fur boxes in the promoters of numerous known Fur-regulated genes, and revealed novel putative Fur targets. Transcriptional analysis of the new candidate genes demonstrated Fur-dependent repression of HPG27_51, HPG27_52, HPG27_199, HPG27_445, HPG27_825 and HPG27_1063, as well as Fur-mediated activation of the cytotoxin associated gene A, cagA (HPG27_507). Furthermore, electrophoretic mobility shift assays confirmed specific binding of Fur to the promoters of each of these genes. Future experiments will determine whether loss of Fur regulation of any of these particular genes contributes to the defects in colonization exhibited by the H. pylori fur mutant.
Project description:In Helicobacter pylori, the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) has evolved additional regulatory functions not seen in other bacteria; it can repress and activate different groups of genes in both its iron-bound and apo forms. Because little is understood about the process of apo-Fur repression and because only two apo-Fur-repressed genes (pfr and sodB) have previously been identified, we sought to expand our understanding of this type of regulation. Utilizing published genomic studies, we selected three potential new apo-Fur-regulated gene targets: serB, hydA, and the cytochrome c553 gene. Transcriptional analyses confirmed Fur-dependent repression of these genes in the absence of iron, as well as derepression in the absence of Fur. Binding studies showed that apo-Fur directly interacted with the suspected hydA and cytochrome c553 promoters but not that of serB, which was subsequently shown to be cotranscribed with pfr; apo-Fur-dependent regulation occurred at the pfr promoter. Alignments of apo-regulated promoter regions revealed a conserved, 6-bp consensus sequence (AAATGA). DNase I footprinting showed that this sequence lies within the protected regions of the pfr and hydA promoters. Moreover, mutation of the sequence in the pfr promoter abrogated Fur binding and DNase protection. Likewise, fluorescence anisotropy studies and binding studies with mutated consensus sequences showed that the sequence was important for apo-Fur binding to the pfr promoter. Together these studies expand the known apo-Fur regulon in H. pylori and characterize the first reported apo-Fur box sequence.
Project description:The pvdA gene, encoding the enzyme L-ornithine N5-oxygenase, catalyzes a key step of the pyoverdin biosynthetic pathway in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Expression studies with a promoter probe vector made it possible to identify three tightly iron-regulated promoter regions in the 5.9-kb DNA fragment upstream of pvdA. The promoter governing pvdA expression was located within the 154-bp sequence upstream of the pvdA translation start site. RNA analysis showed that expression of PvdA is iron regulated at the transcriptional level. Primer extension and S1 mapping experiments revealed two 5'termini of the pvdA transcript, 68 bp (T1) and 43 bp (T2) 5' of the PvdA initiation. The pvdA transcripts were monocystronic, with T1 accounting for 90% of the pvdA mRNA. Fur box-like sequences were apparently absent in the regions 5' of pvdA transcription start sites. A sequence motif resembling the -10 hexamer of AlgU-dependent promoters and the iron starvation box of pyoverdin genes controlled by the sigmaE -like factor PvdS were identified 5' of the T1 start site. The minimum DNA region required for iron-regulated promoter activity was mapped from bp -41 to -154 relative to the ATG translation start site of pvdA. We used pvdA'::lacZ transcriptional fusions and Northern (RNA) analyses to study the involvement of Fur and PvdS in the iron-regulated expression of pvdA. Two fur mutants of P. aeruginosa were much less responsive than wild-type PAO1 to the iron-dependent regulation of pvdA expression. Transcription from the pvdA promoter did not occur in a heterologous host unless in the presence of the pvdS gene in trans and was abrogated in a pvdS mutant of P. aeruginosa. Interaction of the Fur repressor with a 150-bp fragment encompassing the pvdS promoter was demonstrated in vivo by the Fur titration assay and confirmed in vitro by gel retardation experiments with a partially purified Fur preparation. Conversely, the promoter region of pvdA did not interact with Fur. Our results support the hypothesis that the P. aeruginosa Fur repressor indirectly controls pvdA transcription through the intermediary sigma factor PvdS; in the presence of sufficient iron, Fur blocks the pvdS promoter, thus preventing PvdS expression and consequently transcription of pvdA and other pyoverdin biosynthesis genes.
Project description:Iron homeostasis is particularly important in pathogenic bacteria, which need to compete with the host for this essential cofactor. In Helicobacter pylori, a causative agent of several gastric pathologies, iron uptake and storage genes are regulated at the transcriptional level by the ferric uptake regulator Fur. The regulatory circuit of Fur has recently come under focus because of an intimate interlink with a broader regulatory network governing metal homeostasis, acidic response, and virulence. To dissect the Fur regulatory circuit and identify in vivo targets of regulation, we developed a genome-wide location analysis protocol which allowed the identification of 200 genomic loci bound by Fur as well as the investigation of the binding efficiency of the protein to these loci in response to iron. Comparative analysis with transcriptomes of wild-type and fur deletion mutant strains allowed the distinction between targets associated with Fur regulation and genes indirectly influenced by the fur mutation. The Fur regulon includes 59 genes, 25 of which appear to be positively regulated. A case study conducted by primer extension analysis of two oppositely regulated genes, hpn2 and flaB, suggests that negative regulation as well as positive regulation occurs at the transcriptional level. Furthermore, the results revealed the existence of 13 Fur targeted loci within polycistronic operons, which were associated with transcript deregulation in the fur mutant strain. This study provides a systematic insight of Fur regulation at the genome-wide level in H. pylori and points to regulatory functions extending beyond the classical Fur repression paradigm.
Project description:Helicobacter pylori is a significant human pathogen that has adapted to survive the many stresses found within the gastric environment. Superoxide Dismutase (SodB) is an important factor that helps H. pylori combat oxidative stress. sodB was previously shown to be repressed by the Ferric Uptake Regulator (Fur) in the absence of iron (apo-Fur regulation) . Herein, we show that apo regulation is not fully conserved among all strains of H. pylori. apo-Fur dependent changes in sodB expression are not observed under iron deplete conditions in H. pylori strains G27, HPAG1, or J99. However, Fur regulation of pfr and amiE occurs as expected. Comparative analysis of the Fur coding sequence between G27 and 26695 revealed a single amino acid difference, which was not responsible for the altered sodB regulation. Comparison of the sodB promoters from G27 and 26695 also revealed a single nucleotide difference within the predicted Fur binding site. Alteration of this nucleotide in G27 to that of 26695 restored apo-Fur dependent sodB regulation, indicating that a single base difference is at least partially responsible for the difference in sodB regulation observed among these H. pylori strains. Fur binding studies revealed that alteration of this single nucleotide in G27 increased the affinity of Fur for the sodB promoter. Additionally, the single base change in G27 enabled the sodB promoter to bind to apo-Fur with affinities similar to the 26695 sodB promoter. Taken together these data indicate that this nucleotide residue is important for direct apo-Fur binding to the sodB promoter.
Project description:Iron is limiting in the human host, and bacterial pathogens respond to this environment by activating genes required for bacterial virulence. Transcriptional regulation in response to iron in Gram-negative bacteria is largely mediated by the ferric uptake regulator protein Fur, which in the presence of iron binds to a specific sequence in the promoter regions of genes under its control and acts as a repressor. Here we describe DNA microarray, computational and in vitro studies to define the Fur regulon in the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis group B (strain MC58). After iron addition to an iron-depleted bacterial culture, 153 genes were up-regulated and 80 were down-regulated. Only 50% of the iron-regulated genes were found to contain Fur-binding consensus sequences in their promoter regions. Forty-two promoter regions were amplified and 32 of these were shown to bind Fur by gel-shift analysis. Among these genes, many of which had never been described before to be Fur-regulated, 10 were up-regulated on iron addition, demonstrating that Fur can also act as a transcriptional activator. Sequence alignment of the Fur-binding regions revealed that the N. meningitidis Fur-box encompasses the highly conserved (NATWAT)3 motif. Cluster analysis was effective in predicting Fur-regulated genes even if computer prediction failed to identify Fur-box-like sequences in their promoter regions. Microarray-generated gene expression profiling appears to be a very effective approach to define new regulons and regulatory pathways in pathogenic bacteria.
Project description:The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) is a predominant bacterial regulator controlling the iron assimilation functions in response to iron availability. Our previous microarray analysis on Yersinia pestis defined the iron-Fur modulon. In the present work, we reannotated the iron assimilation genes in Y. pestis, and the resulting genes in complementation with those disclosed by microarray constituted a total of 34 genome loci (putative operons) that represent the potential iron-responsive targets of Fur. The subsequent real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) in conjunction with the primer extension analysis showed that 32 of them were regulated by Fur in response to iron starvation. A previously predicted Fur box sequence was then used to search against the promoter regions of the 34 operons; the homologue of the above box could be predicted in each promoter tested. The subsequent electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) demonstrated that a purified His(6) tag-fused Fur protein was able to bind in vitro to each of these promoter regions. Therefore, Fur is a global regulator, both an activator and a repressor, and directly controls not only almost all of the iron assimilation functions but also a variety of genes involved in various non-iron functions for governing a complex regulatory cascade in Y. pestis. In addition, real-time RT-PCR, primer extension, EMSA, and DNase I footprinting assay were used to elucidate the Fur regulation of the ybt locus encoding a virulence-required iron uptake system. By combining the published data on the YbtA regulation of ybt, we constructed a concise Fur/YbtA regulatory network with a map of the Fur-promoter DNA interactions within the ybt locus. The data presented here give us an overview of the iron-responsive Fur regulon in Y. pestis.
Project description:Helicobacter pylori is an important human pathogen. However, the study of this organism is often limited by a relative shortage of genetic tools. In an effort to expand the methods available for genetic study, an endogenous H. pylori plasmid was modified for use as a transcriptional reporter and as a complementation vector. This was accomplished by addition of an Escherichia coli origin of replication, a kanamycin resistance cassette, a promoterless gfpmut3 gene, and a functional multiple cloning site to form pTM117. The promoters of amiE and pfr, two well-characterized Fur-regulated promoters, were fused to the promoterless gfpmut3, and green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression of the fusions in wild-type and delta fur strains was analyzed by flow cytometry under iron-replete and iron-depleted conditions. GFP expression was altered as expected based on current knowledge of Fur regulation of these promoters. RNase protection assays were used to determine the ability of this plasmid to serve as a complementation vector by analyzing amiE, pfr, and fur expression in wild-type and delta fur strains carrying a wild-type copy of fur on the plasmid. Proper regulation of these genes was restored in the delta fur background under high- and low-iron conditions, signifying complementation of both iron-bound and apo Fur regulation. These studies show the potential of pTM117 as a molecular tool for genetic analysis of H. pylori.
Project description:Intracellular iron concentration is tightly regulated to maintain cell viability. Iron plays important roles in electron transport, nucleic acid synthesis, and oxidative stress. A Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP)-specific genomic island carries a putative metal transport operon that includes MAP3773c, which encodes a Fur-like protein. Although well characterized as a global regulator of iron homeostasis in multiple bacteria, the function of Fur (ferric uptake regulator) in MAP is unknown as this organism also carries IdeR (iron dependent regulator), a native iron regulatory protein specific to mycobacteria. Computational analysis using PRODORIC identified 23 different pathways involved in respiration, metabolism, and virulence that were likely regulated by MAP3773c. Thus, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) was performed to confirm the putative regulon of MAP3773c (Fur-like protein) in MAP. ChIP-Seq revealed enriched binding to 58 regions by Fur under iron-replete and -deplete conditions, located mostly within open reading frames (ORFs). Three ChIP peaks were identified in genes that are directly related to iron regulation: MAP3638c (hemophore-like protein), MAP3736c (Fur box), and MAP3776c (ABC transporter). Fur box consensus sequence was identified, and binding specificity and dependence on Mn2+ availability was confirmed by a chemiluminescent electrophoresis mobility shift assay (EMSA). The results confirmed that MAP3773c is a Fur ortholog that recognizes a 19 bp DNA sequence motif (Fur box) and it is involved in metal homeostasis. This work provides a regulatory network of MAP Fur binding sites during iron-replete and -deplete conditions, highlighting unique properties of Fur regulon in MAP.
Project description:Clostridium botulinum is a spore-forming bacterium that can produce a very powerful neurotoxin that causes botulism. In this study, we have investigated the Fur transcription regulators in Clostridium botulinum and Fur-regulated genes in Clostridium botulinum A ATCC 3502. We found that gene loss may be the main cause leading to the different numbers of Fur transcription regulators in different Clostridium botulinum strains. Meanwhile, 46 operons were found to be regulated by the Fur transcription regulator in Clostridium botulinum A ATCC 3502, involved in several functional classifications, including iron acquisition, iron utilization, iron transport, and transcription regulator. Under an iron-restricted medium, we experimentally found that a Fur transcription regulator (CBO1372) and two operons (DedA, CBO2610-CBO2614 and ABC transporter, CBO0845-CBO0847) are shown to be differentially expressed in Clostridium botulinum A ATCC 3502. This study has provided-us novel insights into the diversity of Fur transcription regulators in different Clostridium botulinum strains and diversity of Fur-targeted genes, as well as a better understanding of the dynamic changes in iron restriction occurring in response to this stress.
Project description:The Ferric uptake regulator (Fur) is a transcriptional regulator that controls iron homeostasis in bacteria. Although the regulatory role of Fur in Escherichia coli is well characterized, most of the studies were conducted under routine culture conditions, i.e., in ambient oxygen concentration. To reveal potentially novel aspects of the Fur regulon in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium under oxygen conditions similar to that encountered in the host, we compared the transcriptional profiles of the virulent wild-type strain (ATCC 14028s) and its isogenic ?fur strain under anaerobic conditions.Microarray analysis of anaerobically grown ?fur S. Typhimurium identified 298 differentially expressed genes. Expression of several genes controlled by Fnr and NsrR appeared to be also dependent on Fur. Furthermore, Fur was required for the activity of the cytoplasmic superoxide disumutases (MnSOD and FeSOD). The regulation of FeSOD gene, sodB, occurred via small RNAs (i.e., the ryhB homologs, rfrA and rfrB) with the aid of the RNA chaperone Hfq. The transcription of sodA was increased in ?fur; however, the enzyme was inactive due to the incorporation of iron instead of manganese in SodA. Additionally, in ?fur, the expression of the gene coding for the ferritin-like protein (ftnB) was down-regulated, while the transcription of the gene coding for the nitric oxide (NO·) detoxifying flavohemoglobin (hmpA) was up-regulated. The promoters of ftnB and hmpA do not contain recognized Fur binding motifs, which indicated their probable indirect regulation by Fur. However, Fur activation of ftnB was independent of Fnr. In addition, the expression of the gene coding for the histone-like protein, H-NS (hns) was increased in ?fur. This may explain the observed down-regulation of the tdc operon, responsible for the anaerobic degradation of threonine, and ftnB in ?fur.This study determined that Fur is a positive factor in ftnB regulation, while serving to repress the expression of hmpA. Furthermore, Fur is required for the proper expression and activation of the antioxidant enzymes, FeSOD and MnSOD. Finally, this work identified twenty-six new targets of Fur regulation, and demonstrates that H-NS repressed genes are down-regulated in ?fur.