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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Mar 1988; 85(6): 1888–1892.
PMCID: PMC279886

arcA (dye), a global regulatory gene in Escherichia coli mediating repression of enzymes in aerobic pathways.


In Escherichia coli the levels of numerous enzymes associated with aerobic metabolism are decreased during anaerobic growth. In an arcA mutant the anaerobic levels of these enzymes are increased. The enzymes, which are encoded by different regulons, include members that belong to the tricarboxylic acid cycle, the glyoxylate shunt, the pathway for fatty acid degradation, several dehydrogenases of the flavoprotein class, and the cytochrome o oxidase complex. Transductional crosses placed the arcA gene near min O on the chromosomal map. Complementation tests showed that the arcA gene corresponded to the dye gene, which is also known as fexA, msp, seg, or sfrA because of various phenotypic properties [Bachmann, B. (1983) Microbiol. Rev. 47, 180-230]. A dye-deletion mutant was derepressed in the aerobic enzyme system. The term modulon is proposed to describe a set of regulons that are subject to a common transcriptional control.

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