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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 May;4(3):287-94.

Regulation of heme biosynthesis in non-phototrophic bacteria.

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  • 1Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, Institut für Mikrobiologie.


The biosynthesis of tetrapyrroles like hemes and chlorophylls is essential for most living organisms. In bacteria hemes are integral parts of energy conserving electron transport chains and cofactors of various enzymes. Changes of environmental conditions usually lead to an adaption of the bacterial energy metabolism and often coincide with significant changes of cellular heme levels. This review focuses on the known regulatory mechanisms in non-phototrophic bacteria involved in the control of the formation of the heme biosynthetic apparatus. Species specific differences in the mode of energy generation result in various regulatory strategies. Focusing on the well investigated bacteria Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella typhimurium the involved environmental stimuli, employed transcriptional regulators and promoter structures as well as the role of protein stability are described. Broad variations of the used regulatory principles were observed.

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