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Microbiology. 2005 May;151(Pt 5):1707-16.

SoxRS-mediated regulation of chemotrophic sulfur oxidation in Paracoccus pantotrophus.

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  • 1Lehrstuhl für Technische Mikrobiologie, Fachbereich Bio- und Chemieingenieurwesen, Universität Dortmund, Emil-Figge-Strasse 66, D-44221 Dortmund, Germany.


Paracoccus pantotrophus GB17 requires thiosulfate for induction of the sulfur-oxidizing (Sox) enzyme system. The soxRS genes are divergently oriented to the soxVWXYZA-H genes. soxR predicts a transcriptional regulator of the ArsR family and soxS a periplasmic thioredoxin. The homogenate mutant GBOmegaS carrying a disruption of soxS by the Omega-kanamycin-resistance-encoding interposon expressed a low thiosulfate-oxidizing activity under heterotrophic and mixotrophic growth conditions. This activity was repressed by complementation with soxR, suggesting that SoxR acts as a repressor and SoxS is essential for full expression. Sequence analysis uncovered operator characteristics in the intergenic regions soxS-soxV and soxW-soxX. In each region a transcription start site was identified by primer extension analysis. Both regions were cloned into the vector pRI1 and transferred to P. pantotrophus. Strains harbouring pRI1 with soxS-soxV or soxW-soxX expressed the sox genes under heterotrophic conditions at a low rate, indicating repressor titration. Sequence analysis of SoxR suggested a helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif at position 87-108 and uncovered an invariant Cys-80 and a cysteine residue at the C-terminus. SoxR was overproduced in Escherichia coli with an N-terminal His6-tag and purified to near homogeneity. Electrophoretic gel mobility shift assays with SoxR retarded the soxS-soxV region as a single band while the soxW-soxX region revealed at least two protein-DNA complexes. These data demonstrated binding of SoxR to the relevant DNA. This is believed to be the first report of regulation of chemotrophic sulfur oxidation at the molecular level.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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