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J Bacteriol. 2010 Sep;192(18):4786-9. doi: 10.1128/JB.00371-10. Epub 2010 Jul 16.

Aromatic acid metabolites of Escherichia coli K-12 can induce the marRAB operon.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.


MarR is a key regulator of the marRAB operon involved in antibiotic resistance and solvent stress tolerance in Escherichia coli. We show that two metabolic intermediates, 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate and anthranilate, involved in enterobactin and tryptophan biosynthesis, respectively, can activate marRAB transcription. We also found that a third intermediate involved in ubiquinone biosynthesis, 4-hydroxybenzoate, activates marRAB transcription in the absence of TolC. Of the three, however, only 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate directly binds MarR and affects its activity.

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