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Science. 1990 Apr 13;248(4952):189-94.

Transcriptional regulator of oxidative stress-inducible genes: direct activation by oxidation.

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  • 1Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The oxyR gene positively regulates genes induced by oxidative stress in Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli. Purification of the OxyR protein showed that oxidized but not reduced OxyR activates transcription of oxidative stress-inducible genes in vitro. Conversion between the two forms of OxyR is rapid and reversible. Both the oxidized and the reduced forms of the OxyR protein are capable of binding to three diverse sequences upstream of OxyR-regulated promoters, but the interactions of the two forms of OxyR with the promoter regions are different. The results suggest that direct oxidation of the OxyR protein brings about a conformational change by which OxyR transduces an oxidative stress signal to RNA polymerase.

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