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Mol Microbiol. 1992 Sep;6(17):2507-16.

Fur regulation in Yersinia species.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Chandler Medical Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40536-0084.

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The effects of iron have been linked with several phenomena including regulation of membrane proteins; however, the mechanism of iron regulation is not well characterized in Yersinia pestis. It is well known that in Escherichia coli, the fur gene product mediates negative transcriptional regulation of several genes in response to iron. We have cloned a Y. pestis fur gene which is highly homologous to the E. coli fur regulatory gene. The sequence of the Y. pestis fur gene exhibits 75% homology to the E. coli gene at the nucleotide level, and 84% homology at the predicted amino acid level. The Y. pestis fur gene is transcribed as a single gene message of approximately 0.5 kb which encodes an approximately 16 kDa protein when expressed in E. coli minicells. A Yersinia enterocolitica fur mutant exhibits hypersensitivity to the Y. pestis bacteriocin, pesticin; the cloned Y. pestis fur gene restores wild-type levels of pesticin sensitivity. Furthermore, iron regulation of at least five surface proteins in this Y. enterocolitica fur mutant is restored by transcomplementation with the Y. pestis fur gene. These data indicate that Y. pestis and Y. enterocolitica possess homologous Fur systems which regulate expression of proteins in response to iron availability.

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