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Arch Microbiol. 2003 Dec;180(6):471-83. Epub 2003 Nov 7.

Comparative analysis of idiA and isiA transcription under iron starvation and oxidative stress in Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 wild-type and selected mutants.

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Biologie VIII: Molekulare Zellphysiologie, Universit├Ąt Bielefeld, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany.


In the mesophilic cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, iron starvation induces the expression of a number of proteins, including IdiA and IsiA. Whereas IdiA protects photosystem (PS) II under mild iron limitation against oxidative stress in a yet unknown way, prolonged iron starvation leads to the formation of the PS I-IsiA supercomplex. Transcription of idiA is positively regulated by IdiB under iron starvation, and Fur represses transcription of isiAB under iron-sufficient growth conditions. In this report, data are presented suggesting a strong interrelationship between iron homeostasis and oxidative stress in S. elongatus PCC 7942, and showing that transcription of major iron-regulated genes, such as isiA, isiAB, idiA, idiB, mapA, and irpA, is induced by oxidative stress within a few minutes by treatment of cells with hydrogen peroxide or methylviologen. The overall results suggest that isiA/isiAB as well as idiB transcription in response to oxidative stress might be controlled by a transcriptional repressor possibly of the PerR-type. This fact also explains the observed cross-talk between IdiB- and Fur-mediated transcriptional regulation of gene expression and for the role of H(2)O(2) as a superior trigger coordinating expression of iron-regulated genes under iron starvation and oxidative stress. Measuring 77 K chlorophyll a fluorescence, it is shown that hydrogen peroxide treatment causes a transient short-term modification of PS II and PS I most likely leading to increased cyclic electron transport around PS I. In this context, the intriguing observation was made that idiB is transcribed as part of an operon together with a gene encoding a potential [2Fe-2S]-protein. This protein has similarity to [Fe-S]-proteins involved in the electron transport activity of the NDH I complex in eubacteria. Since the NDH I complex is involved in cyclic electron transport activity around PS I in cyanobacteria and both adaptation to iron starvation and adaptation to oxidative stress lead to an enhanced cyclic electron transport activity around PS I, this potential [Fe-S]-protein might participate in the overall adaptational response to iron starvation and/or oxidative stress in Synechococcus.

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