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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2006 May;258(1):9-17.

Global analysis of iron assimilation and fur regulation in Yersinia pestis.

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State Key laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Army Center for Microbial Detection and Research, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.


Using DNA microarray analysis, mRNA levels from wild-type Yersinia pestis cells treated with the iron chelator 2,2'-dipyridyl were compared with those supplemented with excessive iron, and subsequent to this, gene expression in the fur mutant was compared with that in the wild-type strain under iron rich conditions. The microarray analysis revealed many iron transport or storage systems that had been induced in response to the iron starvation, which is mediated by the Fur protein, using the iron as a co-repressor. The iron-Fur complex also affected some genes involved in various non-iron functions (ribonucleoside-diphosphate reductase, membrane proteins, electron transport and oxidative defense, etc.). The Fur protein still participated in the regulation of genes involved in broad cellular processes (virulence factors, pesticin activity, haemin storage and many proteins with unknown functions) that were not affected by iron depletion conditions. In addition to its classical negative regulatory activities, the Fur protein activates gene transcription. Using bioinformatics tools, we were able to predict the Y. pestis Fur box sequence that was clearly the over-presented motif in the promoter regions of members of the iron-Fur modulon.

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