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Arch Microbiol. 2007 Jan;187(1):67-77. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

Multiple regulators of the Flavohaemoglobin (hmp) gene of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium include RamA, a transcriptional regulator conferring the multidrug resistance phenotype.

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Laboratorio de Microbiología y Genética Molecular, Departamento de Biología Molecular y Biotecnología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, PO Box 70-228, Coyoacán, Mexico City 04510, Mexico.


Microbial flavohaemoglobins are proteins with homology to haemoglobins from higher organisms, but clearly linked to nitric oxide (NO) metabolism by bacteria and yeast. hmp mutant strains of several bacteria are hypersensitive to NO and related compounds and hmp genes are up-regulated by the presence of NO. The regulatory mechanisms involved in hmp induction by NO and the superoxide-generating agent, methyl viologen (paraquat; PQ), are complex, but progressively being resolved. Here we show for the first time that, in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, hmp transcription is increased on exposure to PQ and demonstrate that RamA, a homologue of MarA is responsible for most of the hmp paraquat regulation. In addition we demonstrate NO-dependent elevation of Salmonella hmp transcription and Hmp accumulation. In both Escherichia coli and Salmonella modest transcriptional repression of hmp is exerted by the iron responsive transcriptional repressor Fur. Finally, in contrast to previous reports, we show that in E. coli and Salmonella, hmp induction by both paraquat and sodium nitroprusside is further elevated in a fur mutant background, indicating that additional regulators are implicated in this control process.

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