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J Biochem. 1991 Feb;109(2):262-6.

Purification and characterization of the Escherichia coli OxyR protein, the positive regulator for a hydrogen peroxide-inducible regulon.

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Laboratory of Radiation Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyoto University.


The Escherichia coli oxyR gene is required for the induction of a regulon that is inducible by hydrogen peroxide and confers resistance to oxidative stresses. We constructed a plasmid system that greatly overproduced OxyR protein and purified the protein. OxyR protein specifically bound to the upstream regulatory regions of the oxyR and katG genes as demonstrated by the gel-retardation assay and the DNase I footprinting experiment, and activated the transcription initiation of the katG gene in vitro. Using a plasmid carrying an oxyR'-'lacZ fusion gene, we studied the regulation of oxyR expression in vivo. The expression of oxyR was not induced by the treatment with a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide which induces the genes in the oxyR regulon. The expression of the oxyR'-'lacZ gene was higher in an oxyR-deletion strain than in the oxyR+ strain, and was repressed by overexpressing the OxyR protein. These results suggest that OxyR protein functions as a repressor for oxyR, in addition to its known function as a transcriptional activator for the genes in the oxyR regulon.

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