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Mol Microbiol. 2009 Jan;71(1):198-211. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06518.x. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

A new oxidative sensing and regulation pathway mediated by the MgrA homologue SarZ in Staphylococcus aureus.

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Department of Chemistry, 929 East 57th Street, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


Oxidative stress serves as an important host/environmental signal that triggers a wide range of responses from the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. Among these, a thiol-based oxidation sensing pathway through a global regulator MgrA controls the virulence and antibiotic resistance of the bacterium. Herein, we report a new thiol-based oxidation sensing and regulation system that is mediated through a parallel global regulator SarZ. SarZ is a functional homologue of MgrA and is shown to affect the expression of approximately 87 genes in S. aureus. It uses a key Cys residue, Cys-13, to sense oxidative stress and to co-ordinate the expression of genes involved in metabolic switching, antibiotic resistance, peroxide stress defence, virulence, and cell wall properties. The discovery of this SarZ-mediated regulation, mostly independent from the MgrA-based regulation, fills a missing gap of oxidation sensing and response in S. aureus.

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