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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Mar;38(3):431-9. doi: 10.1007/s10295-010-0787-5. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

YqhC regulates transcription of the adjacent Escherichia coli genes yqhD and dkgA that are involved in furfural tolerance.

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Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Box 110700, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


Previous results have demonstrated that the silencing of adjacent genes encoding NADPH-dependent furfural oxidoreductases (yqhD dkgA) is responsible for increased furfural tolerance in an E. coli strain EMFR9 [Miller et al., Appl Environ Microbiol 75:4315-4323, 2009]. This gene silencing is now reported to result from the spontaneous insertion of an IS10 into the coding region of yqhC, an upstream gene. YqhC shares homology with transcriptional regulators belonging to the AraC/XylS family and was shown to act as a positive regulator of the adjacent operon encoding YqhD and DkgA. Regulation was demonstrated by constructing a chromosomal deletion of yqhC, a firefly luciferase reporter plasmid for yqhC, and by a direct comparison of furfural resistance and NADPH-dependent furfural reductase activity. Closely related bacteria contain yqhC, yqhD, and dkgA orthologs in the same arrangement as in E. coli LY180. Orthologs of yqhC are also present in more distantly related Gram-negative bacteria. Disruption of yqhC offers a useful approach to increase furfural tolerance in bacteria.

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