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J Bacteriol. 2012 Nov;194(21):5783-93. doi: 10.1128/JB.00749-12. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Deletion of the Desulfovibrio vulgaris carbon monoxide sensor invokes global changes in transcription.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.


The carbon monoxide-sensing transcriptional factor CooA has been studied only in hydrogenogenic organisms that can grow using CO as the sole source of energy. Homologs for the canonical CO oxidation system, including CooA, CO dehydrogenase (CODH), and a CO-dependent Coo hydrogenase, are present in the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris, although it grows only poorly on CO. We show that D. vulgaris Hildenborough has an active CO dehydrogenase capable of consuming exogenous CO and that the expression of the CO dehydrogenase, but not that of a gene annotated as encoding a Coo hydrogenase, is dependent on both CO and CooA. Carbon monoxide did not act as a general metabolic inhibitor, since growth of a strain deleted for cooA was inhibited by CO on lactate-sulfate but not pyruvate-sulfate. While the deletion strain did not accumulate CO in excess, as would have been expected if CooA were important in the cycling of CO as a metabolic intermediate, global transcriptional analyses suggested that CooA and CODH are used during normal metabolism.

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