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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2018 Oct 1;365(20). doi: 10.1093/femsle/fny220.

Transcriptional regulation of the ferric aerobactin receptor gene by a GntR-like repressor IutR in Vibrio furnissii.

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Laboratory of Hygienic Chemistry, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Matsuyama University, Matsuyama, 790-8578 Ehime, Japan.
Department of Microbiology, Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Takatsuki, 569-1094 Osaka, Japan.


We found that Vibrio furnissii can utilize aerobactin (AERO) as a xenosiderophore. A homology search of its genome revealed that this bacterium possesses genes encoding an AERO-mediated iron acquisition system similar to that of V. vulnificus. The system consists of the ABC transporter gene vatCDB, the GntR-type transcriptional repressor gene iutR, and the outer membrane receptor gene iutA. The functions of the vatCDB operon and iutA in V. furnissii were confirmed by the inability of the corresponding deletion mutants to utilize AERO. Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR revealed that iutA transcription under iron-limiting conditions was extensively activated by the addition of AERO to the growth medium; therefore, we focused on elucidating this phenomenon. Electrophoretic mobility shift and DNase I footprinting assays revealed that glutathione S-transferase-fused IutR (GST-IutR) bound directly to a specific palindromic sequence in the iutA promoter region. However, GST-IutR did not bind to this sequence when either AERO or ferric AERO was present in the assay mixture. These in vitro findings suggest that, under iron-limiting conditions, iutA transcription in V. furnissii is artfully regulated both by IutR, acting as a direct repressor of iutA, and by AERO, acting as an effector for IutR, leading to the derepression of iutA transcription.

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