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J Bacteriol. 2007 Mar;189(6):2339-49. Epub 2007 Jan 12.

The orphan response regulator HP1021 of Helicobacter pylori regulates transcription of a gene cluster presumably involved in acetone metabolism.

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Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Theodor-Boveri-Institut für Biowissenschaften, Universität Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.


Helicobacter pylori is a gastric pathogen for which no nonhuman reservoir is known. In accordance with the tight adaptation to its unique habitat, the human stomach, H. pylori is endowed with a very restricted repertoire of regulatory proteins. Nevertheless, the three complete two-component systems of H. pylori were shown to be involved in the regulation of important virulence traits like motility and acid resistance and in the control of metal homeostasis. HP1021 is an orphan response regulator with an atypical receiver domain whose inactivation has a considerable impact on the growth of H. pylori. Here we report the identification of HP1021-regulated genes by whole-genome transcriptional profiling. We show that the transcription of the essential housekeeping genes nifS and nifU, which are required for the assembly of Fe-S clusters, is activated by HP1021. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the expression of a gene cluster comprising open reading frames hp0690 to hp0693 and hp0695 to hp0697 which is probably involved in acetone metabolism is strongly upregulated by HP1021. Evidence is provided for a direct regulation of the hp0695-to-hp0697 operon by the binding of HP1021 to its promoter region.

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