1887

Abstract

Sulfur globules are formed as obligatory intermediates during the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds in many environmentally important photo- and chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. It is well established that the so-called Dsr proteins are essential for the oxidation of zero-valent sulfur accumulated in the globules; however, hardly anything is known about the regulation of gene expression. Here, we present a closer look at the regulation of the genes in the phototrophic sulfur bacterium . The genes are expressed in a reduced sulfur compound-dependent manner and neither sulfite, the product of the reverse-acting dissimilatory sulfite reductase DsrAB, nor the alternative electron donor malate inhibit the gene expression. Moreover, we show the oxidation of sulfur to sulfite to be the rate-limiting step in the oxidation of sulfur to sulfate as sulfate production starts concomitantly with the upregulation of the expression of the genes. Real-time RT-PCR experiments suggest that the genes and are additionally expressed from secondary internal promoters, pointing to a special function of the encoded proteins. Earlier structural analyses indicated the presence of a helix–turn–helix (HTH)-like motif in DsrC. We therefore assessed the DNA-binding capability of the protein and provide evidence for a possible regulatory function of DsrC.

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2010-03-01
2021-07-28
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