1887

Abstract

Iron is a nutrient of critical importance for the strict anaerobe , as it is involved in numerous basic cellular functions and metabolic pathways. A gene encoding a putative ferric uptake regulator (Fur) has been identified in the genome of . In this work, we inactivated the gene by using insertional mutagenesis. The resultant mutant showed a slow-growing phenotype and enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress, but essentially no dramatic change in its fermentation pattern. A unique feature of its physiology was the overflowing production of riboflavin. To gain further insights into the role of the Fur protein and the mechanisms for establishment of iron balance in , we characterized and compared the gene-expression profile of the mutant and the iron-limitation stimulon of the parental strain. Not surprisingly, a repertoire of iron-transport systems was upregulated in both microarray datasets, suggesting that they are regulated by Fur according to the availability of iron. In addition, iron limitation and inactivation of affected the expression of several genes involved in energy metabolism. Among them, two genes, encoding a lactate dehydrogenase and a flavodoxin, were highly induced. In order to support the function of the latter, the operon responsible for riboflavin biosynthesis was also upregulated significantly. Furthermore, the iron-starvation response of involved transcriptional modifications that were not detected in the mutant, suggesting that there exist additional mechanisms for adaptation to low-iron environments. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the strict anaerobe senses and responds to availability of iron on multiple levels using a sophisticated system, and that Fur plays an important role in this process.

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2012-07-01
2019-12-06
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