1887

Abstract

Tellurite resistance (Te) is widespread in nature and it is shown here that the natural resistance of to tellurite is due to a chromosomally located orthologue of plasmid-borne genes found in enteric bacteria. The locus () was identified in a screen of Tn-generated mutants of which one contained an insertion in . The mutant displayed increased susceptibility to tellurite (Te) and complementation with carried on a multicopy plasmid restored high-level Te. Primer extension analysis revealed a single transcriptional start site upstream of , but only with RNA harvested from bacteria grown in the presence of tellurite. Northern blotting and reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) analyses confirmed that the operon was inducible by tellurite and to a lesser extent by oxidative stress inducers such as hydrogen peroxide and methyl viologen (paraquat). Direct and inverted repeat sequences were identified in the promoter region as well as motifs upstream of the −35 hexamer that resembled OxyR-binding sequences. Finally, the 390 bp intergenic promoter region located between and showed no DNA sequence identity with any other published sequences, whereas genes exhibited 73–85 % DNA sequence identity. The operon was present in all clinical isolates of and tested and is inferred for and spp. based on screening for high level Te and preliminary PCR analysis. Thus, a chromosomally located inducible tellurite resistance operon appears to be a common feature of the genus .

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2003-05-01
2019-10-18
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