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FurC regulates expression of zupT for the central zinc importer ZupT of Cupriavidus metallidurans.

Journal of bacteriology (2014-07-23)
Christopher Schmidt, Claudia Schwarzenberger, Cornelia Große, Dietrich H Nies
ABSTRACT

The zinc importer ZupT is required for the efficient allocation of zinc to zinc-dependent proteins in the metal-resistant bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans but not for zinc import per se. The expression of zupT is upregulated under conditions of zinc starvation. C. metallidurans contains three members of the Fur family of regulators that qualify as candidates for the zupT regulator. The expression of a zupT-lacZ reporter gene fusion was strongly upregulated in a ΔfurC mutant but not in a ΔfurA or ΔfurB mutant. Expression of the genes for transition-metal importers (pitA, corA1, corA2, and corA3) was not changed in this pattern in all three Δfur mutants, but they were still downregulated under conditions of elevated zinc concentrations, indicating the presence of another zinc-dependent regulator. FurA was a central regulator of the iron metabolism in C. metallidurans, and furA was constitutively expressed under the conditions tested. Expression of furB was upregulated under conditions of iron starvation, and FurB could be an iron starvation Fur connecting general metal and iron homeostasis, as indicated by the phenotype of a ΔfurB ΔfurC double mutant. FurC was purified as a Strep-tagged protein and retarded the electrophoretic mobility of a DNA fragment upstream of zupT. Binding of FurC to this operator region was influenced by the presence of zinc ions and EDTA. Thus, FurC is the main zinc uptake regulator (Zur) of C. metallidurans and represses synthesis of the central zinc importer ZupT when sufficient zinc is present.

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