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Regulation of denitrification genes in Neisseria meningitidis by nitric oxide and the repressor NsrR

Rock, J.D., Thomson, M.J., Read, R.C. and Moir, J.W.B. (2007) Regulation of denitrification genes in Neisseria meningitidis by nitric oxide and the repressor NsrR. Journal of Bacteriology, 189 (3). pp. 1138-1144. ISSN 0021-9193

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The human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis is capable of growth using the denitrification of nitrite to nitrous oxide under microaerobic conditions. This process is catalyzed by two reductases: nitrite reductase (encoded by aniA) and nitric oxide (NO) reductase (encoded by norB). Here, we show that in N. meningitidis MC58 norB is regulated by nitric oxide via the product of gene NMB0437 which encodes NsrR. NsrR is a repressor in the absence of NO, but norB expression is derepressed by NO in an NsrR-dependent manner. nsrR-deficient mutants grow by denitrification more rapidly than wild-type N. meningitidis, and this is coincident with the upregulation of both NO reductase and nitrite reductase even under aerobic conditions in the absence of nitrite or NO. The NsrR-dependent repression of aniA (unlike that of norB) is not lifted in the presence of NO. The role of NsrR in the control of expression of aniA is linked to the function of the anaerobic activator protein FNR: analysis of nsrR and fnr single and nsrR fnr double mutants carrying an aniA promoter lacZ fusion indicates that the role of NsrR is to prevent FNR-dependent aniA expression under aerobic conditions, indicating that FNR in N. meningitidis retains considerable activity aerobically.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Biology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2009 11:06
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2009 11:06
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.01368-06
Status: Published
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Identification Number: 10.1128/JB.01368-06
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6608

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