Global iron-dependent gene regulation in Escherichia coli - A new mechanism for iron homeostasis
McHugh, J. P., Rodriguez-Quinones, F., Abdul-Tehrani, H., Svistunenko, D. A., Poole, R. K., Cooper, C. E. and Andrews, S. C. (2003) Global iron-dependent gene regulation in Escherichia coli - A new mechanism for iron homeostasis. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278 (32). pp. 29478-29486. ISSN 1083-351X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M303381200
Organisms generally respond to iron deficiency by increasing their capacity to take up iron and by consuming intracellular iron stores. Escherichia coli, in which iron metabolism is particularly well understood, contains at least 7 iron-acquisition systems encoded by 35 iron-repressed genes. This Fe-dependent repression is mediated by a transcriptional repressor, Fur ( ferric uptake regulation), which also controls genes involved in other processes such as iron storage, the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle, pathogenicity, and redox-stress resistance. Our macroarray-based global analysis of iron- and Fur-dependent gene expression in E. coli has revealed several novel Fur-repressed genes likely to specify at least three additional iron- transport pathways. Interestingly, a large group of energy metabolism genes was found to be iron and Fur induced. Many of these genes encode iron- rich respiratory complexes. This iron- and Fur-dependent regulation appears to represent a novel iron-homeostatic mechanism whereby the synthesis of many iron- containing proteins is repressed under iron- restricted conditions. This mechanism thus accounts for the low iron contents of fur mutants and explains how E. coli can modulate its iron requirements. Analysis of Fe-55-labeled E. coli proteins revealed a marked decrease in iron- protein composition for the fur mutant, and visible and EPR spectroscopy showed major reductions in cytochrome b and d levels, and in iron- sulfur cluster contents for the chelator-treated wild-type and/or fur mutant, correlating well with the array and quantitative RT-PCR data. In combination, the results provide compelling evidence for the regulation of intracellular iron consumption by the Fe2+-Fur complex.