The FeoABC ferrous transporter is a wide-spread bacterial system. While the feoABC locus is regulated by a number of factors in the bacteria studied, we have previously found that regulation of feoABC in Yersinia pestis appears to be unique. None of the non-iron responsive transcriptional regulators that control expression of feoABC in other bacteria do so in Y. pestis. Another unique factor is the iron and Fur regulation of the Y. pestis feoABC locus occurs during microaerobic but not aerobic growth. Here we show that this unique iron-regulation is not due to a unique aspect of the Y. pestis Fur protein but to DNA sequences that regulate transcription. We have used truncations, alterations, and deletions of the feoA::lacZ reporter to assess the mechanism behind the failure of iron to repress transcription under aerobic conditions. These studies plus EMSAs and DNA sequence analysis have led to our proposal that the feoABC locus has two promoters: an upstream P1 promoter whose expression is relatively iron-independent but repressed under microaerobic conditions and the known downstream Fur-regulated P2 promoter. In addition, we have identified two regions that bind Y. pestis protein(s), although we have not identified these protein(s) or their function. Finally we used iron uptake assays to demonstrate that both FeoABC and YfeABCD transport ferrous iron in an energy-dependent manner and also use ferric iron as a substrate for uptake.

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Published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, v. 7, article 331, p. 1-12.

© 2017 O'Connor, Fetherston and Perry.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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This work was supported by Public Health Services Grant RO1 AI33481 from the US National Institutes of Health.

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The Supplementary Material for this article can be found online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fcimb.2017.00331/full#supplementary-material

fcimb-07-00331_supp.pdf (360 kB)
Supplementary Material