Transcriptional and proteomic analysis of a ferric uptake regulator (fur) mutant of Shewanella oneidensis: possible involvement of fur in energy metabolism, transcriptional regulation, and oxidative stress
The iron-directed, coordinate regulation of genes depends on the fur (ferric uptake regulator) gene product, which acts as an iron-responsive, transcriptional repressor protein. To investigate the biological function of a fur homolog in the dissimilatory metal-reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a fur knockout strain (FUR1) was generated by suicide plasmid integration into this gene and characterized using phenotype assays, DNA microarrays containing 691 arrayed genes, and two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Physiological studies indicated that FUR1 was similar to the wild-type strain when they were compared for anaerobic growth and reduction of various electron acceptors. Transcription profiling, however, revealed that genes with predicted functions in electron transport, energy metabolism, transcriptional regulation, and oxidative stress protection were either repressed (ccoNQ, etrA, cytochrome b and c maturation-encoding genes, qor, yiaY, sodB, rpoH, phoB, and chvI) or induced (yggW, pdhC, prpC, aceE, fdhD, and ppc) in the fur mutant. Disruption of fur also resulted in derepression of genes (hxuC, alcC, fhuA, hemR, irgA, and ompW) putatively involved in iron uptake. This agreed with the finding that the fur mutant produced threefold-higher levels of siderophore than the wild-type strain under conditions of sufficient iron. Analysis of a subset of the FUR1 proteome (i.e., primarily soluble cytoplasmic and periplasmic proteins) indicated that 11 major protein species reproducibly showed significant (P < 0.05) differences in abundance relative to the wild type. Protein identification using mass spectrometry indicated that the expression of two of these proteins (SodB and AlcC) correlated with the microarray data. These results suggest a possible regulatory role of S. oneidensis MR-1 Fur in energy metabolism that extends the traditional model of Fur as a negative regulator of iron acquisition systems.