Control of copper resistance and inorganic sulfur metabolism by paralogous regulators in Staphylococcus aureus.

Grossoehme N, Kehl-Fie TE, Ma Z, Adams KW, Cowart DM, Scott RA, Skaar EP, Giedroc DP
J Biol Chem. 2011 286 (15): 13522-31

PMID: 21339296 · PMCID: PMC3075698 · DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.220012

All strains of Staphylococcus aureus encode a putative copper-sensitive operon repressor (CsoR) and one other CsoR-like protein of unknown function. We show here that NWMN_1991 encodes a bona fide Cu(I)-inducible CsoR of a genetically unlinked copA-copZ copper resistance operon in S. aureus strain Newman. In contrast, an unannotated open reading frame found between NWMN_0027 and NWMN_0026 (denoted NWMN_0026.5) encodes a CsoR-like regulator that represses expression of adjacent genes by binding specifically to a pair of canonical operator sites positioned in the NWMN_0027-0026.5 intergenic region. Inspection of these regulated genes suggests a role in assimilation of inorganic sulfur from thiosulfate and vectorial sulfur transfer, and we designate NWMN_0026.5 as CstR (CsoR-like sulfur transferase repressor). Expression analysis demonstrates that CsoR and CstR control their respective regulons in response to distinct stimuli with no overlap in vivo. Unlike CsoR, CstR does not form a stable complex with Cu(I); operator binding is instead inhibited by oxidation of the intersubunit cysteine pair to a mixture of disulfide and trisulfide linkages by a likely metabolite of thiosulfate assimilation, sulfite. CsoR is unreactive toward sulfite under the same conditions. We conclude that CsoR and CstR are paralogs in S. aureus that function in the same cytoplasm to control distinct physiological processes.

MeSH Terms (8)

Bacterial Proteins Copper Drug Resistance, Bacterial Open Reading Frames Operon Repressor Proteins Staphylococcus aureus Sulfur

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