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Endogenous Protein S-Nitrosylation in E. coli: Regulation by OxyR

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Science  27 Apr 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6080, pp. 470-473
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215643

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Abstract

Endogenous S-nitrosylation of proteins, a principal mechanism of cellular signaling in eukaryotes, has not been observed in microbes. We report that protein S-nitrosylation is an obligate concomitant of anaerobic respiration on nitrate in Escherichia coli. Endogenous S-nitrosylation during anaerobic respiration is controlled by the transcription factor OxyR, previously thought to operate only under aerobic conditions. Deletion of OxyR resulted in large increases in protein S-nitrosylation, and S-nitrosylation of OxyR induced transcription from a regulon that is distinct from the regulon induced by OxyR oxidation. Furthermore, products unique to the anaerobic regulon protected against S-nitrosothiols, and anaerobic growth of E. coli lacking OxyR was impaired on nitrate. Thus, OxyR serves as a master regulator of S-nitrosylation, and alternative posttranslational modifications of OxyR control distinct transcriptional responses.

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