Zinc-dependent regulation of zinc import and export genes by zur

Seung Hwan Choi, Kang Lok Lee, Jung Ho Shin, Yoo Bok Cho, Sun Shin Cha, Jung Hye Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


In most bacteria, zinc depletion is sensed by Zur, whereas the surplus is sensed by different regulators to achieve zinc homeostasis. Here we present evidence that zinc-bound Zur not only represses genes for zinc acquisition but also induces the zitB gene encoding a zinc exporter in Streptomyces coelicolor, a model actinobacteria. Zinc-dependent gene regulation by Zur occurs in two phases. At sub-femtomolar zinc concentrations (phase I), dimeric Zur binds to the Zur-box motif immediately upstream of the zitB promoter, resulting in low zitB expression. At the same time, Zur represses genes for zinc uptake. At micromolar zinc concentrations (phase II), oligomeric Zur binding with footprint expansion upward from the Zur box results in high zitB induction. Our findings reveal a mode of zinc-dependent gene activation that uses a single metalloregulator to control genes for both uptake and export over a wide range of zinc concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15812
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

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© The Author(s) 2017.


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