FNR is a global regulator of virulence and anaerobic metabolism in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (ATCC 14028s).J Bacteriol. 2007 Mar; 189(6):2262-73.JB
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium must successfully transition the broad fluctuations in oxygen concentrations encountered in the host. In Escherichia coli, FNR is one of the main regulatory proteins involved in O2 sensing. To assess the role of FNR in serovar Typhimurium, we constructed an isogenic fnr mutant in the virulent wild-type strain (ATCC 14028s) and compared their transcriptional profiles and pathogenicities in mice. Here, we report that, under anaerobic conditions, 311 genes (6.80% of the genome) are regulated directly or indirectly by FNR; of these, 87 genes (28%) are poorly characterized. Regulation by FNR in serovar Typhimurium is similar to, but distinct from, that in E. coli. Thus, genes/operons involved in aerobic metabolism, NO. detoxification, flagellar biosynthesis, motility, chemotaxis, and anaerobic carbon utilization are regulated by FNR in a fashion similar to that in E. coli. However, genes/operons existing in E. coli but regulated by FNR only in serovar Typhimurium include those coding for ethanolamine utilization, a universal stress protein, a ferritin-like protein, and a phosphotransacetylase. Interestingly, Salmonella-specific genes/operons regulated by FNR include numerous virulence genes within Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1), newly identified flagellar genes (mcpAC, cheV), and the virulence operon (srfABC). Furthermore, the role of FNR as a positive regulator of motility, flagellar biosynthesis, and pathogenesis was confirmed by showing that the mutant is nonmotile, lacks flagella, is attenuated in mice, and does not survive inside macrophages. The inability of the mutant to survive inside macrophages is likely due to its sensitivity to the reactive oxygen species generated by NADPH phagocyte oxidase.