Oxygen-controlled regulation of the flavohemoglobin gene in Bacillus subtilis

Michael Lacelle, Miyuki Kumano, Kenji Kurita, Kunio Yamane, Peter Zuber, Michiko M. Nakano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


A gene, hmp, which encodes a ubiquitous protein homologous to hemoglobin was isolated among genes from Bacillus subtilis that are induced under anaerobic conditions. The hmp protein belongs to the family of two-domain flavohemoproteins, homologs of which have been isolated from various organisms such as Escherichia coli, Alcaligenes eutrophus, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These proteins consist of an amino-terminal hemoglobin domain and a carboxy-terminal redox active site domain with potential binding sites for NAD(P)H and flavin adenine dinucleotide. The expression of hmp is strongly induced upon oxygen limitation, and the induction is dependent on a two- component regulatory pair, ResD and ResE, an anaerobic regulator, FNR, and respiratory nitrate reductase, NarGHJI. The requirement of FNR and NarGHJI for hmp expression is completely bypassed by the addition of nitrite in the culture medium, indicating that fnr is required for transcriptional activation of narGHJI, which produces nitrite, leading to induction of hmp expression. In contrast, induction of hmp was still dependent on resDE in the presence of nitrite. A defect in hmp in B. subtilis has no significant effect on anaerobic growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3803-3808
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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