Urate-responsive MarR homologs from Burkholderia

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The genus Burkholderia includes a large number of species, some of which are serious human pathogens. A genomic locus is conserved that consists of a gene encoding a member of the multiple antibiotic resistance regulator (MarR) family of transcriptional regulators and a divergently oriented gene encoding a major facilitator transport protein (MFTP), a predicted membrane efflux pump. Homology modeling shows that the MarR homolog conserves the location of four conserved amino acid residues previously shown to bind the ligand urate in the Deinococcus radiodurans-encoded MarR homolog HucR. Analysis of the B. thailandensis-encoded homolog shows that its specific DNA binding to two adjacent sites in the intergenic region between the genes encoding the transcription factor and the MFTP is attenuated by urate and to a lesser extent by xanthine and hypoxanthine, but not by adenine or the product of urate degradation, allantoin. These data suggest the existence of a four amino acid urate-binding signature in a subset of MarR homologs, and that homologs bearing this signature will respond to the ligand urate by attenuated DNA binding. The location of binding sites predicts regulation of the MFTP and prompts a proposal to name the cognate transcription factor MftR (major facilitator transport regulator). © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Molecular BioSystems

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