Fur (ferric uptake regulation protein) activates sodB expression, increasing expression levels by a factor of seven and sodB transcript stability by a factor of three. Post-transcriptional regulation of sodB was investigated by searching for endoribonucleases that might be involved in sodB mRNA degradation. The activation of sodB expression was significantly reduced if both the RNaseE and RNaseIII genes were mutated. This correlated with cleavage at a palindromic sequence located in the 5' untranslated region of the sodB transcript. An RNA-binding assay showed that Fur did not directly protect the sodB transcript. It was hypothesized that the persistence of Fur-mediated activation of sodB expression in the RNase double mutant was probably due to an effect at the transcriptional level. Therefore, it was investigated whether Fur had a direct transcriptional effect in vitro. Fur bound the sodB promoter region with low affinity, but it was not able to increase sodB transcription. H-NS-mediated repression of sodB expression, which has been shown to be Fur-dependent, was characterized. No DNA-bending region was identified in the sodB promoter region. H-NS did not interfere with the post-transcriptional effect of Fur. Fur-dependent H-NS and the Fur post-transcriptional effect were not additive. This suggests that Fur and H-NS effects are indirect and may be mediated by a common intermediate.