The role of Fe-S proteins in sensing and regulation in bacteria

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Apr;6(2):181-5. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5274(03)00039-0.


Fe-S clusters are key to the sensing and transcription functions of three transcription factors, FNR, IscR and SoxR. All three proteins were discovered in Escherichia coli but experimental data and bioinformatic predictions suggest that homologs of these proteins exist in other bacterial species, highlighting the widespread nature of Fe-S-dependent regulatory networks. In addition, the nearly ubiquitous citric acid cycle enzyme, aconitase, plays a role in translational regulation in E. coli and Bacillus subtilis when it loses its Fe-S cluster. Although these regulatory proteins have the common feature of containing an Fe-S cluster, they differ in the physiological signals that they respond to. Therefore, these regulatory factors provide insights into the chemical versatility of Fe-S clusters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aconitate Hydratase / genetics
  • Aconitate Hydratase / metabolism
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / genetics
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / metabolism
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • FNR protein, E coli
  • Iron-Sulfur Proteins
  • IscR protein, E coli
  • Transcription Factors
  • SoxR protein, Bacteria
  • Aconitate Hydratase